Creating Resilient Cultures in Healthcare

3 Steps to Self-Compassion

4Runner steps to self-compassion

I bought a brand new Toyota 4Runner in January this year. In August, I came to the conclusion it was too big for me and decided to sell it. Two days later, I backed into another car after yoga class–oops! (which is NOT exactly the sentiment I shared when this happened).

The good news is, nobody was hurt, the damage was minimal, and I have great insurance. But I did not think of any of this that day. I just kept beating myself up with useless questioning like, Why wasn’t I more careful? Why did I park there? Why did I even go to yoga that morning?

Of course, this was an excellent opportunity for me to practice self-compassion, (which I just happened to be teaching that week). It was many days before I could use the 3 steps to self-compassion from expert, Kristen Neff. Here they are:

1. Mindfulness
When we are present to the moment, it allows us to get in touch with our struggle and respond in a new way.
Okay, I feel angry, irresponsible, and shame for this accident and wish I could take it back, but it could have been so much worse.

2. Common Humanity
When we remember struggle is part of the shared human experience, we feel a connection with others.
I bet other people have felt like this when they have an accident and I will have much more compassion for them the next time traffic is backed-up.

3. Self-Kindness
When we make mistakes, we can have a very critical eye and voice, so instead of berating or punishing ourselves, we can give ourselves comfort and soothing acceptance.
I accept my humanness for this mistake and choose a hot lavender bath over binging on Ben and Jerry’s, which would only make me feel worse.

Self-compassion is not easy, but I can tell you from this experience, it will change the relationship you have with yourself and everyone else when you practice it.


  1. Karla Neely Steck on September 13, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Diane~ You never cease to say the exact right thing at the exact right time!!! I was in the midst of wallowing as I opened your well timed email this morning, so thank YOU Lady!

    Love you and your emails Long Time…


    • Diane Sieg on September 13, 2019 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Karla,

      Great to hear from you and happy to that my timing was good for you! xoxoxo

  2. Leona I Stute on September 13, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    WOW! Aren’t we our own worst enemy sometimes

    WOW! Aren’t we our own worse enemy sometimes? Better that we take responsibility than blaming someone else; however we do tend to beat ourselves up.


  3. Neil on September 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Great reminder!

  4. Isaura Tinoco on September 13, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    this couldnt have came in a better moment. i am going through a rough parenting battle over my sons custody. i never wanted it to get to court. i thought we where both mature and could decide for the little human that depended on us. Unfortunately we not all think alike and some are more selfish and dont knwo how to move on past the anger point. So thank you for all these excercises that have really came in handy.

    • Diane Sieg on September 13, 2019 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for writing Isaura. We can only control our response to everyone and everything else around us. I am glad practicing lovingkindness to yourself is helping you.

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