If there is one thing we all find challenging, it is compassion. This morning while I had my morning walk I was thinking about the topic of this blogpost. In my mind several topics passed by, but nothing really sticked. I was reflecting on this academic year (as my years are academic years, starting in September coming from a mindset of being a Spanish teacher in a past life) and I thought about events where I was compassionate.
Compassion is something really rare nowadays as there is more judgment than ever in ourselves and around us. Social media seems to be a place where judgment and criticism is a perfect place to express.
I find compassion a leadership skill as it has the power to include instead of exclude. It brings softness and acceptance. And with that, psychological safety, growth, openness, trust, motivation and inspiration.
Having compassion starts within ourselves. It is a skill we develop where we accept and embrace who we are. What holds us back in accepting ourselves and having compassion are our so-called armors. Armors are those layers of beliefs and behavior which protect us from being hurt. This armor is so old (or young, depending on how you look at it) as created in our childhood. Our armor is our protection and somewhere at sometime, our armor get's out of date. It grows small and seems not to fit anymore.
Our armor get's out of date
A midlife crisis, a burn-out or a disease will happen and helps us to unidentify with our armor and get curious about getting in touch with parts of us which were safely protected under that armor. Do not get me wrong. I love my armor, it has helped me navigating through life when I did not have certain life skills. I have befriended it and the effect is that I have a much more compassionate relationship with myself AND my armor.
Beneath that armor is a lot of sensitivity and love. It is available for everybody. Since I am much more in touch with that part of myself I can be compassionate. With myself, my relationships and the world. I know that when I am highly critical of somebody or something, my armor is active.
My armor has certain beliefs about the world. And you might resonate with it. It believes that it is weak to show vulnerability. That things have to be perfect. It believes it has to achieve and push to feel valued and worthy. The inner critic is that voice which speaks from that armored place. And this is the voice which is loud when we identify with our armor.
The inner critic as the voice of our armor
Our inner critic's voice is the opposite of the compassionate voice. We can hear the compassionate voice when we are in touch with deeper layers within us.
When leaders are in touch with that within themselves and can be compassionate with themselves, they automatically can be compassionate with other's. Leading with compassion is a totally different approach then leading with your armor on.
Try this for a moment
I would like to invite you to reflect if you are aware of the inner dialogue you are having on a daily basis. I invite you to create a moment to get out of your to do modus and have some quiet time. Get a notebook and a pen and sit somewhere comfortable. Take a few breaths and close your eyes. Now pay attention to your thoughts.
What are your thoughts saying? Open your eyes and write the thoughts down in your notebook without discussing it or analyzing it.
What is the tone of these thoughts? Are they critical, loving, cynical, judgmental?
Now, many do not want to hear their thoughts. When it is a critical voice we stop and we tend to distract or numb ourselves. I invite you to stay present and to see that these thoughts, spoken by a voice which is judging, is actually a friend.
Your inner critic protects you
This friend is there to protect you. It is not a friend which wants to harm us. Understand that this critical voice is a voice which we have adopted over the years to protect us from harm and hurt with the purpose of fitting in.
This voice wants to be listened to. So I invite you to listen and to not push it away. You will be amazed by what you will discover when you befriend your judgmental voice inside.
When you feel that you would like to learn the skills to create a compassionate relationship with yourself, contact me to learn you the skills to stop identifying with your armor and it's voice to create more freedom and self love in your life,
to your soul being
Hi, I am Eva and I support women who are working hard to climb the career ladder or grow their thriving small business.
I facilitate them to create a life and career with purpose and wellbeing so that they can create a balanced and conscious life. I do this by helping them to re-connect with their body and soul. This alignment creates authentic leadership and contributes positively to our current changing world.
Find out the different services I offer for women like you or contact me when you wish to work together on your challenges.