How we view ourselves is a thing, isn’t it? I unexpectedly had to make a video for a client—of myself. The tiny missteps, stray hairs, and odd face on the freeze-frame all made for a cringy-ish experience.
How we view our internal selves often has two ditches we fall into along the path of growth: I am the best! Or I am the worst!
There are entire social accounts dedicated to shouting, “You are the best! You do you! No one can tell you you’re not amazing!” I imagine those accounts are trying to protect us from the other ditch: the internal voice whispering, “You are the worst! You never get it right! Everyone thinks you’re ridiculous!” The problem with the ditches? They make value judgments rather than observations about how you are making your way in the world.
How’s life in the ditches working for you?
Here’s what I’m here to tell you: There is a better way than zigzagging between those judgey ditches.
I’ve found this paradox to be the most helpful for my growth and the others I’ve coached: Ruthless self-honesty must play with generous self-compassion.
Stop scrolling for a moment. Pause to take that in for a moment.
No, really, I know many of you just scrolled right on. I see you! 🧐
For 10 seconds:
Consider how compassion could change your honesty in self-observation.
Could you admit that you:
- Spend too much time preparing for worst-case scenarios?
- Listen to the critical voice in your head, compelling you to perfectionism?
- Think you will be utterly depleted by life and obligations?
- Protect yourself, avoiding vulnerable, so someone can’t take advantage of you?
Help others to defend against their rejection?
Self-compassion welcomes thorny truths about ourselves into the light. Not the harsh glare of a beam that leaves the rest of the context in shadows, but the warm glow of luminaries on the path toward growth.
Often, we move along a path faster with a guide and a map. The Enneagram has been a trusty map in vulnerable places.
Visit jennwhitmer.com/enneagram for resources and Enneagram coaching opportunities. First one’s on me 🤗
Do you zigzag? Or can you play with honesty AND compassion?