How Compassion Killed the Critic
Just as the seasons begin to change so do things at Take 5. In preparation for sharing my message with a larger audience, some photos were in order so I did my first “brand shoot”. The shoot itself was loads of fun even for someone as camera shy as me. What happened after the shoot is what prompted me to select this month’s featured Take 5 Video.
The Critic Shows Up
A few weeks after the shoot I received the gallery of photos and as I started to scroll I caught myself doing the very human practice of zeroing in on what I perceived as “flaws”. Thoughts like "sh*t...I should have had someone do my makeup” or “why didn’t I schedule it further out after I got my hair colored?" along with a flurry of other negative thoughts.
I could see the artistic beauty of the photos but not my beauty as a human.
As I got about half-way through the gallery I started placing hearts by the photos and as I did, my own heart began to open. Gratitude now replaced the cringe that originally met the sight of my wrinkles. The hereditary neck rings that every woman in my family wears started to drift from my focus as I saw my mom, my aunts and my sisters. My heart filled with compassion as I saw their strength in me. I then saw my daughter who is beauty in human form. I started to see parts of my journey, at time very difficult, on my face. I earned those lovely lines! I saw the JOY that I have now. My thoughts drifted to everything that led up to me stepping out of safety and into my purpose work of helping others find inner peace, and that’s when the tears came flooding in.
I found myself wishing I could go back to that younger self who hated being photographed and tell her - girl God made you uniquely you, there are no mistakes, you are beautiful and you have no wrinkles for crying out loud! However, I wouldn't trade the self awareness or inner peace I have now for the wrinkle free face of my youth. With self-awareness comes power, with self-compassion comes peace.
Maybe you can relate; do you find yourself being self-critical?
If so, that’s ok, in fact it's part of the negativity bias that we humans are wired with.
The good news is that it's never too late to rewire and self-compassion is powerful key in taking your power back from the critic.
Don't take my word for it; studies validate it. So, the next time you find your own critic speaking up, remember this Take 5.
Before you watch it take a moment to think about how you are self critical and ask yourself "is this really my truth or am I saying this out of habit?"
Enjoy and let me know what you think by emailing me.
A big thanks to Maddie from Madison Thompson Photography for capturing Take 5 in images.
If this resonated with you and you'd like 1:1 help in building your self-compassion muscle and taking your power back reach out to me via email or schedule a free 15 minute consult here: Book a Consult