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How Self-Compassion Leads To Success

Women are quick to criticize themselves and often use criticism as a mechanism for self-improvement. Science supports that this endless cycle of self-analysis is in fact counterproductive. Self-criticism should instead be replaced with self-compassion—being sympathetic with ourselves.  

Here’s why: 

  • Focusing on the negatives lessens self-confidence. 

  • Self-criticism makes us afraid of failure and more likely to give up. 

  • You are less likely to learn from mistakes or pick yourself back up after a step back.  

So, what do you do? Change attitudes of self-criticism to self-compassion. 

Here’s how: 

  • Be your own friend. While it is important to have your go-to friends to push you back on track, treat yourself with love and understanding.  

  • Be mindful of where you went wrong or what you could have done better, but don’t dwell it. 

  • Catch yourself when you begin to scold yourself. Change the language to make it sound more positive.  

  • Talk to yourself as your friends would talk to you. What words of encouragement would they say? Taking a step back and looking at your emotions from a different perspective can help you understand and regulate them.  

  • Recognize the small accomplishments in your day. Whether you handled a situation better than before, made a good decision or performed better on a task, take a moment to recognize your self-growth.  

  • Strike a pose. Seriously. Forming a “power pose,” much like the Wonder Woman hand-on-the-hips move, chemically alters your body. Studies show that people that form a power pose feel more powerful, have higher testosterone levels, and lower cortisol levels. Watch Harvard Business School’s social scientist Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on power poses here.


Alana is a junior studying Psychology at Boston University. While a born and bred New Englander hopelessly in love with the city of Boston, she derives much enjoyment out of planning trips to faraway places. She enjoys meeting new people, stealing Crossfit workouts off of 'box' websites, practicing yoga, and watching Grey's Anatomy. Her life-long goals include advocating for women's empowerment and promoting overall well-being.
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