Remembering Who You Are: Self Compassion in Practice

I recently took part in a Positive Intelligence Coaching exercise where I looked at my childhood picture several times a day in efforts to show more self compassion, empathy, and unconditional love for myself.  

I visualized taking care of my younger self. I made her laugh, smile, and gave her space to play and be as creative as she wanted to be. I was also attentive to her emotional needs by reassuring her whenever she had doubts about her abilities. I ended the exercise by imagining hugging my younger self and walking hand in hand with her under a rainbow in pure delight.

Throughout this exercise, I never said a harsh word to the younger version of myself. If I will give the younger version of me unconditional love and empathy, then why wouldn’t I do this for the adult version of me? That little girl is still in me. If I do not have self-compassion for the adult version of me, what do I really have?

I deserve compassion, tenderness, and empathy from myself now!

Self-compassion is the ability to understand, accept, and be patient with yourself despite your shortcomings, imperfections, and failures.

It’s mindfully accepting a painful moment and treating yourself with kindness as you go through it. It also means reminding yourself that failure is an event not a person. 

Here are three ways you can show you can show yourself compassion right now:

1. Forgive Yourself

Be gentle with yourself for your shortcomings. Forgive yourself for what you thought you had to do to survive. Let go of the shame, guilt, and sadness you feel. Grow from it, learn from the experience, and then let it go.

2. Speak Kindly to Yourself

Our words are powerful. We believe the words we tell ourselves more than what people say about us. 

The true essence of my younger self would become a distant memory if I were to focus on everything I am not and verbally beat myself up with the lies I told myself.

When you notice you’re having critical self-dialogue, interrupt it. Replace it with a positive and nurturing thought. If it helps, make a list of things you like about yourself and revisit it whenever you need encouragement.

3. Nourish Yourself

Nourish your heart by accepting yourself, creating healthy boundaries, and focusing on what you can control. 

Nourish your mind by accomplishing something you’ve been putting off, adopting a growth mindset, and going offline from time to time to connect with yourself. 

Nourish your heart by accepting yourself, creating healthy boundaries, and focusing on what you can control.

The childhood exercise taught me I don’t have to change into something I am not to become a better version of myself. I just have to remember who I am, the true essence of my nature. I was creative, curious, fun loving being in my childhood picture and I still am right now. For far too long, I allowed the challenges of this world to distract me from who I truly I am.

We forget about all the possibilities and what we are capable of when focus more on our problems. Instead, focus on how you can turn your pain to purpose or a challenge into an opportunity.

Ask Yourself:

· In what areas of my life can I show myself more compassion and understanding?

· What words of affirmation am I speaking in my life today?

· What becomes possible if I bring more of my true self to my personal and work life?

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.” – The Dalai Lama

Learn more about how you can help girls with dreams become women with vision at

Karla J Noland is a wife, mother, speaker, author, and a personal development/mindset coach. She the founder and CEO of Reveal Heal Thrive LLC. Karla’s mission is to help the Working Mother to prioritize herself and her dreams to the top of her “To Do” list with a winning strategy to achieve her goals. Her forthcoming book and bereavement companion journal, titled “The Day My Heart Turned Blue” chronicles Karla’s healing journey after the death of her mother (November 2021). Find out more at

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