Consider that self-confidence can lead us to overestimate our abilities. Self-compassion, on the other hand, involves acknowledging our flaws and limitations and looking at ourselves more objectively. Many experts believe that self-compassion includes the advantages of self-confidence without the drawbacks (Tweet it!).
Eric Barker, author of the book Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong, notes that productivity culture often promotes faking confidence without considering that when you do, you may start to believe your own pitch. This is better known as the Dunning-Kruger effect: a cognitive bias in which we overestimate our abilities.
Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas, suggests a solution to the problem of overconfidence: self-compassion. “Self-compassion is treating yourself with the same kindness, care and concern you show a loved one,” she said. To acknowledge ourselves as imperfect beings living imperfect lives can free us from delusion and enable us to be authentic and empathic and to take negative events in stride. (For example, a study asked people to describe themselves while being recorded on video. Those subjects were then told they would be rated on how likable, friendly and intelligent they seemed on camera. Subjects who had high levels of self-compassion had generally the same emotional reaction no matter how they were rated. By contrast, people with high levels of self-confidence had negative emotional reactions if the feedback was simply neutral and not exceptional.
The bottom line, writes Kristin Wong in The New York Times: “Without the pressure to be superhuman, it’s easier to accept feedback and criticism. It’s much harder to learn and improve when you believe you already know everything.” http://nyti.ms/2DIS3Jb
Do you believe you practice self-compassion? How has it helped you to succeed despite life’s ups and downs? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.