Self Compassion is Key to Higher Confidence — Featured Article

Eric Barker writes weekly articles about various self improvement topics and features the science that backs each topic. This week in “How To Be More Confident: 3 Secrets Backed By Research” he features how self-compassion is key to feeling better about ourselves. If you ignore the click-bait-ey title the article is actually very intriguing. It dives into the argument that self-compassion, not self-esteem, is what will increase your confidence in yourself:

Another study required people to imagine being in potentially embarrassing situations: being on a sports team and blowing a big game, for instance, or performing in a play and forgetting one’s lines. How would participants feel if something like this happened to them? Self-compassionate participants were less likely to feel humiliated or incompetent, or to take it too personally. Instead, they said they would take things in their stride, thinking thoughts like “Everybody goofs up now and then” and “In the long run, this doesn’t really matter.” Having high self-esteem, however, made little difference. Those with both high and low self-esteem were equally likely to have thoughts like “I’m such a loser” or “I wish I could die.” Once again, high self-esteem tends to come up empty-handed when the chips are down

I feel like this is especially pertinent to medical residents, as we don’t just lose a game if we get discouraged. The ability to forgive ourselves and keep going is critical to our patients’ lives, even when it seems like everything is going wrong.

I’ll end the way that Eric ends, by inviting you to practice self compassion by practicing the golden rule in reverse: treat yourself the kind way you often treat your fellow residents.

How To Be More Confident: 3 Secrets Backed By Research

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