How to cultivate self-compassion?


Here are some ways to cultivate self-compassion based on teachings shared on The Knowledge Project podcast:

  1. Acknowledge and Accept:

    • Recognize Judgmental Thoughts: Notice stories of self-judgment without trying to suppress them. Accept them with kindness to initiate change 1.
    • Understand Common Humanity: Realize that many struggles are part of the human experience, making your difficulties less personal 1.
  2. Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Practice:

    • Mindfulness of Emotions: Acknowledge the fear, pain, or confusion behind negative patterns. Bring a kind attention to these emotions as if paying respects to them, helping them to relax and transform 2.
    • Loving-Kindness Meditation: Regularly practice sending well-wishes to others, starting with those you naturally care about. Use phrases like "May you be safe," "May you be happy," and "May you be healthy." Eventually, extend this well-wishing to yourself 2.
  3. Self-Compassion and Forgiveness:

    • Recognize Self-Talk: Understand that unworthy feelings are unhealthy thoughts rather than the truth. Hold your humanity with a tender heart to foster genuine compassion for yourself and others 3.


      Jack discusses the importance of self-compassion and shares steps to cultivate it, including acknowledging and accepting self-judgment, recognizing common humanity, and cultivating compassion for oneself and others. Through this process, a sense of self-presence and love can grow, leading to a shift from self-judgment to self-respect and worthiness.

      The Knowledge Project

      A Practical Guide on Finding Inner Peace | Jack Kornfield | Knowledge Project Podcast 156
    • Forgiveness Practice: See the situation clearly, feel the suffering, and resolve to stop it. Forgiveness is about what you carry inside yourself and can free you from past grievances 4.
  4. Changing Your Narrative:

    • Gain Control Over Physiology: Training your physiological responses (e.g., through heart rate variability) helps regulate emotions and negative self-talk, facilitating positive self-perception 5.
    • Perspective Shifts: Take on the perspective of someone compassionate towards you. This can help shift self-perception and promote self-compassion 6.

By integrating these practices, you can gradually shift from self-judgment to a stance of self-respect and worthiness.