Self compassion: The secret to keeping the promises you make to yourself

It is not just at the beginning of a new year that people promise themselves to do better. I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. But there are always times during the year when I think about something I just said or did, or didn’t do, and say to myself, “Self, you have got to do better.”

But how? My natural inclination is to berate myself. I’ll give you a trivial example. Sometimes I carelessly do something that costs me money. At the supermarket, for instance, I pick up a yogurt that I know is on sale. But when it gets rung up, I don’t get the discount. Oh, it only applied to certain flavors; I forgot about that and picked up one that didn’t qualify. When I do something like that, I tell myself that I have just paid “the stupid tax.” That’s the tax I levy on myself by being stupid.

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