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Why being “the best” could be your biggest hurdle to a successful working life

career development making change mindfulness strategic change wellbeing work life balance Nov 14, 2019

Are you a high achiever, a leader in your sector, an award winner? 

Did you get constant high scores in class and now have glowing performance reviews?

Are you the one people think of when they need an expert?

And…. Do you also feel isolated, exhausted, and alone?

Kirsten Neff talks about the importance of self-compassion over self-esteem in her wonderful (and for me game-changing) TedX talk -

Self-esteem is based on achieving, winning, being outstanding.

However, there can be only one winner at one time.

In focusing on being outstanding, we are focused on separating ourselves from others, and putting ourselves at risk.

Self-compassion instead is based on three elements:

-        Kindness in how we talk about and treat ourselves

-        Mindfulness and connecting to the here and now

-        Common humanity as an understanding that we are all one with our struggles as well as our achievements

In focusing on how we connect with others, we open ourselves to the healing elements of oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone most commonly associated with falling in love.

The experience is often shared in group meditation and even team-building exercises – that feeling of being on a “high” of happiness and positivity.

However, you can create that same feeling in the moment by simply turning your focus from what you might be missing out on to what you share – with your colleagues, your peers, and even your competitors and adversaries. 

So, consider turning your focus from “being the best” to simply being in the everyday world that we all share, all contribute to and at the end of the day are responsible.

I promise that more will open up for you at that moment than you ever thought possible.

If you want to know more about how practices of self-compassion can transform your working life, book a free 30minute strategy session with Judith Bowtell -

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