Self-Compassion as a Better ADHD Motivator

This morning I was watching a TEdX video by Kristin Neff, “The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion.”

steps in the woodsThis video touches on some awesome things I wasn’t fully aware I had worked into my coaching practice, and I find it incredibly helpful. Some key points for me:

  • self-cruelty is a common strategy attempted as self-motivation. Even taking into account any limited apparent success, it is globally counter-productive.
  • self-compassion is not the same thing as selfishness or narcissism
  • our culture of self-esteem has taught us we must be better than average- and so must put people down in order to feel OK. If we are not more than average we feel not good enough, and tend to speak to ourselves that way.
  • we need to acknowledge our suffering in order to be kind to ourselves and get through it

I particularly recognize that last point from my coaching. It has become almost a mantra with some clients to recognize that “it sucks,” where “it” is a situation they are in, or something they experience. It is is not the person, or the person’s value, or even their effectiveness at a specific task. By separating ourselves from our difficult experiences, including our experiences of our struggles with our own ADHD or other challenges, we can create the space to be kind to ourselves about those struggles, and only then find a new way to proceed.

Take a few moments to listen, all the way to the end.