Oasis of Radical Wellbeing

Self-Compassion With a Fierce Twist

Self-compassion helps, and you can learn and practice it.


Most people are familiar with compassion as a term. It is kindness, warmth and understanding towards other people – in the face of mistakes and failures. Self-compassion is about applying the same understanding to oneself. So, instead of strict self-criticism and harsh criticism, we offer ourselves support when we fail and face difficulties. Self-compassion manifests itself in being kind and appreciative towards ourselves; We take care of ourselves without judgment.

American educational psychologist Kristin Neff has studied self-compassion extensively for the past twenty years and is known as a pioneer of self-compassion. According to Neff, self-compassion manifests itself in three different ways in difficult places. A self-compassionate person 1) perceives their difficulties and is able to face their emotions, 2) is able to show kindness towards themselves, and 3) feels a sense of belonging with others and does not seek isolation.

Self-compassion often manifests itself as gentle and nurturing behavior towards oneself. But if necessary, it is also more fiery behavior, for example, in situations where the aim is to defend oneself or motivate change. Self-compassion does not elevate oneself above others, but reinforces the idea that imperfection is normal.

In the studies, students who practiced self-compassion experienced less fear of failure and were more motivated and confident in themselves than non-self-compassionate students. They dared to take on more challenges and risks. Studies have found that, as self-compassion increases, there is less procrastination, i.e., with study assignments and negative reactions to various situations.


  1. Read the background article Fierce Self-compassion in Action.
  2. Listen and do the audio exercise How to deal with difficult emotions.
  3. Check out the page Interaction through teaching - What is compassion pedagogy?
  4. Watch the Compassion short film series and reflect.

Are you a friend or a constant critic of yourself? Why is self-compassion worthwhile?

Self-criticism may cause anxiety, lack of motivation and incomplete performance. Harmful thoughts can crush all courage and enthusiasm. Self-compassion helps, and you can learn and practice it.

Read the article! ⏰~ 5 min.
Self-compassion article

More things to consider

  • Published:
  • Updated: