Embracing Self-Compassion: Stop Being Hard on Yourself

Written by Debra Olshan Cooper,
President and Founder of Your Career Design lab

In our quest for success, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-criticism. However, this constant self-doubt can be more hindering than helpful. Embracing self-compassion means recognizing our efforts and celebrating small victories.

It’s essential to understand that everyone has limitations, and being overly harsh on ourselves only diminishes our potential. Instead of focusing on our perceived shortcomings, let’s shift our perspective to appreciate our achievements, no matter how small. By fostering a positive mindset, we can improve our well-being and productivity. So, let’s start acknowledging our worth and treating ourselves with the kindness we deserve.

Acknowledge the Uncontrollable: Recognizing What We Can’t Change

Life is full of variables beyond our control. Whether it’s the behavior of others, market fluctuations, or unexpected challenges, stressing over these elements is futile. Instead, focus on what you can influence. This perspective shift helps reduce anxiety and directs our energy toward more productive pursuits. Accepting that some things are out of our hands allows us to concentrate on our strengths and make meaningful progress in areas where we have real impact.

  • Recognize external factors that you can’t control.
  • Focus on areas where you can make a difference.
  • Let go of unnecessary stress and worries.
  • Channel your efforts into productive actions.

Leading from a Place of Ownership

True leadership starts with taking responsibility for our actions and decisions. By owning our choices, we set an example for others and build trust within our teams. This approach fosters a culture of accountability and resilience. Leaders who acknowledge their role in both successes and failures inspire their team to do the same. This mindset not only enhances personal growth but also drives collective progress. Embrace the power of ownership and watch your leadership influence soar.

Balancing Control and Acceptance

Finding the balance between what we can control and what we must accept is key to maintaining a healthy mindset.

  • Set realistic and achievable goals.
  • Focus on areas where you can make a positive impact.
  • Let go of worries that do not serve you.
  • Allocate your resources and energy wisely.

This equilibrium helps us stay grounded, reduces stress, and enables us to lead more effectively and compassionately.


In our journey towards personal and professional growth, it’s crucial to cultivate self-compassion, recognize the limits of our control, and lead with accountability. By doing so, we create a more balanced and fulfilling life. Embrace the areas where you can make a difference, let go of the things you cannot change, and lead with a sense of ownership. This holistic approach not only enhances your well-being but also positively impacts those around you, paving the way for a more resilient and empowered future.

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