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Jodie Dennie: Give yourself a break

Jodie Dennie: Give yourself a break

Learning to treat yourself with compassion, care and kindness

Queen’s Young Leader, Jodie Dennie tells Leading Change why self-compassion is important and shares her tips on being kind to yourself.

Have you ever been hard on yourself? If not, maybe you know someone who constantly complains about their job and life. It is unhealthy mainly because it lowers one’s confidence to focus on faults. 

Self-compassion is treating yourself as you would others, especially in times of failure or pain.

It is difficult because of the high standards we set for ourselves and the feelings that you are not doing enough to meet them.

In reality, you are always making every effort to do so. Your worst decision was most likely done with good intentions. It is easy to think you are stupid when looking back on poor judgement.

You are not, so give yourself a break.

Here are some ways to break away from beating yourself up.

Let go

Leave the past where it belongs – in the past.

It’s easier said than done.

Putting these words into practice will be a challenge before there is a change.

Set yourself free by acknowledging it happened and hurt you.

Then throw it out of your mind and move on. Writing a letter about such experiences and burning it is a good way to release the burden.

Forgive yourself

Many people struggle with this, but you should not punish yourself for your mistakes.

People don’t make mistakes intentionally, they are unfortunate errors of judgement.

Take responsibility, realise what your intent was and forgive yourself.

Make an effort to learn from the mistake and apologise to others who were affected.

Remember, although you can’t change the past, you can ensure it does not happen again.


Trust yourself completely.

Self-criticism comes from moments of low self-esteem and high self-doubt.

Trust in who you are, your abilities and value. When you know what you need, you will remain focused and progress toward your goal.

This healthy practice will help you to grow into the person you want to be.

Do your best

Perfection does not exist.

Doing the best with what you have will help you to be the best person you can be. The truth is you have all that you need since birth. You just need to develop it. You will feel satisfied knowing that you are doing your best.

Sustain your efforts by keeping the criticism at a constructive level, while using self-love to keep your best interests at heart.

Give yourself credit

Pat yourself on the back for getting through a tough day. Focus on your achievements and not your perceived failures.

Why should you do this?

You will experience increased motivation and will power.

In gaining greater perspective, you will also become better at decision making.

You will better be able to withstand and recover from difficult situations.

Your relationships will improve because of an increased emotional intelligence.

Your stress levels and overwhelming feelings will lower.

It will overall improve your health.

Move on

The best thing you can do for yourself is move forward. Create a positive plan and follow its direction. There will be obstacles – overcome them with intelligence, effort, and help if necessary.

Ignore negativity because as Buddha said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Be the first to give it to yourself.