Synopses & Reviews
From leading psychologist Dr. Kristin Neff comes a step-by-step guide explaining how to be more self-compassionate and achieve your dreams in life
The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion—and a tyrannical one at that. Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can't seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a Ping-Pong ball, rising and falling in lockstep with our latest success or failure.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to self-esteem that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. The research of Dr. Kristin Neff and other leading psychologists indicates that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. The feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are also highly stable, kicking in precisely when self-esteem falls down. This book powerfully demonstrates why it's so important to be self-compassionate and give yourself the same caring support you'd give to a good friend.
This groundbreaking work will show you how to let go of debilitating self-criticism and finally learn to be kind to yourself. Using solid empirical research, personal stories, practical exercises, and humor, Dr. Neff—the world's foremost expert on self-compassion—explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective. Engaging, highly readable, and eminently accessible, this book has the power to change your life.
"Through her encounters with eastern spirituality, Neff, an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas Austin, began to understand that having compassion for oneself is as important as having compassion for others: 'From the Buddhist point of view, you have to care about yourself before you can really care about other people.' As Neff defines it, self-compassion has three core components: self-kindness, realizing one's common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness means being gentle and understanding, rather than harshly critical of our own errors. The recognition of common humanity involves feeling connected to others rather than alienated by our suffering. Mindfulness requires 'that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.' While exploring these three components in depth, Neff weaves in events that inform her own life, such as the 'precipice of despair' she felt while struggling emotionally with her son's autism. By sharing such personal anecdotes, Neff helps readers understand how self-compassion can aid them. Neff's compassionate tone makes Buddhist principles accessible, and exercises make them applicable in real life. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A book that teaches readers how to silence self-criticism and replace it with self-compassion in order to fulfill our highest potential and live happier, more fulfilled lives"--
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., says that its time to “stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind.” Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life.
More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients—and Dr. Neffs extraordinary book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.
About the Author
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., is an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas at Austin. A pioneer who first established self-compassion as a field of study almost a decade ago, Dr. Neff gives lectures on self-compassion internationally and conducts workshops for those who want to learn more about developing self-compassion.