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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Kocher

Compassion is our greatest motivator

Remember that persistent critical voice that I spoke about last week?

One of its misguided purposes is motivation.

Sounds crazy, I know.

And yet, most of us unconsciously rely on it to accomplish our goals.

In fact, when my clients first come to me they are often that if they stop criticizing themselves and start loving and accepting themselves, they won’t be motivated to change.

The motivational power of self-criticism comes from keeping the fear of failure alive and well.

We are afraid of failing, so we push and force and drive to avoid it.

And it can work, for a while.

But it often leads to stress and overwhelm, and misery.

So, we quit and take a much-needed break until we beat ourselves up enough to start running on the hamster wheel of hustle all over again.

Rinse and repeat until eventually, we don’t try anymore, convinced that we can’t do it.

But there’s a better way.

It’s the motivational power of self-compassion.

Why would you want to do hard things if you already loved and accepted yourself?

My answer is because you love yourself. Because you are worth it.

Self-compassion is the answer to your critical voice.

There is a growing body of research showing self-compassion as a much more effective motivator than self-criticism.

Here are a few reasons why, according to Dr. Kristen Neff, author of Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself:

  • Self-compassionate people tend to set higher goals for themselves because they realize imperfection is part of the human experience, and failure is an inevitable and invaluable part of the process of learning and achieving.

  • Self-compassionate people work on themselves not because they are unacceptable but because they know they are worthy of happiness.

  • Self-compassionate people are more likely to take personal responsibility for themselves and their behaviors and have greater success with goals like weight loss, exercising, and quitting smoking.

  • Self-compassionate people are internally motivated because they want to learn and grow, not externally motivated because they try to prove their worthiness to others.


My clients learn to love and accept themselves first.

They learn to create from love and acceptance, not for love and acceptance.

It’s the foundation for building the life they truly want and enjoying it.

After they have healed and strengthened their relationship with themselves, they go to work on their relationships with others, with time, with money, with the world.

It’s all within their power, and it can be accomplished from a place of peace and ease.

My goal as a coach is to equip as many people as possible with the tools they need to thrive in a life they love.

Imagine a world where everyone was thriving and helping others to thrive.

We do it with compassion, one person at a time. Start with yourself.

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