The Pain of Stretching: How Self-Compassion Made Everything Okay
In 2014, my word of the year was Self-Compassion….it’s powerful, constructive, and stands for something we could all use a little more of. Although I chose that word based on a sense that I needed to put such an idea into action for myself, I never could have predicted how desperately I would need to practice self-compassion before the year’s end.
A Wobbly Start
Planning WAC’s virtual launch during the autumn entailed a lot of coming to terms with uncertainty and imperfection….precisely the two areas I struggle with the most. Acknowledging that I’m not alone, while still striving to build a “richer life”, it became clear that a little stretching into this new role was in order. And that stretching….it hurts.
An episode in December, which caused me great discomfort at first, required a bit of that painful stretching to steer through. WAC’s first podcast had been scheduled to air on January 12th (and still is). While learning on the job how to navigate all of our virtual platform-related tasks, I had overlooked the obvious fact that I’d need to get the interview done, edited and “in the can” well before the podcast date. Turns out, the only time my guest could be interviewed was the day after I’d realized the timing error….a day that I had a packed schedule. Yikes!
How was I going to fully prepare for the interview, do a dry run with the audio equipment and techniques, and “get into the zone” to prepare for my first podcast ever? I wasn’t. And I didn’t. Now I had to reset by coming to terms with the idea that I would do my best, learn a lot, and be satisfied with the results. Easier said than done without a stockpile of self-compassion. Thank goodness I had the hindsight to get me through.
Now that the process is complete, I still sting a bit….not from the stretching, but from the C+ grade I gave myself for performance. But self-compassion has recalibrated my outlook on the episode; It revealed to me that done is better than perfect, that my guest was spectacular, and that I kept a sense of humor and excitement throughout the progression. Despite my missteps, I stayed fully present instead of yelling at myself, and it was that good energy that allowed everything to fall into place.
Where Self-Compassion came in handy in 2014, a new year full of webinars, video interviews, teleconferences and podcasts is going to take a renewed philosophy. Introducing my word of the year in 2015: Focus!