Self-Esteem vs. Self-Compassion

People with high self-esteem can actually experience negative consequences. According to researcher, Kristin Neff (, high self-esteem can result in feelings of anxiety and failure. With high self-esteem, there is an emphasis on being the best. But none of us can be the best at everything all the time.

In comparison, self-compassion results in feeling good about yourself without feeling like a failure about your short-comings or inevitable mistakes. People with high levels of self-compassion can certainly experience self-confidence as well.

What is self-compassion? Self compassion consists of a three components:

Self-Kindness– Instead of using hurtful judgements towards yourself, come from a place of warmth and caring. Act like an encouraging coach rather than a harsh, critical coach.

Common humanity– recognizing how we are connected with one another and have shared experiences, concerns, and emotions.

Mindfulness– staying connected with what is happing in the present moment rather than being distracted by excessive analysis of the past or excessive worry about the future.

What about the science? The following link will connect you with an excellent, easy to read article about research Kristin Neff conducted on self-compassion and self-esteem.

Click on her site: to take a self-quiz on your level of self-compassion.

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