One of the most painful moments in my corporate career was when I was fired from a job I had worked really hard at. I had a lot of emotions: confusion (what me? I’m an over-achiever, how can they fire me?), fear (what will happen now?), shame (I am a total failure), and hurt (my boss didn’t bother to talk to me directly, instead sent the VP of HR). Okay, anger too.
At the time it was hard for me to acknowledge these emotions. Corporate America doesn’t do vulnerability well. Instead I suppressed the emotions and powered through to the next job.
A year later, completely burned out and disengaged, I decided to take 10 days off to go on a retreat and learn how to meditate. Those 10 days changed my life. I got in touch with the hurt, stayed with the difficult emotions, learned the practice of self-compassion, and came out of the experience with more peace than I had felt in years. It felt like I had shed a ton of emotional weight.
This week’s practice is to notice the hurt and practice self-compassion. Whether at work or in our personal lives, many of us experience hurt or other difficult emotions. We tend to blame others or ourselves, accumulating emotional weight that deadens us. Instead this week, notice when a difficult emotion arises. Take a minute to put your hand on your heart and say to yourself gently:
This is a difficult time
Difficulties are part of being human
May I be kind to myself
Research by Dr. Kristin Neff suggests that self-compassion helps us be more resilient in failure, improves our well-being, and enables us to grow courage to take risks.
I would love for you to share your experience from this practice and share what you’ve learned in the comments below.
To try the five-minute mindfulness practice of “Be Resilient in Failure” go here.
Wishing you a mindful week!
P.S. One-Minute Mindfulness are short reads that give you a practice a week so you can experience being mindful in the activities you’re already doing. If you’d like to create mindfulness habits with team members and friends, share this link for them to sign up.