What would you tell your mom? The ultimate question to improve life.

Due to my profession, I have privilege to meet some lovely people and here their adventures in
life.

I’m working with a family of a teenager. Teenager with typical teenage behaviours which mum & dad thinks are symptoms/problems. Some of the complains were laziness, anger, giving up quickly, lack of commitment etc..

I wouldn’t bore with too much details but there is one incident I have to share.

The boy plays professional rifle shooting and one fine day he scored 540 from 600 highest score.

Me: So what happened on that day?

Boy: I missed few shots and couldn’t score perfect 10 on each.

Me: What was the self talk after you saw your score?

Boy: I’m useless, I can’t do it. I’m not good enough….

Me: Were you angry? On Scale of 0 to 10 how angry were you? 10 being you were going to explode.

Mum: Over 10 (with a chuckle). I was trying to help him saying, It’s OKAY and going to give a hug but he was soooo hot he just was not interested in anything. After coming home he locked himself in his room and the anger got our on the poor pillows.

while mum was talking about the episode, the boy was having a chuckle.

Me: What was that chuckle for? How would you feel now about what happened?

Boy: Was bit silly of me.

Me: So if the same scenario would have happened to Mum, in shooting she would have scored 540 instead of 600. What would you say to her?

Boy: I’ll try to motivate her and say It’s Okay to not get perfect score all the time.

Me: And that is the problem my man. We are not kind to ourselves as much as we are kind to loved ones. If we do something wrong we start beating ourselves. We can be compassionate towards others but we don’t have self compassion.

So what is self compassion?

Kristin Neff, Ph.D., a pioneer in self-compassion research, explains that self-compassion has three main components:

  • Self-kindness. Replace harsh self-criticism with kinder, gentler words.
  • Common humanity. Acknowledge that suffering and personal failure is a universal experience.
  • Mindfulness. Observe your negative emotions without focusing on them or suppressing them.

“The quick version is that it’s treating yourself with the same type of kind, caring support and understanding that you would show to anyone you cared about. In fact, most of us make incredibly harsh, cruel self-judgments that we would never make about a total stranger, let alone someone we cared about.”

When things get haywire and you are self-criticising yourself. Ask the ultimate question to improve life and overcome your challenges – What would I tell my mom? or any of your loved once.

Mrugank Patel
mrugank.patel@gmail.com