Kryptonite for the Inner Critic | Kristin Neff

Ten Percent Happier
December 16, 2020
Kryptonite for the Inner Critic | Kristin Neff
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times during this wrenching year where I have made my pain even worse by adding on layers and layers of self-criticism. There’s a notion that is deeply ingrained in our culture that the only way to succeed -- or even to survive -- is to liberally apply an internal cattle prod. But there is research that strongly suggests that this approach simply leads to extra anxiety, and that there is a more successful approach, called self-compassion. My guest today has been at the very forefront of this research. She has empirically demonstrated the value of self-compassion; she has shown that it doesn’t have to lead to passivity, self-absorption, or cheesiness; and, as you will hear, she has practiced what she preaches in extremely difficult circumstances in her own life. All of this makes her, in my opinion, a figure of incalculable importance. We recorded this interview back in 2019, and it contributed to a major turning point in my meditation practice and in my life. We are re-posting it now because as we head into the new year, a time when many of us embark on self-improvement projects based in self-loathing, we could all use a little kryptonite for the inner critic.

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