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Why Self-Compassion Is Important For Students’ Growth

Team StoryWeavers|August 17, 2022, 19:00 IST| 7


“If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.”

–Dalai Lama

The exam season is often exhausting as the constant preparation and assessment can be very demanding. In such challenging times, one can easily find themselves feeling disappointed, criticising themselves when the outcome does not meet their expectation. Instead of giving in to the negative emotions of self-criticism,  you can practise self-compassion and adopt a positive mindset to learn and grow.  

What Is Self-Compassion?

Self-love, compassion

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Self-compassion is about embracing your perceived flaws and replacing your inner critic with a loving, kind, patient coach. Being self-compassionate means building a growth mindset that allows you to forgive and accept yourself, just the way you are.

According to studies, treating yourself with compassion can reduce stress and even strengthen your immunity. In addition, it makes you more forgiving, open to others’ opinions and helps you build a positive perspective.   

Self-Compassion Fosters Resilience 

Learn, self-compassion

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Do you often feel disheartened when you score lower grades than you expected? Do you immediately blame yourself when you fail? The next time this happens, remember to stop indulging in these thoughts. Instead, replace thoughts of criticism with words of kindness to not only feel better but also to reinstate your motivation to do better. Research suggests that students practising self-compassion are more likely to:  

  • Set goals that result in personal growth rather than those meant to impress others 
  • Be more confident and less fearful in the face of failure
  • Bounce back in a healthy way — by seeking help, asking questions,  and interacting with teachers
  • Be motivated to learn, grow, and excel

How To Be More Compassionate Towards Yourself

Self-kindness, grow, mindful

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According to Dr. Kristen Neff — a leading self-compassion researcher — self-compassion is made of three key components. Consciously practise these elements to learn, grow, and get closer to your goals. 

  1. Self-kindness — be loving and understanding towards yourself, especially when dealing with failures. Skip self-criticism to treat yourself with patience and warmth. 

To be kind to yourself means: 

  • To be gentle and caring towards yourself in tough times
  • To be patient in understanding your perceived flaws
  • To be tolerant towards your weaknesses
  1. Common humanity — remind yourself that nobody is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Accept and forgive your shortcomings and know that you are not alone — we all have our moments of doubt.
  2. Mindfulness — be aware of your thoughts. Acknowledge how you are feeling and learn to strike a balance by neither ignoring painful emotions nor extremely exaggerating them. 

Being mindful means:

  • Keeping calm in times of challenge
  • Maintaining a perspective when things don’t go your way 
  • Accepting all our emotions with openness and curiosity

Take The First Step — An Exercise On Self-Compassion

How Would You Treat A Friend?

Self-love, confidence, positive mindset

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When dealing with negative situations, how do you talk to yourself? Do you jump into the self-critic mode or would you treat yourself like a friend would?  One of the best ways to develop compassion for yourself is by treating yourself like a good friend.

Have you ever observed? It’s easier to love, show compassion, and be understanding with our friends. Most of us find it hard to direct the same emotions of love and compassion towards ourselves when we make a mistake.

Here’s an exercise from Dr. Kristin Neff that could help you be more self-compassionate:

Step 1

Imagine that your best friend is really disappointed and is being too judgemental about themselves. How would you talk to them in this situation? On a piece of paper, write down what you would typically do or say. Make note of the tone in which you would normally talk to your friends.

Step 2

Now, think of a time when you were disappointed and were being harsh on yourself. How do you typically respond to yourself in these situations? Write down what you would do or say while paying attention to the tone in which you talk to yourself.

Step 3

Is there a significant difference between the two? If yes, ask yourself why. 

Step 4

Think about it and write down how you would feel if you talked to yourself the same way you would usually console a close friend.

Now you know! Kindness can make all the difference, especially when directed towards yourself. 

Affirmations are a great way to develop self-kindness and build a growth mindset that helps you accept your flaws and mistakes. Develop the habit of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, to see yourself blossom into an optimistic achiever. Here are some examples for you: 


Instead of saying… Say this
I can’t do this. I can’t succeed if I don’t try!
It’s too hard. With more practise, it will get easier.
They are better than I am. What can I learn from them?
I’m making too many mistakes. Mistakes are how I learn and get better!
I’m not good at this. What can I learn to get better at this?


What is your way of practising self-compassion? Tell us in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is self-compassion is important for teens?


Self-compassion equips teens to deal with disappointments and failures in a more positive way. Students who practice self-compassion are likely to be happier and more confident.

2. What are the 5 ways to follow self compassion


1. Practice forgiveness 2. Learn from your mistakes and move on 3. Count your blessings 4. Meditate to nurture a positive mindset 5. Try self-acceptance

About the Author

As an introverted teen who loved reading crime-thriller novels, Ashritha knew she was destined to be a writer. Like Dumbledore, Ashritha is a strong believer in the magic of words. She finds joy in the little things — a long walk at dawn, sipping a cup of filter coffee watching the sunset, or rewatching old rom-com movies that make her heart smile.

Leave a Comment



Pradeep Kumar

March 2, 2022

To practice self compression, first when u do mistakes sit at a place where nobody is present, take a pen and start writing what u think, then keep the pen and paper at a place walk around for 1 minute then read what u have written. You will get solution on it own

Shital sahani

February 26, 2022

Thanks byju’s team for this guidelines this is helpful for me.?

Priti Patra

February 24, 2022

A lots of thanks Byju’s team ….it’s really helpful and fabulous tips ?

Diksha Sharma

February 22, 2022

Byju’s is really so helpful for students.
Thank a lot for such Fabulous tips.
Byju’s teacher and all the team work really hard for us.

Raj laxmi

February 22, 2022

Thanks a lot byju’s team. This is a very useful for me and keep providing more guidelines like this.❤️?

Poorva sameriya

February 21, 2022

This is fabulous ?
I will do thiss….


February 21, 2022

Thanks byju’s team for this guidelines this is really helpful for me .Keep providing me guidelines like this .


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