Self-Compassion & the 3P's

Self-compassion entails being loving, kind and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate rather than ignoring our pain or punishing ourselves with self-criticism. 

It means recognizing that experiencing difficulties, making mistakes, and failing is an integral part of this bizarre and often messy human experience.

It has been my experience - both personally and professionally - that self-compassionate people tend to deal with change and transition with a greater sense of ease. And so, because change is the only constant, there’s even more reason to work on being self-compassionate.

Another thing I’ve learned is that amidst loss and transition, it is common that our perspective gets a little warped and we begin to see and experience the world through a particular lens - the 3P lens.

We see our challenge or difficulty as Permanent, Personal, and Pervasive.
That is to say that our brain tries to convince us that:

  • this challenge is not only an issue now, but it will always be so (Permanent);

  • this challenge is solely your fault and because of who you are as a human being (Personal);

  • everything else in your life is a challenge too, and clearly you cannot do anything right (Pervasive)

Of course, our rational and compassionate mind knows that this is not the case, but when we’re “in it” we can’t seem to see the wood for the trees.

In an effort to support you in developing your capacity for self-compassion and overcoming the 3P’s, I have included some tips below.


  1. Begin writing in a Gratitude Journal - every morning list three things you are grateful for, and every evening list three great things that happened that day.

  2. Be your own best friend - imagine if your best friend were in your shoes, what would you do for and say to her? Now, go and sit in front of the mirror and have a conversation with your new best friend

  3. For every 3P thought you have, write it down and then challenge yourself to prove it wrong.
    [e.g. 3P: I got fired, I can’t pay my rent, I am a useless failure at life!
    Truth: I have been without a job before, but I have always found a new one and I have never been homeless.
    3P: I am fat and ugly and pathetic. I don’t deserve to be loved or touched.
    Truth: I gained a couple lbs, big deal! I have a partner who loves me exactly as I am.]

I hope this proves helpful on your path.