Posted on June 12th, 2014

Article source - HBR Blog Network: To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Key Idea: Self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key to unlocking your true potential for greatness.


  • Willingness to look at your own mistakes and shortcomings with kindness and understanding
  • It is OK to make errors and be human
  • You can be self-compassionate while striving for the most challenging goals
  • The difference lies not in where you want to end up, but in how you think about the ups and downs of your journey
  • If you are self-compassionate, new research suggests you are more likely to actually arrive at your destination


  • Your ego is effectively out of the picture
  • You can confront your flaws and foibles head on
  • You can get a realistic sense of your abilities and your actions, and figure out what needs to be done differently next time

Being self-compassionate in the face of difficulty

  • You neither judge yourself harshly
  • You don’t feel the need to defensively focus on all your awesome qualities to protect your ego

Studies Show Self-Compassion Leads To

  • Higher levels of personal well-being
  • Optimism
  • Happiness
  • Less anxiety and depression

Questions or comments? Send me an email