I have heard all of the excuses in the book… “I don’t deserve to be loved,” “Why should I love myself when others don’t?” “If I have self-compassion then I’m just constantly throwing a pity party,” on and on the excuses go. At the end of the day we are all hard on ourselves at times, and something gets in the way of having self-compassion.  What gets in the way differs for all of us, and the point still remains that without self-compassion, compassion for others is difficult. Life tends to feel like an uphill battle without it. It is as if we are fighting a war against ourselves. If we only love others then we tend to become worn down and feel empty. So how can we increase self-compassion? First we need to become more mindful of our inner dialogue and catch our self-invalidating thoughts. Then ask yourself if you would say those thoughts to a friend and if you wouldn’t then let the thoughts go and replace them with affirmations. Lastly, write a letter addressed to your self, and written from one of your most compassionate and empathetic friend’s perspective. Then repeat these steps over and over until the self-compassionate thoughts outweigh the self-invalidating thoughts. If you can’t imagine doing this for yourself then do it for a loved one because the more compassion you have for yourself the more compassion you will have to share with others.