It’s Monday and I’m definitely not having chocolate again. This time I mean it. No chocolate, ever, I’m done, for good this time.

Half an hour later you’re in your car heading to the nearest filling station to stock up on chocolate (or cigarettes, or wine, or carbs).


How about, I’m not going to leave this project to the very last minute, this time I’m going to plan ahead and do it right… and 20 minutes before the presentation you’re running around trying to get it done. Or maybe yours is something like mine? Today I’m not going to get angry when my teenager refuses to brush his teeth.

*Sigh* Guess what? I got angry. Again.

We all let ourselves down in little and large ways and that’s normal, its part of being human. What really matters is what do we do in the aftermath. Does your judgemental self step in and remind you how little will power you have? Bring up a catalogue of your past failures to consolidate what a “loser” you are?  If that’s your reality then maybe these small steps can guide you to a more compassionate approach to yourself.

1. Reframe

What if you aren’t letting yourself down? What if it’s actually repetitive patterns demanding your attention?

2. Curiosity

What happened before or during this event that might help me make sense of the behaviour? Was I stressed? Do I need to create more useful ways of channeling that stress? Is there a stressor that I can avoid?

3. Baby Steps

I’m giving up chocolate forever is a big (some might say impossible) statement. What if I said, I’m not eating chocolate before 4pm today. It’s a small step, and when you make it to 6pm it becomes a victory. The next day you might say I’m not eating chocolate until 6pm. These small victories create a catalogue of SUCCESS for you to refer to instead of always reverting to the catalogue of failure.

4. Start That Catalogue Of Success

The brain is really good at keeping a catalogue of failure, but less so at creating a catalogue of success. I recommend writing down in your journal each small success. Pretty soon, when you’re feeling like you let yourself down, you can refer to your catalogue of success to remind yourself of what you have already achieved.

Choosing a compassionate and gentle approach supports you on your journey and helps you to accept your very human-ness, which is by nature imperfectly perfect.

Denise trained as an NLP Master Coach and has combined those skills with Gabor Matè’s Compassionate Inquiry technique, to help her clients unearth the root cause of their behaviours. She uses these two modalities along with over 20 years of yoga and breath-work experience to create an individualised healing experience. Click here if you would like to book a 15-minute discovery call with Denise.