Compassion & Empathy

Understanding and Applying the Principles of Self-Compassion

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We welcome Brooke Billingsley back to our podcast this week for an episode about the fundamental importance of self-compassion. 

Self-compassion is the foundation of a compassionate leader. As Brooke reminds us in the opening seconds of today’s podcast, “It has to begin with you. We can’t give what we don’t have.”

As she mentioned on today’s episode, Brooke has been a healthcare professional for 25 years. She currently serves as Vice President of Service Excellence with the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF).

The objectives of today’s podcast, include:

  • Defining self-compassion.
  • Discussing the different ways that the principles of self-compassion can be applied. 
  • Exploring why self-compassion is needed.
  • There are plenty of mental and physical health benefits to building sustainable habits of self-compassion. 

    “Self-compassion is associated with lower rates of depression, self-criticism, physical ailments and improved immune system functioning,” Brooke said.

    Brooke previously joined the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast a few months back for a popular episode called, Shifting Perspective: Uncovering Patient, Employee, and Physician Experience Blind Spots

    You can listen to it here:

    Brooke shared with us some practical habits that listeners can incorporate into their day-to-day lives. Self-compassion is about taking time for yourself.

    “As leaders we’re so busy being compassionate towards others that we often end up running on empty,” she said. 

    When someone has self-compassion they are freed from attachment to the successes and failures that come with life’s ups and downs. 

    “Our success and failures don’t define us, and they don’t determine our worthiness,” Brooke said. 

    We are often much harsher on ourselves than we would be with other people. In fact, the notion of treating other people as poorly as we judge ourselves would be unthinkable to most rationale people.

    “Some of the things that we say to ourselves are the opposite of self-compassion,” Brooke told us. “If you’re striving for perfection, I’m here to tell you that you’ll never obtain it, and you will only beat yourself up trying to get there.”

    As we learn in this discussion, self-compassion is learning to accept ourselves for who we are. It doesn’t mean that we’re not always learning, exploring, and enhancing our lives. It’s about acceptance, and it is not narcissistic.

    “Self-compassion motivates you to be a better person, to be proactive, and to achieve emotional well-being and contentment,” Brooke said.

    Certificate in Foundations of Compassionate Leadership

    For those looking to explore this topic more in-depth, please consider attending the Certificate in Foundations of Compassionate Leadership event. Virtual training for this event will take place on May 12 & 13, 2022, from 9am-1pm EST. 

    This program is offered by the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) and Maryland Healthcare Education Institute (MHEI), and you can get more information on this event here

    More About Today’s Podcast

    Listen to this episode through the podcast player below:

    Subscribe for free to Healthcare Experience Matters on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or anywhere you get your favorite podcasts. If you want to listen to the entire archive of our podcast, we recommend checking out the Healthcare Experience Foundation’s official YouTube page. 

    New shows of our podcast are released every Thursday morning! Perhaps you missed some of our recent episodes? You can check out some great episodes related to today’s topic now:

  • An Intro to Compassionate Leadership with Dr. Nita Magee 
  • Practicing Mindfulness for Better Patient Experiences
  • How to Reduce Physician and Healthcare Worker Burnout
  • Empathy and Communication for Better Patient Experiences
  • Physician Engagement, Communication, and Results Sharing

  • More HX Matters Podcasts

    Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

    You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

    Meet Brooke Billingsley

    Brooke has extraordinary insight into how healthcare organizations can ensure that every patient has an exceptional experience. 

    That understanding comes from a unique combination of life experiences and professional work. Her personal medical journey battling cancer, along with decades of in-depth qualitative research with patients at the bedside, have fine-tuned Brooke’s ability to concisely and compellingly synthesize complex information, greatly benefiting our HXF clients.

    Connect with Brooke Billingsley
    More episodes with Brooke Billingsley