An author who trained as a Buddhist monk, Jack Kornfield, said, "If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete."
Simple but profound. And so right on. Often it's easier for us to show compassion and lovingkindness to others even while we're extremely hard on ourselves. We expect more of ourselves than we do of others. And we beat up on ourselves when we feel we haven't done our best. The self-talk in which we engage is something we'd never say to a dear friend. And forgiving ourselves? That's tougher, too.
While it can be helpful to examine just why we do this (do we, for some reason, not feel worthy of love or care?), sometimes we just need to change this hurtful habit. Interrupt the behavior pattern. When you begin beating up on yourself or talking unkindly to yourself, stop. Just stop. STOP. Perhaps visualize a stop sign going up in your head. Take a few deep breaths—and then look at yourself with eyes of compassion, just as you would at a loved one in a similar situation. Speak kind words to yourself. If the situation warrants it, forgive yourself for saying what you said or doing what you did.
Do that again and again—until self-compassion becomes a habit ... because you, too, deserve compassion.