Introducing the Kindometer

The “Kindometer” is a tool to help us put Fierce Kindness into daily practice

The Kindometer helps us:

  1. Visually remember to be kind.
  2. Focus on kindness as our primary response to both ourselves—and others.
  3. Consciously choose an appropriate level of kindness, so we are neither bullied nor bully others.
The Kindometer’s 4 Levels of Kindness

The Kindometer is a visual representation of the different zones of Kindness we have to choose from for any situation. It helps us be courageous when we need to be, and also remember to avoid the “Red Zone” of Fierce.

Level 1) Kind

Level 1 is simple kindness. This is our base level – we aim to always be kind.

But, of course, it’s not always so simple when life happens!

Use when:

  • Someone irritates you. Choose to be kind in your response to them.
  • You notice you’ve made a mistake. Choose to be gentle with yourself instead of beating yourself up.

Level 2) Fierce Kindness

Level 2 adds some Fierce to the mix. Fierce Kindness is kindness plus courage to be braver, go deeper, stretch ourselves and take bold action when needed.

Being Fiercely Kind brings in qualities like determination, perseverance, integrity – and courage.

Use when:

  • You need to access your courage and inner strength to be kind and do the right thing. This could be in a difficult or controversial situation.
  • Your inner critic gives you a hard time. Be both kind and super-firm (protect yourself but don’t turn into the bully).

Level 3) Kindly Fierce

Level 3 is a step up from being Fiercely Kind. This is where we amp up our actions or delivery to the next level of intensity.

This level is were we choose to be Fierce, while kindly using the minimum amount of ‘force’ necessary.

Use when:

  • You need to protect yourself, your environment or your loved ones.
  • When we’re Kindly Fierce it’s not about physical force, instead our kind fierceness is found in the clarity and solidity of our words, presence, body language and energy.

Level 4) Fierce

Level 4, Fierce, is literally the “red zone”.

We should use pure Fierceness when it’s the only choice left to us. Unfortunately, too many of us slip into Fierce when  we could use Fierce Kindness or Kind Fierceness.

Use when:

  • You’re in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.
  • You may need to fiercely let someone know to leave you alone, stop putting you at risk or fight physically for your survival.
  • IMPORTANT: In situations like these, Level 4 Fierce is the ultimate level of kindness to ourselves.
How & When to use the Kindometer

At it’s simplest, when you’re feeling stressed, tired, or someone is threatening or rubbing you up the wrong way – remember the Kindometer. Then ask yourself: What level of kindness is needed here?

The AWW Process is designed to use with the Kindometer.

The 3 Step AWW Process:

  1. A – ACKNOWLEDGE kindness is needed.
  2. W – WHO needs kindness?
  3. W – WHAT LEVEL of kindness to use?

Click to see the 3 Step AWW Process in Detail

The AWW 3 Step Process to Always Be Kind

Step 1) A – ACKNOWLEDGE Kindness is needed

This 3 step process starts with simply noticing something is going on. Simply pause—and recognize—that someone or something requires a kind response. We may need to stop and say to ourselves: I see something is happening here.

Step 2) W – WHO needs Kindness?

Next, who needs the kindness?

This always starts with ourselves (we ‘put the oxygen mask on ourselves’ first so we’re in the best position to help others).

Then consider who else needs kindness? Your community? What about the planet or our environment? Remember that it could be any or all of these.

The KindometerStep 3) W – WHAT LEVEL of Kindness is needed?

Lastly, remember the Kindometer and choose the level of kindness needed.

Here are some examples:

  • Level 1) Kindness will likely be enough for a small, relatively unimportant situation.
  • Level 2) Fierce Kindness may be needed if your values are involved, if commitments have been made, if something is important to you or someone is repeatedly crossing your boundaries.
  • You may need to step up to Level 3) Kind Fierceness if there is bullying—towards yourself or others. Also for minor threats or when someone is disregarding your safety.
  • Lastly, you will reach for Level 4) Fierceness if there is a tangible threat. Your instincts will kick in and this will take the form of fight, flight, freezing (or fawning) to survive.

Optional Step 4) LEARN & GROW

This step is discretionary and is helpful for bigger and repeating situations. It’s about reflecting, learning—and following up with ourselves or others if needed.

Once the situation is over, you can ponder or journal around questions like:

  • What did you do well?
  • What did you learn?
  • Are any follow up actions needed? Who should I follow up with and how?
  • What could you/will you do differently next time? And how will you remember?

How to pronounce Kindometer

Kindometer is pronounced like the mileometer or odometer on your car. Kind-OM-eter.

Remember: Kindness is a practice

When we’re tired, stressed or overwhelmed or when we feel ignored, unimportant and upset, it can be really hard to be kind.

And yet, this is when it’s most important to practice kindness. And the Kindometer is a powerful tool to help.

See an example of The Kindometer in Action here >>

Be gentle with yourself as you develop Fierce Kindness. Keep practicing and kindness will become a habit.