While life can be glorious and joyful, it can also be absolutely messy. I like to think of life as having different seasons for this reason.
At the first part of 2019, I was working on the Leading with Authenticity show while also working full-time and living life. It had extreme highs and low-lows. My husband was fearful my long nights and weekends were going to be our new normal. I chose to keep my faith and stay the course as I knew the content was going to have a positive impact. I also knew that I wouldn’t continue the long hours and weekends 100% of the time. One thing that helped was giving myself grace for the season I was in. What do I mean by grace? Grace is room to grow, space to feel, and removing pressure.
For many years I was very hard on myself, to the point where I was stuck because I didn’t know what to do to move forward. I didn’t know how to not be hard on myself. It was a challenging time and I had days when I couldn’t find the good.
Through this time, I learned how to give myself grace. I eased up on the perfectionism, adjusted my priorities, and found more positive things to focus on.
If you are hard on yourself, below are a few things that have worked for me to relieve pressure and give myself grace.
Write down your accomplishments daily. Carve out five minutes – first thing in the morning or before you go to bed seem to work well – to write down what you accomplished in the last 24 hours. We tend to focus on the things we need to fix or what we need to improve, rather than what we’re doing well. By writing down your accomplishments, you focus on what is going well, give yourself a boost of good feelings, and celebrate your progress.
What brings you joy? I like to play loud music and dance in my kitchen. I also like to laugh, read, and watch Property Brothers. We all have things that bring us joy! I have a list of what brings me joy on a wall in my office. I regularly do the things on my list so I can stay in the habit of bringing what I like and enjoy into my life. Having the list visible encourages me to take breaks for joy too.
Recognize What You’re Good At
In Justin Gesso’s book, Small Business Ideas, he challenges the reader to write down 30 things they’re good at. He had a coach that challenged him to do this and he paid it forward. I did this exercise recently it was powerful. There are a lot of little things that we’re good at that we don’t choose to recognize being good at.
There aren’t any rules about what you write down. Your list can include things like, “I listen well,” or “I make a great cup of coffee,” or “I am a thoughtful friend.” Once you have your list, you can pull from it like a library the next time you need a confidence boost. For example, if you’re giving a presentation to a group of people and you’re uncomfortable speaking in front of others, think about what’s on your list. If something like, “I read people well” is there, use that in the situation you’re in.
Learning and growing works best when we’re in a positive state. When we apply pressure and are hard on ourselves, we restrict our creativity and our potential. Take a moment today to give yourself grace.