A broken printer inspired this post. I was grabbing papers from another printer that actually had toner available to create my pages when it occurred to me that I’ve repeated the same phrase in multiple conversations over the past week. As I’ve listened to stories from close friends and acquaintances or been asked to give my opinion on a few things, my parting words were the same…”Give yourself some grace.”
For much of our days, we’re battling against ourselves.
We try something new. We question it.
We put action behind our idea. We doubt it and whether what we’ve produced is worthy of recognition.
We use our voice in a space outside of our comfort zone. We think our contribution isn’t valuable.
We achieve goals that we’ve set. We fear that we’ve still missed the mark.
We never honor the energy we use to prepare, produce, and present the skill or gift we’ve been given. This is negative self-talk, and it inhibits the ability to operate from a place of confidence, love, and power. While life may constantly feel like a race, it’s not. I can’t even dress that up, because it’s a fact that doesn’t deserve a few extra minutes of my time scrolling through an online thesaurus to make it sound eloquent. We’re not here to race each other to the top (because really the “top” is subjective and doesn’t even look the same for everyone), and we shouldn’t go to war with ourselves every time we attempt to do what represents who we are. So, when I say “give yourself some grace,” I mean:
Release the thought that your work has to be perfect for someone to care or enjoy it. If you gave it your best and showed up authentically for the task, anything you think is an error will probably go unnoticed. And besides, we’re all entitled to a mistake. Get it out there, and fix it next time.
Recognize that conflict is part of life and you won’t agree with everyone on everything. Have the dialogue, respect the differences, and don’t feel guilty about your stance. The keys to resolution are respect and communication. We can all learn from each other and expand our isolated views.
When someone or something is draining you, be okay with walking away to protect your peace. This doesn’t make you a bad person. It actually makes you smart, because you’ve demonstrated self-awareness by establishing personal boundaries.
Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments. It’s easy to feel like you haven’t done enough when you’re comparing. The reflective part is whether you pursued and achieved these things for yourself or the approval of people who weren’t going to clap for you anyway. Clap for yourself! There are many people who could only dream of having some of your opportunities. Don’t discount where you’ve come from by getting so focused on doing more that you question whether you’ve done anything at all. I’m sorry, but that certificate, that community event, that home you wanted, that promotion, that (insert achievement here) is something!
The moral of the story is that the next time your thoughts are teetering on the ledge of crudeness and compassion, choose to give yourself some grace!