I'd like to share with you a message that I previously shared. I want to challenge you about not being too hard on yourself. Too many people are black and blue, not from others' emotional punches, but from their own.
What have you been beating yourself up about? Not being further along, making a bad decision, saying the wrong thing, not being a better parent? Or do you beat yourself up for not getting married, getting divorced, working too much, not working enough, being overweight, or just not doing things "right"? Perhaps you even beat yourself up for not being perfect. Never mind that perfection is impossible - you are, after all, human. Perhaps your expectation is that you should be able to do everything, all the time and perfectly. It's exhausting just thinking about it!
This week, I challenge you to stop beating yourself up and start practicing "grace." Give yourself the grace to have an "off" day, to recover from a mistake, to lose your way every once in a while, and find your way back home.
Grace, translated from the biblical Greek word "charis," literally means "gift." In other words, you don't have to work for grace. You simply have to embrace it. You are going to make mistakes in life - you're allowed. They are a fact of life. Learn from them and grow. Things won't always go as planned. Beating yourself up about it doesn't change a thing. It just steals your joy. Go with the flow of life and trust that indeed, all things can work together for your good.
How do you know you're beating yourself up?
1. Even when you accomplish a goal, you are quick to point out the mistakes and missteps you had along the way.
2. It is difficult for you to celebrate yourself and acknowledge your many positive attributes.
3. You don't give yourself the grace to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.
4. Your expectations are so high that you rarely meet them.
5. You won't forgive yourself - even when others have forgiven you and moved on.
On any given day, we do our best based on where we are emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is easy to insist that you could have done better in a situation, but the truth is - with your state of mind in that moment, the stresses of that particular day and your level of growth and spiritual maturity at that time, you did your best. And yet, you can do better. You can do better because you can learn from the things that have not worked in your life, and that learning process empowers you to grow so you can experience your potential.
It is important to acknowledge when we are wrong, when we make a mistake or it's time to a make a change. Stop living in the past, rehashing what you did or didn't do, and start living in the present.
People who beat themselves up have often felt "beat up" by others for making mistakes and are simply taking on the same attitude they've been taught by others. But you can change this bad habit from this day forward. When you feel yourself about to beat yourself up, take a deep breath and ask yourself these four questions:
1. What lesson can I learn here?
2. What will I do differently next time?
3. What change am I willing to make today to make an improvement?
4. What can I pat myself on the back for?
My Challenge to You This Week:
Start giving yourself the grace to be imperfect, make mistakes, learn from them and move on.
What do I need to stop beating myself up about? What lesson can I learn? What will I do differently next time? What change am I willing to make today to make an improvement? What can I pat myself on the back for?
Until next time...