Learning to Give Yourself Grace
Because the start of a new year is always stressful, but it doesn't have to be!
You've probably heard the phrase give yourself grace, before. We’re living in an interesting time. This is the first time, ever maybe, at least in that I have seen, where people are openly talking about mental health and prioritizing mental health. People are being encouraged to do self-care Sundays, and kids are even being offered “mental health days” in school...how amazing is that!? A mental health day is not something I could have even imagined in school, but it’s definitely something I could have benefitted from!
I know “give yourself grace” is a phrase I've seen pop up a lot over the past year or so, but I wasn't really sure what it meant and that's probably because I'm not that great at giving myself grace lol. If you also think you’re pretty bad at it, keep reading!
After some research, I know that for me, giving myself grace means learning not to be so hard on myself, and allowing myself to make mistakes, grow, and learn, and having time to do all of those things.
During the new year when everyone is working out, eating better or doing all these other amazing things, it can be one of the toughest times of the year to be a little nicer to yourself.
Now that’s not to say that you shouldn’t set goals for yourself. I actually think goal setting is really important because it keeps you on track. If going to the gym 4 times a week is actually a goal you want to accomplish in the new year, by all means, make it happen. But don’t set goals just for the sake of it.
I have so many goals I want to hit this year...financially, with my blog, and in my 9-5 career. If you follow me on Instagram you know that last year I was laid off due to COVID. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to finally take the leap and change my career path from customer service to social media. It has been so amazing getting to do what I love everyday!
But of course, with that has come this pressure ( from myself ) to move quickly to get a better title, better recognition, better pay, etc. It can be really stressful, when in reality I should be giving myself grace because I have worked hard to get to where I am, and I’ll continue to do that and I will hit my goals.
However, if I’m being completely honest, it can be a little scary. I am the only one of my parents and siblings to graduate college, I feel a lot of pressure to be successful because of my degree. While I’ve never felt that pressure from my family, it is a huge internal feeling that I struggle with. We really can be our toughest critics at times and and some of those critiques can be silenced (or at least become quieter) if we simply learn to give ourselves grace.
Giving yourself grace can better allow you to:
Reduce imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon that causes people to basically devalue their skills, and feel like they are a fake. For example if someone says you are an amazing artist and you always respond “oh, I’m not that good. Other people are so much better.”
If you allow yourself space + time to get things done, you won't constantly feel like you "can't" do them or like you aren’t good at them. You are good, and if you're just learning, you can get better! Be proud of your abilities and have confidence in your skills.
Stay focused on goals
So often we make “should” statements. I should be here by now, I should have already accomplished that goal by this age, etc.
When you aren't constantly stressing about where you "should be" in life, on a project, in a relationship, etc. you have more time to focus on actually getting them done and hitting goals, and not thinking about why you haven't already hit them. Although sometimes it may not feel like it, life is a marathon not a sprint. As long as you are staying focused on your goals and taking the necessary steps to reach major goals, you are doing great!
Be more realistic with the timelines you set
Just as with staying focused, if you give yourself grace, you will naturally give yourself more time, and set realistic timelines in which to complete things.
For example "I want to make a million dollars in 3 months" isn't realistic and you shouldn't be upset with yourself if you don't hit that goal, and you shouldn't set a goal like that. There is a fine line between ambitious and unrealistic. Most people on social media are rich and successful, and do it in 6 months or less…because that’s what most people choose to show, regardless of if it is true or not.
I know this is way easier said than done, and trust me I’m still working on it myself, but you absolutely cannot set your goals and timelines based off of what you see other people do, especially not people on social media where everything is seen through rose-colored glasses.
Initially, you may find it hard to give yourself grace. Most of us tend to be our own biggest critic, but you got this! Put in the work you know you need to but if you feel you need to take a step back, or take a break, DO IT! You’re only human, and you can't be on go mode 24/7, hustle culture is a lie…and it can be terrible for your mental and physical well being.
A new year can be tough and overwhelming, but take a deep breath, refocus, and remember you have 12 months to go, there’s no rush!
Thank you so much for reading!