It might seem odd that a life coach is offering advice on when to push the brakes instead of the gas, but I’m of the mindset that the highest form of personal development balances self-acceptance with self-improvement. We focus *a lot* on self-improvement: boundaries, confidence, relationships, career – but what about self-acceptance? What are the signs it’s time to cut yourself some slack and just accept the fact that not everything needs to be perfect?
I’ve outlined five different telltale signs that it’s time to give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack.
1. You’re Frustrated with Things Outside of Your Control
Being hard on yourself for things that you cannot possibly control is a super big waste of time. And if you think about it – you probably do it a lot.
How often have you gotten upset that something didn’t go exactly the way it was supposed to? How often have you internalized it – thinking that if you had planned better, paid more attention, put more thought or energy into something – it would have turned out better? You go over every little detail to figure out exactly what you could have done differently – and while you find some things here or there, you just decide YOU are the issue.
Which is 100% wrong.
There are SO many external factors that contribute to things all the time that are not in your control. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control people’s thoughts or feelings. You can’t control schedules and availability. You can’t control the economy. You really can’t control much of anything, really…except yourself.
You can control how you react to things not going your way. And my best advice, is to cut yourself some slack.
You are doing the best you can to function in a world you have no power over – and there’s no reason to beat yourself up when things don’t go well. Something will always go wrong and people will always be disappointed – it’s just the way it goes – so there’s no need to make yourself feel even worse. Shit is bound to go wrong with so many factors working against us. So take a deep breath, and thank yourself for trying.
2. You Made a Solid Effort
I personally believe that you should reward for yourself for TRYING more so than for WINNING.
Focusing on things going perfectly is a great way to develop an anxiety disorder, because we all know things are bound to go sideways at some point. And that’s not me being a pessimist – that’s just a fact. Those who are happiest in this life are those who don’t worry about winning or perfect – they focus on the process of it all.
And that’s what I’m asking you do to right now. Focus on the process. Did you put some effort into it? Did you try to offer the best you could? Then that’s good enough for me. And it should be good enough for you, too.
But…before you say, “Yeah…but I could have tried harder!” – I encourage you to take pause. We physically cannot give 100% of our efforts everything. We don’t have the time or the energy or the knowledge or the bandwidth or whatever else to do so. And not only that, we shouldn’t.
Things in our life need to take priority. Things like….keeping our stress levels at bay. Spending time with friends and family. Producing quality work. Being creative. Enjoying ourselves. We need to be able to disperse effort in a proportion that makes sense to our values. Otherwise, you’re going to burn out. So next time you start to beat yourself up over the concept of “effort” – ask yourself if this situation is the MOST important thing to you. Is it really a huge deal breaker in your life? Will you even think about it in 5 years?
Didn’t think so. So cut yourself some slack.
3. Your Had Good Intentions
Intentions might not be everything, but they sure as hell count.
If you managed to make a big ole mess-up, but know in your heart that you did not INTEND to do so – I am a full believer in giving yourself a break.
However, I’m also a big believer in owning, acknowledging and apologizing for your actions. Even if you didn’t mean to mess anything up or hurt someone’s feelings – it still happened. And you can definitely be accountable for that. But you don’t need to beat yourself up for it. Do what you gotta do, and move on. Beating yourself up for something you didn’t intentionally mean to do is just being cruel to yourself. You already feel bad enough for the mistake, so there’s no need to taunt yourself for days and weeks.
Be nice to yourself. It will all blow over, anyway.
4. You Failed
But it sucks even more when you blame yourself for it instead of just chalking it up to a normal part of life. Reading too much into failure leads to blame – and that’s unhealthy on all accounts. Instead, try to look at failure as inspiration. Perhaps you learned something along the way that can help you succeed next time. Or maybe whatever you’re trying to succeed in really isn’t for you, and it’s time to move onto other endeavors. Whatever the lesson you pull from failing, don’t let it be that you aren’t good enough. That’s just not true. Loosen up – failure won’t kill you! It will only help you refine your journey.
5. You’re Comparing Yourself
When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re just asking to beat yourself up over God knows what. So I’m going to need you to stop doing that ASAP.
Because when we compare ourselves to others – we usually compare ourselves to those who are *seemingly* doing sOoOoOoO much better than we are. And we rarely, if EVER, have all of the facts. Instead, we have a few pieces of information and we fill in the gaps ourselves. And we’re usually dead wrong.
So when you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else – please refrain from putting yourself down in the process. You have zero clue what the full scope of someone’s life entails, and therefore it’s impossible to accurately compare your life to anyone else’s. It’s fine to notice or support what others are doing – that’s natural! But please don’t spiral into a whole *I’m not worthy of the dirt beneath my feet* episode. It’s not productive and it just creates unnecessary hurt for you.
Find yourself continuously being hard on yourself?
It might be time for some one on one support. Blush Online Life Coaching offers personalized coaching for as little as $79/mo. Start working with your very own life coach so you can ease up on yourself, and finally enjoy the life you live.