Give ME a Break!
After last week's message about wearing our Kindness Glasses, I've been thinking about another place we might wear those glasses that could have a big impact - the mirror!
I believe one of the people we have the hardest time being kind to is - ourselves. And, I would like to suggest it's one of the people we need to practice kindness to the most. We literally need to give ourselves a break!
What would it mean to actually decide to do that? Allow me to suggest three phrases that might be helpful.
I'm human - like everyone else.
This is about giving ourselves permission and grace to make mistakes and not be perfect. The truth is, I don't know anyone who gets everything right all the time. It's easy for me to extend grace to someone else when they make a mistake, but it's really hard to do that for myself. I act as if I have some kind of perfection standard that no one else has to achieve - only me! Give ME a break! I'm only human, like everyone else.
I did the best that I could.
This is about not holding our past selves hostage to our current perspectives. We use the phrase "hindsight is 20/20" all the time, which simply means we can see the past with greater clarity from where we are right now. And while that's true, it's not fair to judge our past selves on our current understandings. If we're willing to honestly look at what was happening in the past, most of the time we were doing the very best that we could with what we knew and understood at the time. Give ME a break! I did the best that I could.
I'll do my best.
This is about making a commitment to giving my best now, and in the future, and recognizing that I'm human and won't get it perfect every time. Making this kind of a decision ahead of time takes the previous two ideas and uses them to build self-compassion into our future. Let's be honest, some days, our best is a 7 out of 10. If we're committed to giving our full 7 when that's all we have to give, then we can practice grace for ourselves by not expecting we perform at a 9 on those days. We can show kindness toward ourselves by always being committed to giving our best, while also remembering our best is dynamic and can change. Give ME a break! I promise I'll do my very best.
Which one of these phrases resonates with you today? Which one is the most challenging for you to practice? How might your week be impacted if you put on your kindness glasses each morning when you were looking in the mirror and you started with that person?! Here's to giving OURSELVES a break this week! Be Well, Stephen Center was created to support individuals and teams so they can live from their Purposeful Center. We specialize in executive coaching and leadership development and we’d love to support you! Click on our Services page to book a free consultation.