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In keeping with this month’s theme of weekly goals on our calendar, today’s Motivation Monday post is all about: giving ourselves a break!
Ask me who my wisest influence has been over the course of my life and my answer will probably echo the same as many others: my wonderful mom, of course. (No offense, Dad. You’re super wise, too!) My mom has given me so much advice, constructive criticism, encouragement, motivation, inspiration, guidance, and wisdom over the years that if I were paying her for every time she helped me out, I would have been broke years ago! Good thing moms are free.
One of the best pieces of advice my mom ever gave me came a few years ago when I was in the throws of recovering from my food allergies, feeling sick every day, and really feeling quite depressed. Days would come and go and, because I had myself trapped in a negative thought pattern, I would consistently beat myself up about what I hadn’t gotten right, what things I struggled with, what wrong choices I’d made, and on and on. Seeing my distress and my self-hatred, my mom gave me a little shred of wisdom that, if applied, could be life-changing for me. She said, “Hallie, give yourself a break.”
I’m a perfectionist. I’m also my own worst critic. Turning the tables and striving to be okay with slip ups or unmet goals hasn’t been easy, but it’s been so very good for my well being.
As a person driven by deadlines, goals, check lists, and accomplished tasks, it’s felt completely out of my comfort zone to loosen my grip on life and let it play out a little on it’s own instead of trying to control everything. When things don’t work out the way I want or plan them to, I used to take the negative outcome and turn it back on myself: YOU did this, YOU ruined it, YOU didn’t work hard enough, it’s YOUR fault, etc. But I’ve since learned that self-criticism only closes up the pathway to joy and robs me of my happiness. I’ve learned to let disappointments roll off my back instead of bottling up the negative energy and letting it lick away at my confidence like the flames of a fire.
Beating myself up over stuff that’s pretty trivial in the scheme of things does nothing good for me. It strips away my joy, puts a damper on my positivity, crushes my confidence, extinguishes my sense of worth, and ultimately makes me unhappy.
Bottom line? Accepting myself for who I am—embracing both the good with the bad—has bolstered my personal worth immensely.
Bottom line? I choose to be happy and to cut myself some slack, because it’s good for my health!
I’d strongly encourage you to take a good look at how hard you are on yourself and maybe take my mom’s advice to heart. Give yourself a break! I did, and it changed my life for the better.
Striving for high standards is admirable. Being responsible and “on the ball” are both great qualities. But when we take them to an extreme, we risk losing sight of what’s most important in our lives because we get too wrapped up in results and miss out on seeing joy in the journey.
What will you do this week to give yourself a break?