I had a pivotal moment in my project to Getting Uncomfortable (Losing 23 lbs in 23 Weeks) this week. I discovered that sometimes, you need to give yourself grace.
It was a busy week…you know, one of those weeks where there truly aren’t enough hours in the day? You have a list a mile long and you cannot possibly get it all done…unless you give up sleep, that is. While I wasn’t willing to give up sleep (it was bad enough losing an hour yesterday), I still tried my hardest to do it all. Which, was impossible.
And the overwhelm of it all hit me in the solar plexus. As a result, some things fell by the wayside this week. I gained a pound…the first time in this whole project that I gained weight. My house is currently a mess. I fell behind in my word count for my latest book. I have an overdue library book.
Normally, I would beat myself up over all that. But this week I told myself “give yourself grace for not being Superwoman”. Okay, I make it sound like it came to me instantly. In reality I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the middle of making lunch yesterday. I really needed to talk myself down off a ledge because I was becoming so irrational, my judgment clouded by the fact that I thought I was on the fast track to failing. And I cried and sobbed and made Hubby mad by pushing him away. I was NOT giving myself grace.
What Does It Mean to “Give Yourself Grace”?
In a nutshell? Giving yourself grace means: STOP TRYING TO DO ALL THE THINGS. STOP BEING A PERFECTIONIST. AND STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL.
Giving Yourself Grace Does NOT Mean…
Let me clarify, however, what the giving yourself grace is NOT.
*It is NOT making excuses.
You are not saying, “Oh I can never do A, B & C because X, Y & Z”. You are simply saying you cannot do A, B & C at this moment but you will do it. Eventually. Sometimes our lives are way too busy and we are way too ambitious in our goals for a particular day or week or even month. You need to give yourself grace to do only what is most important and what is feasible.
Remember: You cannot do all the things.
And you definitely cannot do all the things at once. I cannot work on my blog and edit my book and write another one and clean the house and go to work and take classes and exercise and drive my kid to bowling and make home-cooked meals and be the perfect wife without burning out. When there are way too many things on your plate, you need to prioritize and give yourself grace when you can’t do it all.
*It is NOT failing.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint (hopefully). Just because you couldn’t or didn’t accomplish all your goals this week, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. You are NOT a failure. You are a human. I needed to remind myself that this week. Many, many, many times. I spent a good ten minutes sobbing yesterday because I was just so damn burnt out and I felt like a hamster in a wheel. It is so difficult when you have that driven and ambitious mindset of checking your goals off a list. I want to check off the list every day. I want to get closer to my goals every day. And I definitely don’t want to feel like a failure when I cannot feasibly do that. But I also want to stay sane. I need to give myself grace when I cannot do something simply because it cannot be done. I can’t beat myself up for things I can’t control, right? Like, I can’t get mad at myself for not being taller than 5 foot. That’s stupid. And so is making myself feel like I’ve failed because I can’t do something right at this moment.
*It is NOT being lazy.
My God is it NOT being lazy. Once again, it’s about being sane. I don’t think there is anyone on this planet who would call me lazy. And a lot of you are probably like me. You are not lazy…you are simply burnt out. When you give yourself grace, you allow yourself to take a break from that hamster wheel that you’re on. When you give yourself grace, you forgive yourself for not being perfect. And when you give yourself grace, you’re so much better off…even if you didn’t accomplish your goal.
And This Week I Needed to Give Myself Grace
Like I said before, in addition to all the other things that didn’t get done, I did not lose any weight at all this week. I GAINED weight. At first I was ready to beat myself up over it, scrutinizing all the places I went wrong: I shouldn’t have had two glasses of wine on Friday. Definitely should have worked out harder on Wednesday. Ugh, it’s the ice cream that put me over the top. I shouldn’t have slept in on Sunday morning.
And then…I stopped. I stopped beating myself up for not being perfect. Yes, it’s true. I didn’t accomplish my goal this week. But I wasn’t lazy. I am not a failure. And I certainly wasn’t making excuses. I needed to give myself permission to be okay with it…and move on. Next week will be better and I will be successful. You want to know how I know that? If you give yourself grace, you can step back from the situation and gain perspective on it.
And my perspective is clearer right now. I know what I want and I know how I will get there. But I’m okay with being a mess right now. I am okay with gaining a pound and nearly having a nervous breakdown in the middle of spreading peanut butter. I’m okay with not being a best-selling author right now and not having a the perfect blog that makes me money while I sleep. I will get there. Eventually.
But what I’m not okay with is beating myself up for not being there yet. I’m not okay with allowing my shortcomings to affect my perspective and my relationships and ultimately, my actual life. And that’s why I’ve giving myself grace this week…and you should, too.
***Need tips to giving yourself grace? Check out this blog post by Coming Up Roses.