Raise your hand if you beat yourself up for not accomplishing everything you want on a given day, week, etc. What about if you’re your worst critic?
I’ve got both hands way up!
There can be value in holding yourself to a high standard. People who do this are often successful and goal-oriented.
On the flip side, they often push themselves to the point of burn out. It can be easy for them to become so focused on self-judgment that they get frozen in place, their success and goals stuck in limbo.
If you’re like me and you’re having one of those judgy kinds of days, my message to you is: give yourself credit.
I did this myself earlier this week and it caused a hugely positive shift in my outlook for the day. As a result, it was my happy thought! 😊
So what do I mean by “give yourself credit?” Rather than focusing on what you didn’t do, try focusing on what you did do.
This is an example of some thoughts I had that day:
- I should have gotten up early to work out. This is the third day I’ve missed this week. Obviously I’m not doing well sticking to that goal.
- This is only the second week into my plan to take a lunch break each day and I haven’t taken any this week. Another fail.
- I’ve been horrible about checking in with friends on Facebook this week to see how they’re doing.
- I can’t believe I gave in and had those cookies last night. Why don’t I have better self-control?
You see, this has been an extremely unusual week. Last week was busy. Then I attended 30 hours of virtual workshop this past weekend (read: no day off). And then this week has been even busier.
In short, I’ve been running on fumes and I’ve finished each day feeling utterly exhausted.
The key is what I wrote above: This. Is. Unusual. When the rest of the week is harder than normal it makes sense that it would be harder than normal to follow my routine. That’s exactly what I’d tell a client, friend, or a member of my team.
Even though I knew this, I wasn’t comfortable in it. I kept thinking about my intention this year to live more in my values. I was judging myself with a perception that I was failing.
But then I started thinking about what I had done:
- I realized my physical and mental need to recover and gave myself the grace to not be perfect and to get the rest I needed. Since rest is beneficial for our health and stress can be a detriment, I was actually honoring my value of Health.
- I had maintained my morning routine of meditation and easing into my day, despite my old habit of jumping right into the work day during busy times.
- I had connected with many of my coaching peers multiple times via email throughout the week – something that’s unusual. So, I realized I was still meeting my Connection value, just differently than I’d originally intended.
- Outside of those cookies, I had eaten healthy the entire rest of the day. Seriously, I was a rock star!
It sounds so simple, but as soon as I connected these thoughts back to my values and also started to give myself grace and space to be imperfect, I felt an incredible weight lift from my shoulders.
I gave myself credit for what I had managed to do under extraordinary circumstances.
What impact would it have on your life if you could do the same?
Maybe the approach above doesn’t fit for you. If you find yourself needing this sense of self-grace, here are some questions that might provoke other ideas:
- If your original plan doesn’t work, what would be an acceptable alternative?
- If you can’t hit everything in your plan, what are the items that are most important to tackle?
- What would it mean if you could give yourself permission to fall short of your goals for just today? This week?
What would be needed for you to treat yourself kindly?
If you’re still struggling, that’s completely understandable. If you are someone who leans heavily into self-judgment, that can be a difficult habit to break.
But, you can do it! I have total faith. 😊 And if you need help, you know where to find me – taryn@treasuretroveofhappythoughts. Shoot me an email today and we’ll get you on the path to being your happiest, judgement-free self.
So, now that I’ve shared. What’s your happy thought today?