Because you are here reading this post, I’m going to assume that you are trying to become the very best version of YOU. In my experience, people like you (and like me) are usually the first ones to be hard on themselves. We hold ourselves up to an impossible standard of perfectionism. You think you have to do and be everything. For everyone. All the time. Perfectly. I get tired just thinking about it.
I once heard Tony Robbins say that striving for perfection is not setting a high standard for yourself. It’s actually the lowest standard possible, because you know it’s impossible to live. In essence, you really have no standard, instead you have a good way to beat yourself up for not being enough. Sometimes, this is because it’s easier to beat yourself up before someone else does.
- I shouldn’t have said that.
- I look so fat.
- They’re not going to like me.
- I can’t believe I did that.
- Why can’t I stand up for myself?
- I don’t deserve success.
- Nothing I say matters.
- It’s all my fault.
- I can’t do anything right.
- I’m such a bad parent.
Any of those sound familiar?
Top 3 ways to know you’re being too hard on yourself.
- When you are successful at something are you quick to discount your success by pointing out all the mistakes you made along the way?
- Is it hard for you to accept a compliment? Do you shrug it off or turn the attention away from yourself?
- Do you struggle to forgive yourself and find it hard to move on from past mistakes?
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” -African Proverb
Would you ever treat another person that way? How about your best friend? You should think about that the next time you recognize that you’re being extra hard on yourself. Stop and acknowledge that it wasn’t very nice, and that it isn’t even true. Then, take the time to turn it around and think about three ways you’re amazing–because I know you are.
I’m inspired every day by the comments you leave, and the insightful things you post online. I see you parenting your children like nobody else could. You reach out and help in your community even though you’re tired and stretched too thin. You stand up for others who are being treated poorly. You lend a listening ear to a friend who is struggling. You put your arms around a crying child and make their world better with a simple smile and a hug. You make healthy choices and strive to better yourself every day, even when it’s hard. You laugh when you feel like crying. You pick yourself up and keep going every time you get knocked down. To me, that sounds like someone to celebrate!
I want you to lighten up and give yourself a break. I’m by no means suggesting that you remain stagnant or don’t make efforts to improve. Just be easier on yourself and learn from the situations where you feel like you might not have measured up or done as well as you could have. Remember that we all do the best we can in any given situation. Never forget that you always have the power to choose something different for yourself. Today I hope those choices include loving yourself. Right now. Exactly the way you are. Your best IS good enough!
P.S. If you’re looking for a book to read more on this subject, I highly recommend The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.
As the subtitle suggests, it’s about letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embracing who you are. It knocked me right out of my comfort zone and challenged me to grow. I loved it, and I think you will too. If you read it, be sure to come back and let me know what you think.
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