Over the years, I have been known to be extremely hard on myself, and I never felt like I was good enough or achieved as much as I thought I should have achieved in the time frame in which I thought I should have achieved it. Then a friend told me, “I am learning to give myself grace.” Inwardly I rolled my eyes. But during meditation, I contemplated what that really means, to give yourself grace. In this article, we will explore what giving yourself grace means and how you can implement it simply into your daily life.
The phrase has roots in yoga and faith communities, and it frequently shows up as a hashtag or within an inspirational quote. What does it mean to give yourself grace? Giving yourself grace is permission to FORGIVE your mistakes, lapses in judgment, and hurtful behavior, because, guess what, NO ONE IS PERFECT– not even you. We are taught to treat people how we want to be treated, but oftentimes we forget that we are people. We need to treat ourselves with as much kindness and grace as we do anyone else.
Here are simple tips on HOW to incorporate grace into your daily life.
1. Just be you! Be real. No one is perfect. Read that again; no one is perfect. You are, without a doubt, going to mess up. Everyone is going to make bad choices and mistakes. It is called being human. The goal is not to be perfect but to be authentic. Be real. Be you. Because the real you is absolutely perfect.
2. Leave the guilt behind. Admit when you are wrong. The key here is to NOT let guilt eat you alive. Guilt is a terrible thing that will never leave you if you don’t let it. Practice letting go of the things that are out of your control. Remind yourself that everything changes; even the horrible stuff won’t last forever. You know the saying, “just because you had a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.” Or my favorite, “Let that crap go!”
3. Give yourself permission not to be a superwoman. Unless you have a cape and can fly, you are not a superwoman. It is perfectly fine not to be able to fit ALL THE THINGS into your life. I like to make a list with two columns – one has the five things that I have to do (and have control over), and then a list of things that need to be accomplished or I would LIKE to be accomplished in the second column, fold it in half. The “like-to” list is for the universe to handle.
4. Always make time for yourself. Self-care is important. It may mean a nice bubble bath, but it also means reading a book or just taking a mental health day, going for a walk—it looks different for every person. Self-care means “taking care of yourself.” Do what makes you happy!
5. Do one thing a day that brings you joy? Maybe facing a fear, perfecting a yoga pose, learning a new language, trying a new cuisine. Be proud of yourself more often. When you feel proud, it brings joy within yourself, you’re more positive, and you act with more positivity. Positivity leads to confidence. Find your joy!
Bottom line: Whatever grace looks like for you, give it to yourself. Let go of the things you don’t have control over. Abandon the idea of perfection. Do what brings you joy!
Stacey is a Meditation and Mindfulness coach specializing in Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). If you would like more information, you can follow her on Facebook @CoachStaceyTurknett. You can also reach her by email at Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 850-879-1481.