If there is one thing I am really afraid of, it gives me grace. I am my worst critic in almost everything I do. I am a flamboyant perfectionist, and sometimes I have my own achievements. I remember the simple mistakes I made years ago, and I still cling to them. The biggest thing I try to work on is giving myself grace. I have come to realize that if I do not give myself grace, I am missing out on being a person. Furthermore, I realized that in order to be kind to others, I needed to learn how to be kind to myself. Often, we allow perfection to take over our lives without realizing it. I have decided to change that in my life, and I hope you too will consider doing so. Grace begins with a simple knowledge of who we are and who we become. As you read these five assurances and Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness, I hope you will accept them. Read them. Write it down. Think about them. Above all, I hope you will use them to inspire yourself and see that you are not alone and always have the power to change your story.
Realize that burning does not mean that you are wrong.
This is a guarantee that has become a reality for me as I get busy. Usually, I want to do my best in everything I do, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. The problem begins when we work so hard that we forget why we do what we do. It’s a point in the semester where students start to feel burned out, and I also start to feel it. I have noticed that on some days, I need a little more rest or a few breaks than usual. All right. Taking a break or getting tired does not mean you are not good at what you do. Instead, I like to think of it as a simple comfort to redirect. Yes, I hope you do great things. I hope you put in everything you do, but I also hope you know that it’s okay to go. I hope you also know that it is normal to feel burned out or depressed or tired at times. However, I hope you have the insight you need to see when burns become commonplace and committed to change. I hope you have the courage to see that people who care so much feel like they don’t care enough. I hope you see that you are good even if your performance is not. Above all, I hope you put your mental health first, and yes, that could mean taking a break or going. You may like what you are doing and see that it is time to move on to a new place, or maybe, you can go around and go back to why you started. If you do, I hope everything makes sense, but until then, take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself, even if you are unsure of your next steps. [ Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness ]
Understand that no one asks you to be perfect.
This is a big deal for me, and it’s something I have to remind myself of more than I would like to admit. I am a flamboyant perfectionist in everything I do. I was very quick to criticize, and I realized that some of my expectations were unreasonable. Yes, by all means, you should set goals for yourself. I hope you strive to do well, but I hope you realize that no one is asking you to be perfect. We are all people who are confused about strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly, we are all people who care. Accept your own, even if it is incomplete. I have found that the things we consider our greatest weaknesses are often the ones that make us most lovable. Understand that people are learning from you in ways you would never know. Some people require you to be fully human. Most importantly, you need to be fully human. When you make mistakes, learn from them and take responsibility. When you make mistakes, remember that this is not the first or last mistake you made. Give generously. Each mistake is a step in your life, and without them, we would not be able to grow. There are many better things to do than perfect. I hope you choose to be kind. I hope you choose to be empathetic. I hope you choose the right one. It is much better than perfection, however. [ Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness ]
Realize that there is a lot to do more in life, don’t try to achieve it altogether
Our world puts a lot of emphasis on making it seem like we have our lives together. The fact is, if we are fully human, we will probably not always be together. That’s all right. You are allowed to hear and feel emotions and cry. You are allowed to ask for help and admit that you do not know what to do next. You are welcome to acknowledge that you do not have all the answers, and I hope you do. People are made to live in society. We were not created to live in isolation. Reach out to others for help, and help them where they need you. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Every day will not be the best day, but every day will have a lesson. I would challenge you to get that lesson, even if it is difficult. You will not find that lesson if you are busy trying to hide it. Looking back, some of the worst days have given me the best news and lessons. I hope you find that the same is true for you, too. [ Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness ]
Write in your heart that whatever you do today is enough. Enough for you.
It is very easy to tie our value or success to our product. I will be the first to admit that I am angry when I accomplish 20 things in one day and five in the next. I have seen the danger in the word “only” because it emphasizes what we are going to do instead of what we have already done. Yes, there is always room for growth and improvement, but there is room for the celebration of small victories. Maybe make your own bed or make it work on time. Those things may not seem great, but they are still a victory. I would challenge you to see that even on your worst day, you are still loved.
Someone once told me that even though it might be a big problem for me, other people would probably not notice or care about it. That is not intended to discourage. It is meant to say that our struggle is within. Most of the struggle is against our expectations of success or incompetence, not other people. I would challenge you to see that you are equally popular, whether you do a 20-page research paper or get a promotion, or stay in bed all day. You are just as loved even if you don’t think you deserve to be loved. You are equally loved whether you do everything or not. Whatever you do today is enough because it is enough. Let that support you today. [ Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness ]
Your story is not over yet.
Finally, a great deal of self-sacrifice realizes that your story is not over yet. If you are confused today, you can try again tomorrow. If you succeed today, you can try again tomorrow. I would challenge you to look beyond your own situation and look to the future. Yes, by all means, you have the right to be anxious or to have feelings for something that you know is small. Being small in the long run does not mean that you are small, and I fully understand that. I’m the exact same way. I hope you give yourself time to hear what you need to feel, but I hope you also realize that it’s time to move on to your whole story. One of my favorite quotes is “You have to move on, darling, or you will miss the train in bigger things than this.” Looking back, I wonder how many times I have missed a train in big things because I was so worried about the train I had lost in the past. I hope you are not living your life with regret. I hope you see that it is not too late and you have never gone too far to make good choices. Start wherever you are. Start with your doubts and your fears and expectations. Start with your anxiety or your happiness or your happiness. Start wherever you are and continue. Start with kindness. [ Ways to Give Yourself to Kindness ]