Being Kind to Yourself
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.”– Truman Capote
I posted a blog last week about project success and shared this great quote about failure that I thought was important to tie in. In regards to projects, there are many ways that you can plan well in order to set yourself up for success and sometimes, you’re going still going to fail. Failing after all of that planning, while often defeating, should be a solid indicator that you tried to succeed! This quote really made me reflect over the weekend about the importance of failure paralleled to success so I wanted to share my most recent experience with personal failure and the importance of being kind to yourself.
One of my goals this year is to be kinder to myself. In the last year I have recognized that I put a lot of pressure on myself to “be busy” whether it’s learning new things, taking on new jobs, eating better, being healthy… the list goes on and on. Recently after talking to a friend, I realized – I can’t wake up early in the morning, meditate, read a good book, pack a healthy lunch, work a full day, set up meetings with new clients, get to the fitness class I want to go to, make a healthy dinner, have meaningful conversations with Kyle, work on my clients projects, engage in a relaxing evening self-care routine, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. I constantly look at this list of great aspirations and at the end of each day most things on it are never done. I don’t have time to do it all and appreciate each thing for what it is – and here’s the thing… that’s totally okay! I know people that CAN do this and it works for them, but I have to accept that it doesn’t work for me.
I failed SO HARD in January.
I took on too much work, I pushed myself too far, and worst of all, I was WAY too hard on myself about it. That being said, where I’ve been able to recognize my growth is that I’ve made myself aware of this epic fail and by making a plan to be better next month, I’m not allowing it to take on a life of it’s own and derail me. I’m proud of myself for being able to identify this early on and I’m so thankful that I have a partner that helped me see that the schedule I was working wasn’t sustainable.
Can we just get real for a second? Failure is awesome. I’ve had some pretty monumental fails in the past and while this failure of poorly scheduling my time and being a bit hard on myself seems small, what’s so valuable is that I’m learning to be kind to myself in this moment, acknowledge that I failed, and figure out how to be better in the future – for me! That’s something to celebrate!
I looked at my calendar for January and identified what days or times of day were the most stressful for me and why. I was able to pinpoint a few stress points in my daily routine:
- Days where I had myself booked for anything over an 8 hour window with no breaks were tough, especially days where I was highly mobile and going from place to place.
- My evenings were too full! Even though I was trying to balance work with spending time with friends or getting to the gym, my panic to squeeze these things into my calendar and then rush to get there made me unable to truly appreciate them.
- I was exhausted by Sunday night! I was trying to pack too much into my weekends. Meet up with girlfriends, clean the apartment, run errands, take care of myself. I was not spending any time rebooting at all (something that Kyle has taught me is important).
As a result, here’s the plan I came up with for next month:
Pick Your Thing
I picked one thing from my list of aspirations above that I want to do each day. I’ve decided not to do the same thing every day for a month, but instead choose one thing from my list each day without any pressure (read a good book on Monday, meditate on Tuesday, get to that fitness class on Wednesday, have a bubble bath on Thursday – whatever!).
Schedule Your Thing
I blocked off a chunk of time to do it and wrote it down! Depending how organized you want to be, you can put each thing in your digital calendar at a specific time, write out a list of daily choices and decide on the fly, or use a printable calendar and post it up on your fridge or mirror where you can see it each day. However you decide to make time, make it a priority.
Share Your Thing
This is one that I never would have thought was important before but sharing what I’m doing with Kyle has been an amazing practice. Not only does it subconsciously make me feel like I’m being held accountable, but he gains some insight into what my goals are, I can share what I’m doing to try to better myself and our life together, and it feels super awesome when he gives me a high-five!
A few loose guidelines I came up with to help me make more time for myself are:
- No technology in the morning before work
- Leave four weekday evenings open for myself at home
- Take one day on my weekend to do absolutely NOTHING
“We all have a personal story, and yet it’s part of our nature to find ourselves contextualizing our journey in relation to others. In our quest to follow their footsteps, we miss an inherent truth: You can only walk your own path.”Rebecca Minkoff
With the goal of being kinder to myself and focusing on walking my own path, I need to acknowledge what my own threshold for “being busy” actually is, practice self-compassion and accept where I am today. Be kind out there folks!