The Unexpected Reason You’re Not Accomplishing Your Goals
When it comes to being a woman, there is no shortage of pressure piled onto our shoulders.
Being a good mom and a good wife, having a job outside of the home while maintaining a perfectly run household, being strong while also being feminine, losing the “baby weight”, and the constant pressure to be thin.
Are you getting stressed just thinking about it?
It’s no wonder why women are twice as likely as men to be on an antidepressant.
There has been a significant shift recently to relieve some of that pressure (thank goodness!) that can be called the “Give Yourself Some Grace” Movement.
THE UNEXPECTED REASON YOU’RE NOT ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOALS
The idea of giving yourself some grace is an amazing concept and a great start on the journey to ditching what I like to call “Perfectionism Prison”.
Grace means “courteous goodwill”, which is an eloquent way of saying to cut yourself some slack.
It’s knowing that there is no such thing as perfect and being okay with that. It’s letting yourself mess up without beating yourself up about it, and freeing yourself from the guilt that surrounds almost every decision we make.
Imagine it feeling like you’re taking a deep breath for the first time in a long while.
Sounds pretty good, right?!
WHEN GOOD GRACE GOES BAD
Ready for the catch-22? Sometimes giving yourself some grace can work against you.
How can giving yourself some grace ever be bad? As with everything in life, it’s when we take it too far.
When you give yourself too much grace, it can stop you in your tracks and stop you from moving closer to accomplishing your goals.
Let me explain.
Whenever you’re working towards a new goal or habit, you will inevitably be faced with a series of roadblocks and important decisions to make.
Let’s use exercise as an example. Say you’re trying to start a new habit of working out regularly. Everything has been going really well, until that one day — you know the day.
The day that you wake up, and you just don’t feel like doing anything. Maybe you stayed up late, maybe you were on vacation or have been sick. Whatever the reason is, you don’t have the same motivation as when you started working towards your new goal.
YOUR TWO CHOICES
Now, you find yourself standing at a very important crossroads with two choices.
1. You beat yourself up and tell yourself that you have no willpower and that you’re a failure. (Ouch!)
2. You “Give Yourself Some Grace” — a little too much grace — and tell yourself that it’s okay, you’re tired, you’ve been working really hard, and you deserve this break. And you never start back up.
Been there, done that!
While these are two very different approaches to the same problem, they have something very similar in common.
Neither of these approaches will get you any closer to reaching your goals.
I’m guessing you’re here because you’re a goal-driven person. (I see you out there working towards bettering yourself and helping others!)
And if you’re like me, you’re tired of letting these setbacks derail you temporarily or even long-term.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO INSTEAD?
I am on a personal mission towards making balance sexy and helping people break free of the “All or Nothing” mentality.
Here are the steps towards banishing that inner critic and giving yourself just enough grace while also moving forward in your pursuit of success.
1. LET GO OF PERFECTIONISM
This one is tough!
According to this study by the American Psychological Association, perfectionism is on the rise with a 10% increase in self-directed perfectionism and a 33% increase in socially prescribed perfectionism (high standards perceived by the expectations of others).
The simple act of knowing that nothing can ever be perfect will free you from a ton of unnecessary pressure and stress.
2. BUILD GOOD HABITS
Habits are what stick around when motivation magically disappears. Start with one or two small habits at a time and build them up until they stick.
When you feel confident with your newly found habit, gradually keep creating more!
3. REMEMBER YOUR BIGGER WHY
Ask yourself why you’re starting this new habit or working towards this goal, and then ask yourself why again and again until you uncover the more profound reason that will push you through those moments when you don’t feel like you can keep going.
4. TURN INWARD
Tune into yourself! No exercise or meal plan can take into account how you feel or your specific energy levels, emotions, or mental health.
Beating yourself up and creating shame and guilt will only cause more harm, but throwing in the towel and giving up completely will not make you feel better either. You are the expert of you!
5. BE ADAPTABLE
This is the biggest step towards finding a middle ground between beating yourself up and giving yourself too much grace.
Using our previous exercise example. When you wake up one day and don’t feel like stepping foot in the gym, what can you do that will keep you from being too hard on yourself while still moving you forward towards your goal of regular exercise?
Maybe it’s a long walk outside to get some sunshine and fresh air. Or, an at-home yoga workout on YouTube to break you out of the regular routine you’ve created.
Perhaps, it’s playing a game of tag with your kids in the backyard. It all counts, and it will all move you closer towards your goals while also giving yourself some grace.
Giving yourself some grace is a wonderful practice that helps you to relax and unburden most of the pressures (self-inflicted or societally driven) that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by perfectionism.
Let me know in the comments how you balance giving yourself some grace while also crushing your goals!