As small business owners, a common trait is that we want to be the best that we can to as many people as possible. As people who fulfill many roles such as friend, child, parent, partner, and sibling, in addition to being small business owners, we find that our plates quickly fill up and there are a multitude of obligations vying for our attention. On a good day, we may manage these obligations with ease and grace. On a bad day, it may feel like things fall through the cracks, and we simply can’t keep up.
Why is it so easy to give grace to others, but not to ourselves?
It is always important to remember that we are our own worst critics. The people that interact with us, and truly love and support us are happy to have us in their lives. They don’t need the improved, perfect, flawless version of ourselves that we sometimes wish we could attain- they want the real us who is unique and quirky and real.
In my role, it is my honor to guide others on how to give the gift of grace to themselves. I encourage you to incorporate these pointers into a routine practice.
A START TO SELF CARE: GIVE A NAME TO HOW YOU’RE FEELING
It is so important to give ourselves a name to the feelings that we are experiencing. As business owners, it can be tempting to gloss over our emotions or hide behind saying that we are simply “having a bad day.” Rather, I believe that we are worthy of giving our feelings a name and saying exactly what we are experiencing. If you are feeling unsure of yourself, timid about the level of skill you have, or frustrated with yourself or a situation, it is important to say that. As we do this, we are giving ourselves space to acknowledge our emotions, process them, and then take the appropriate actions to move forward. We can face our feelings head on and proceed in a healthy way.
WHEN YOU ARE OVERWHELMED:
In our society, the pressure to be perfect in every aspect of our lives can feel crushing. Social media makes it seem like it should be easy to wear a multitude of hats with complete ease. The reality is that this is not only extremely difficult, but completely draining as well. You might be able to be “perfect” for a short amount of time, but that level of performance is not sustainable.
COMBAT BEING OVERWHELMED WITH FOCUS ON OUR CAPABILITIES
To give yourself grace in this area, it is so important to remember that you are capable. When we look at our to-do lists and find the inevitable feeling of overwhelm starts to creep in, focusing on our capabilities and giving ourselves grace is essential.
To do this, we must remember that just as our list grows item by item, we are able to be successful in tackling it by setting appropriate expectations and operating within a reasonable realm of capability. Some days it is necessary to prioritize self care and proceed by giving yourself space to tackle a much smaller list and give yourself space to breathe. The lie that we may be tempted to believe is that our to-do lists will never get done. The reality is that they rarely ever go incomplete. So, by managing the quality of our processes by giving ourselves space in our schedules, we are also practicing self care & grace by naturally reducing the pressure to perform on ourselves and giving ourselves room to thrive.
LET GO OF THE “SHOULDS”
Today’s fast paced society makes it so easy to feel like we’re missing something, or we SHOULD be doing something different than what we are doing.
We must recognize the source of the message we receive that makes us feel like we’re missing something.
As we practice intentionality in letting go of the “should” feeling and make an effort to identify what we ARE doing, we can give ourselves credit where credit is due. A practical way to practice this is to write down the goals that we have had for ourselves over a specific period (this year, this month, this week?) and list out what we have accomplished. This way, when the familiar lie of feeling like we should be doing something different arises, we can combat it with the knowledge that we are acting in the best interest of our business.
The only journey that we absolutely must focus on is our own. We don’t need to keep up with someone else’s arbitrary metric for success.
Want to learn more about how to incorporate self care routines into your daily life and thrive in your business as a result? Get our Ultimate Guide to Self Care here.