Cut yourself some slack!

So, earlier this week, my girlfriend gave me yet another reality check, something that I tend to either really love or hate. Thankfully, this was one of the more positive wake up calls, and it made me want to write this, not just for my readers, but as a reminder to myself:
Recently, I’ve been under a lot of stress. Tensions have been very high in my family, because we’ve been in a major transition. My mom has recently retired her old service dog, Rikki, and is now training with a new dog, named Junior. I’ve been doing the best I can to manage my stress, but at times it’s very hard.

In particular, I’ve been getting frustrated that I have been struggling to keep up with my writing, let alone work on anything else related to running a coaching business. It was around this time my girlfriend whacked me on the head. She pointed out to me how stressed I’ve been and that it’s incredibly impressive I’ve done as much as I have.

This is when I realized I have a major character flaw to work on. I don’t cut myself enough slack. When I’m stressed, I expect myself to do business as usual, but that’s not how life works. Life isn’t something neat and clean where the same answers will always work. Life is messy.

When times get hard, you need to qualify your efforts. For example, if you order a pizza during a nasty storm or when it’s snowing hard, you’re probably going to give a nice tip, or at the very least you certainly won’t gripe if your pizza is a little late. This is common sense, but for some reason, we don’t do this for ourselves.

When conditions get challenging, we think we should be able to do the same quality of work for the same effort. Whether it be a hurricane hitting your house, a pet dying, or a terrible break-up, there’s this belief that you can somehow just push it aside and work as usual. This is horribly wrong, even just having a mildly stressful week, can really burn you out and make life very difficult.

So it’s important to recognize that stress makes everything harder. In general, it’s a million times harder just to show up for work when a loved one has died, than to do a big project when everything is fine. So, recognize how hard you are working and take a break from time to time.

Image provide by Popular Science Monthly Volume 42 via Wikimedia.

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