By Ashley Geist, LPC, NCC, M.S.Ed.
A topic that has been floating around The Support Circle offices lately is the idea of grace, specifically for ourselves. By late January, many of us who started the month with high hopes and new goals will often find ourselves disappointed, disenchanted, or simply tired of the grind and not where we want to be. Instead of acknowledging that these feelings are a normal part of change and personal growth, we oftentimes shame ourselves and give up.
On the flip side, when we hear about a friend, neighbor, or loved one trying their best and falling short of a goal, many of us are the FIRST person to cheer them on and to point out all the gains they’ve made so far.
“You are doing great!” “Beginning is often the hardest step.” “You’ve got this!” “Try again.” We have and use the language of encouragement, so why is it so hard to use it for ourselves?
With the spirit of giving ourselves the grace and space to try, make progress, fall short, and try again in mind; here are some self-talk suggestions for us all to explore as we continue boldly through the month and year ahead.
1. “This Is a process.” – Honoring that any change or improvement is just that – a process, that evolves over time. Change takes time and oftentimes some trial, error, and a time of learning.
2. “It’s OK To Begin Again.” – How do we get good at something? Repetition! Anyone who does anything well has been willing to repeat the process and to do something badly at first, or for a while.
3. “Perceived Failures Are My Teachers.” – If we learned from the experience it was not wasted. In addition to that, it may take try after try before we are happy with the outcome or result. Every try gets us closer to where we want to be.
4. “I Am Learning So Much.” – Imagine you have been putting together a piece of furniture, machine, or object for hours – digging through the manual, sorting out the parts, assembling the pieces. Then, someone brand new who has never done this task or seen this object walks in the room. Who at that moment knows more about the task at hand? The person in the middle of the pile of parts and half-assembled pieces knows more, not because they are done, but because they are learning as they go and are engaged in the process. Embrace your learning as you work on your goals and honor even partial progress as a win.
5. “It Will Take the Time That It Takes.” – So many times, we want the change or task done last year. However, last year is gone, and today is here, so the next best time is now. Instead of pressuring ourselves to master something in a certain amount of time, turn off the proverbial stopwatch and honor the process. Let your growth unfold as you go, in its own time.
Looking for more strategies, encouragement, and resources? Connect with The Support Circle today at www.thesupportcircle.com, on social media, or call 605-845-2058 to connect with our caring and compassionate staff today.
In addition to our useful and supportive resources, our licensed counselors offer in-person counseling services in Aberdeen and Mobridge, SD and telehealth services across the states of South Dakota and North Dakota.
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