Be Kind to Yourself

Posted January 3, 2023 by Sarah Green

Categories: Sarah, Sister Post

Have you ever felt defeat to the point it seemed pointless to try again? 

I remember the ups and downs of my ambitions, endless roller-coaster rides, and the trying and failing of embarking on a new journey. Eventually, I’d throw my hands in the air, “What’s the point? I’m not cut out for this.”

 As a young adult, this was my story each New Year.  I’d set my target and determined to be a new person in the upcoming future. I’d be a better wife, mom, and housekeeper. I’d also be fit and eat healthy. What else could I add to my list of “do better?”

I spent many years beating myself up with an all-or-nothing mindset. This mindset destroyed my progress.

Sadly, I almost gave up my dream of running a marathon with this mindset, something I longed to accomplish. Yet, each time I began a running program, life interrupted the process (it always does), or the process felt too overwhelming. My goals felt unrealistic. I’d quit, feeling like an utter failure. 

Once I determined baby steps were my method through a variety of beloved books I read, as well as showing myself grace, I slowly progressed toward goals that mattered to me.

Falling and standing back up is the first step toward growth.

Sarah Green

Don’t we all embrace lofty plans as we lunge into a new year with the idea, “new year, new me?” Is falling and failing really the problem? Is setting goals a bad thing? No. I wish I could help my young self understand that falling and standing back up is the first step toward growth. Why did I give up so easily and assume all was lost? 

The reality is, those lofty ambitions weren’t bad. My all-or-nothing mindset initiated the feeling of defeat the minute I failed to implement the giant life-changing goal perfectly. 

Perfection and inflexible thinking caused feelings of defeat.

Whether we choose to run a marathon, earn a degree, start a business, or be a great mom and wife doesn’t matter.  We need to be kind and allow ourselves to falter, pick back up, and start small with baby steps. 

Maybe being a great mom is just staying present in the moment.

Maybe choosing to be attentive to my spouse is growth.

Maybe the road to running a marathon is to ban negative self talk when I skip a day.

Maybe if I choose one tiny step in the areas I feel called to grow is good enough. 

Maybe growth happens in hidden, tiny ways.  

I still set goals. I actually love goals. Yet, they are small and manageable. I choose to show myself grace and let go of the all-or-nothing fallacious thinking. I choose to remember that falling and failing is part of the process. I am always gifted with another moment to pick back up and try again, knowing that I am not alone. 

God wants us to grow, even expects us to grow. Yet He desires us to be kind to ourselves in the process, as He is to us.  

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and give you a future.”