Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes
Why it is important to give yourself and others a break.
When was the last time you gave yourself a break when you made a mistake? When was the last time you took it easy on someone else when they made a mistake? Do you feel you are your own worst critic? Do people who know you best feel you are too hard on yourself?
In the past, I wore being hard on myself like a badge of honor. I would even admit to people that I went so hard on myself so that others would take it easy on me when I made a mistake. Alternatively, I believed that the harder I went on myself, the more it showed others that I cared. What I did not realize is the negative affect it had on those around me. This manifested itself in two ways.
First, people would get upset with me for being so hard on myself. I had an employee once get mad at me and say, “Chris would you stop it!” His face was bright red, and you could tell just how upset he was with me for beating myself up over things. At the time, I thought it he was being kind. I look back on it now and see something else entirely. I see the second negative affect being hard on myself had on people around me.
People I managed thought I would be as hard on them as I was on myself. No matter how many times I tried to separate the two. No matter how many times I tried to reassure them that I was harder on myself than I would ever be on them, they could not reconcile my words with my actions. People around me thought I would judge them just like they saw me judging myself. This led to people around me having a heighted level of uneasiness and, in some cases, fear. As the years went on and I realized how I made people feel, I felt a deep level of remorse and regret and have done my best to make amends.
Taking it easy on yourself when you make a mistake is being kind to yourself. Remember, you are not excusing the mistake or diminishing the negative effects of the mistake. What you are doing is accepting responsibility, apologizing, working on doing better next time and focusing on what is important. Taking it easy on others when they make a mistake, do something that is out of character or that maybe frustrates you a little bit is another way for you to show them you understand and have authentic empathy for them.
To have a more joyful journey, take it easy on yourself and others.
How this applies to fear…
When it comes to fear and taking it easy on yourself and others, many people are afraid that taking it easy on themselves signals to others that they do not care. To overcome this fear, I invite you to apologize for your mistake, take responsibility for it and try to do better next time, all without being judgmental or hard on yourself. Finding a good balance between caring and not caring is the key. Many people are afraid that taking it easy on others means you condone their actions and think their mistake was no big deal. To reduce fear in others, I invite you to not be so hard on yourself. Doing with will also alleviate the unintended side effect of tricking your brain into the fear that others will be equally as hard on you.
How this applies to authentic empathy…
When it comes to authentic empathy and taking it easy on yourself and others, I invite you to look at It this way. Showing authentic empathy for others when they acknowledge they made a mistake will help the both of you. It will immediately reduce your level of frustration. It will enable them to be more receptive to your feedback and suggestions on how to avoid the mistake in the future. It will allow their brain to focus on finding ways to avoid the mistake rather than finding ways to defend their actions. In the end, showing authentic empathy for yourself and others when mistakes happen generates the most positive outcome.
How this applies to WACASHWI…
When it comes to WACASHWI and taking it easy on yourself and others, as you move things on to and through the process, mistakes will happen. Mistakes are ok. It is how you handle them that will determine your level of success. Giving yourself a break when a mistake happens or giving someone else a break when they struggle with your choices or make mistakes themselves will lead you to a higher level of success.
Your daily invitations…
- I invite you to think about the last time you made a mistake.
- I invite you to consider how hard you were on yourself.
- I invite you to think about the last time you saw someone else make a mistake.
- I invite you to consider how hard you were on them.
- I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
- I invite you to talk to your friends, family and loved ones to see what their honest impressions were of how hard you were on yourself for the mistake you thought about above.
- I invite you to talk to the person you thought about above that made a mistake and see how hard on them they thought you were if it is safe to do so.
Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?