How to Give Yourself Grace (When You Have None to Give!)
Do you struggle to give yourself grace when you make a mistake? In a world that values perfection and where mistakes are shameful, is it even possible to give yourself grace when you aren’t at your best?
Fortunately, it is possible to show yourself grace, no matter what mistakes you have made.
Regardless of what the world tells you, it is okay to be imperfect. In fact, our imperfections are what make each of our lives so beautiful and unique!
Give Yourself Grace Definition
So what does it mean to give yourself grace?
When we give grace to ourselves for our mistakes, we accept that we are imperfect. We forgive ourselves for our imperfections and our mistakes, rather than holding them against ourselves.
When we don’t give ourselves grace, we wage emotional war on ourselves. We attack ourselves and blame our weaknesses for our failures.
After time, this can cause a lot of damage to our self-esteem and can impact the way we interact with those that are close to us.
Let’s get into a few practical ways that you can start to show yourself grace when you feel that it is in short supply.
#1. Check Your Expectations
One of the main reasons you may struggle to give yourself grace is because of the pressure to find perfection in all that you do.
For some, perfectionism comes from expectations set by family at a young age. And if you weren’t taught to give yourself grace when expectations weren’t met, it makes sense that you would struggle with this in your adult life.
To make matters worse, the world places a lot of emphasis on perfection!
Social media is literally a feed of highlights of the flashiest products, people’s best experiences, and the most thrilling version of their lives. And worst of all, people who have failed or made mistakes are the centre of jokes and shameful comments.
So all of this is to say, it can be hard to filter out all of the noise of the world to really understand your own expectations for yourself.
To start learning to give yourself grace, take some time to reflect on who is setting the expectations that you feel you are not meeting. Are they left over expectations from when you were young? Or are they expectations that someone else has set for you?
Because we share our lives with people who are similar to us, it is natural to compare ourselves to others. But, remember to be careful with comparisons, as they can lead to the expectations of others becoming our own.
And it is never possible to measure up to someone else’s expectations!
#2. Understand Your Mindset
If you are someone who struggles to give yourself grace, have you ever thought about why?
Think about the last major setback you faced. How did you handle it? If you beat yourself up about it and took it really personally, have you thought about why?
We all react to setbacks and struggles in our own unique way. And it is our mindset that dictates how we react when things don’t go according to plan.
There are many types of mindsets that people can have. And understanding the mindset that you tend to identify with will help you understand why you react to setbacks and failure the way you do.
For example, a growth mindset will help you learn to embrace failure and mistakes, rather than being embarrassed and ashamed of them. Whereas a fixed mindset will make you feel that making mistakes is a sign of weakness and that you should fear losing credibility when you make a mistake.
Knowing what your default mindset is will help you understand your reactions to struggles. This will in turn help you learn to give yourself some grace when you need it the most!
#3. Learn to Embrace Failure and Mistakes
When you think about your biggest failure, do you feel that you were judged by others? Did you worry that your intelligence was being questioned? If so, you may identify with a fixed mindset.
People who use a growth mindset believe in the power of ‘yet’. While they may not be good at something, they see it as ‘I am not good at this…yet’.
When you choose to develop your growth mindset, you start to believe that mistakes are proof that you are trying, and that trying is the key to growth.
If you have a fixed mindset, the odds are you are the type to avoid risky situations. After all, your intelligence could be on the line! However, a growth mindset helps you embrace risks by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Yes, you may fail. But failure is really just painful feedback that tells us how to get better for next time.
#4. Show Yourself Self-Compassion
To give yourself grace is to show yourself self-compassion.
To show yourself grace is to see yourself as someone who has shown up as a vulnerable person that is doing their best with the tools they have.
Self-compassion is what you feel for yourself when you are understanding of your failures. It is when you build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down with self-criticism.
This involves embracing tough emotions to rise stronger after failure, instead of running from them.
In the end, you are enough and you are worthy. When you believe that you are worthy, it means that you don’t need to hustle to prove yourself in any way. You are worthy as you are without changing a thing about yourself.
For more on embracing yourself from a place of worthiness, check out our summary of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.
Showing yourself this level of self-compassion is pretty powerful when it comes to learning to give yourself some grace.
It means that you will find it easier to accept that you make mistakes and fail sometimes, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are still worthy, and you are enough.
#5. Find Inspiration to Give Yourself Some Grace
The least effective way to give yourself grace is to just sit there and tell yourself to. We all need encouragement and inspiration from something outside ourselves from time to time.
And giving grace is no different!
Everyone has struggled with being too hard on themselves in some way. And the stories of others have the transformative power to help you learn to accept your own mistakes in order to give yourself some grace.
I always knew that I was a perfectionist, but I never understood why, or why I responded to failure and setbacks in the way I did. Reading books like The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown helped me understand myself and work with myself to let go of perfection.
There are many great quotes from The Gifts of Imperfection that you will find inspirational as you embark on your own journey to make a habit of showing yourself grace.
For more inspiration to give yourself some grace, check out our Brené Brown definition poster set. These three definitions are inspired by quotes from the Gifts of Imperfection.
Start To Give Yourself Grace Today
It will always be easier to beat yourself up then to give yourself grace. But when everything seems to go wrong, remember to give yourself credit for what went right!
Perfection is an impossible standard that many people will try to hold you to. But in the end, you can only manage your own expectations of yourself. And these are the only expectations that matter!
We all want to do our best in everything we do. But it is important to remember that there is a big difference between always doing our best and always being the best. So, give yourself some grace!
If you need more inspiration to show yourself grace our collection of 75 quotes about giving yourself grace!
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who is hard on themselves when things don’t work out, this post could be just what they need!