Do you feel pressure to constantly improve? Big goals and lofty aspirations can be motivating and exciting — but they can also be stressful. Maybe you take on too much, compare yourself to others, or are your own harshest critic. Instead, resolve to lighten up (on yourself) — and experience greater peace, joy, and resilience!
“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens!” ~ Louise Hay
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” ~ Unknown
Ramping up for this new decade, chances are you’ve considered ways to push yourself towards greater personal and professional success. Instead of relentlessly driving yourself towards your goals, choose to lighten up — and feel freer and happier.
Being your own toughest critic might motivate you. But that kind of pressure takes a mental, emotional, and physical toll. Burdening yourself with extreme expectations, constant comparisons, or negative self-talk will suck the joy from your life and leave you exhausted and discouraged. How might things change if you treated yourself with compassion — the same way you would a close friend? Ask yourself, “How can I be lighter and kinder to myself?”
Assess your own need to lighten up by answering the following questions:
- Do you second-guess yourself?
- Do you downplay your accomplishments and triumphs?
- Do you worry about falling short or beat yourself up over mistakes?
- Do you avoid taking risks for fear of failure?
REMEMBER – IT’S OKAY:
- To make mistakes;
- To have bad days;
- To be less than perfect;
- To do what’s best for you;
- To be yourself.
One more thing. When you expect perfection from yourself, it’s not easy to accept less from those around you. I encourage you to embrace these mantras: “Seek progress not perfection,” and “It’s good enough for now.” Give yourself and others the grace to be imperfect.
Tips to Lighten Up (On Yourself!)
- Just breathe. When you’re feeling stressed, challenged, or just having a hard day, stop and take some deep breaths. Sometimes deep breathing does the trick!
- Set boundaries. You are the master of the energy you let into your life. Place limits and barriers around negative relationships and seek out positive people to bring light into your life.
- Ask for help. Remember — you do not have to carry every burden alone. To ease your load, reach out to friends and family for support.
- Say no. Examine your motives for saying continually “yes” to others — so you can free yourself to say “yes” to your own interests and needs.
- Ditch the comparison trap. Stop beating yourself up by comparing yourself to others. Take an inventory of your assets and strengths — and feel your confidence and resilience grow and your mental load immediately lighten.
- Practice positive self-talk. When you hear your self talk turning negative, lighten up by giving yourself a compliment. Reframe your inner monologue to be more encouraging and supportive.
- Practice forgiveness. Instead of dwelling on past failures or injuries, resolve to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes — and do the same for others.
As your coach I am dedicated to helping you reach your fullest potential and live the life you love. I offer you a proven process and life-changing experience to be intentional about your personal and professional growth — including how to lighten up to experience the freedom, growth, and joy you deserve.