Sometimes I come up short on my goals and can be really hard on myself. I strive for the top and hope to come across as smart, strong, and capable. So when I missed sending out Tiny Tips (my compact eLetter to your inbox) on time, I had a chance to break the cycle of having the bar so high.
I asked myself: "Was there a catastrophe? No. Will everyone make it through their week with it a day late? Yes. Did you ruin your reputation? Hardly."
So where was I and what happened? Well, I was bikepacking in the coastal redwoods. Just me, myself, and I. Before leaving, I did my best to pause conversations, put an away message on my email, and finish up last minute work so I could mentally "check out" and physically/spiritually "check in."
But I forgot to finish and schedule the send out for Tiny Tips!
I know, I should probably have a backup Tiny Tips ready to go or prep two weeks in advance, but I don't. Being that I run my coaching group solo, everything is on me to button up before I sign offline and sometimes things fall through the cracks.
The sting of disappointment shot through my body but quickly fizzled out when my mind said, "no biggie, let's write it tomorrow and send it out a day later." Surprisingly, I calmed down within a few minutes. Usually it would have put me in a spiral and a portion of my day would been consumed with pointless worry.
This was my chance to practice being kind towards myself when I feel less than adequate. I believe I was able to do it because I was outside, where I'm typically balanced in mind, body, and spirit.
This concept of, "where were you yesterday?" took on multiple meanings as I reflected further. It could translate to:
Where were you when someone needed you?
What happened when you didn't feel prepared?
Why did you keep eating even though you were full?
What if you followed through on doing the workout?
Why were you late?
How come you didn't see this coming?
Here are a few steps to keep in mind the next time you feel like you didn't reach your potential.
We aren't perfect and are capable of mistakes - and that's OK! It's important to be aware of how you receive yourself in the moment of your mistake (what is your mental chatter like?), how you pivot to move forward, and what will you do differently next time.
Do the next small action step. Do the next tiny action step. Do the next micro action step.
DO SOMETHING! (Take it from me, an expert worrier.)
Tell someone your situation or say it out loud to yourself. Shame grows when you keep those short comings to yourself. Take away shames power by speaking your truth, even if it's uncomfortable or embarrassing.
Remind yourself why it's important to you. Even though you didn't reach your goal to sleep 8 hours last night, take note why it matters in the first place. It will disengage your emotional response.
Your best is your best. We can't all be "on" 100% everyday. Keep your energy kind and gracious towards yourself.