Have you ever thought you just might be your own worst enemy?
I wish I had a nickel for every time I went against my gut, ignored my intuition or just didn’t act in my own best interests.
For example, there have been many times when I am exhausted but before I can stop for the day, I have to finish that last thing on my to-do list and end up making a mess of it. Then, I’m faced with a bigger to do item and have to deal with my frustrations and anger at myself. Or, I tell myself that because I can I should and end up ‘should’-ing all over myself with unintended consequences.
And, of course, there is the classic high-speed chase I undertake to handle all that is ahead of me trying to beat the clock to the finish line moving as fast as I can and crashing into all kinds of things that only make my day more hectic and chaotic. All the time getting up, brushing myself off and saying, ‘I’ve got this…too’
Does any of this ring a bell with you? The crazy part is that after I ignored my own internal warning system and made these crazy mistakes or missteps, I began to rationalize and justify why I did it. I tried to make it okay that I didn’t follow my instincts or I overrode my exhaustion gauge and tried to run on empty. I told myself ‘well, you didn’t have any choice. It had to be done and no one else was doing it.’ Or, ‘this is an unusual circumstance or time and I won’t have to be this busy or ______ (fill in the blank) again. And my favorite one is ‘well, it isn’t that bad – I can fix this.’
There seemed to be no end to my ability to justify my inability to recognize I had limits.
Then, I learned how to be more grace-filled with myself. I have learned to say “Ok, Nance, you over did it that time so name it and claim it as your choice. Then, I follow it up with, “how can you make sure this doesn’t happen again” and other important questions like “is this really that important”, “are you willing to risk another disaster in order to prove you can do it”, “whose job is it anyway,” and “what boundary needs to be set here”?
All of these questions allow me the breathing room to evaluate, take accountability for my actions and then let go with grace in order to move forward in a new direction rather than just repeating this scenario over and over and over again.
Are you good at giving yourself a little bit of grace, engaging in a little bit of self-reflection and finding a bigger perspective in the midst of a day or month or year where you continually find yourself on the receiving end of unwanted consequences based on your own unwise decisions?
I hope so because I have found it makes life a lot less stressful and more of a learning adventure rather than a repeat sit-com where no one ends up laughing.