Don’t Be So Dang Hard On Yourself

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From the desk of Grace Lange, 

Growing up, I would have adults and friends say to me all the time, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” or “You are just so hard on yourself, you’ve got to let it go.” 

My entire life I have pushed myself to extreme limits to either be the best, to win, or to simply not fail… 

And this would often lead to me feeling exhausted, angry, and continually seeking more. 

I was SO hard on myself. 

woman in red t shirt looking at her laptop
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I wanted to be the best at everything I did, and when I would fail, I would beat myself up so bad that it would have the opposite effect on whatever I was trying to do. 

And at the time, I thought everyone was the same way. I thought everyone pushed themselves as hard as I did, and I thought everyone wanted to win or be the best like I did… 

But apparently that’s not true! 

Now I have recently started coaching 12u softball, and our team is made up of sixteen 5th and 6th grade girls. 

This has been such a fun experience for me, and I have absolutely loved having the chance to be a mentor to these young girls! 

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Coaching has taught me a lot, though. 

The biggest thing I have recognized is that there are girls who are just as hard on themselves as I was/am when I was young. 

They beat themselves up for one bad throw or for striking out one time, and for some, it is impossible for them to bounce back. 

Now this has got me thinking… 

Why do we do this? 

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Why do we beat ourselves up for making small mistakes? 

Whether it is in sports or in life, we are all way too hard on ourselves. 

So how do we fix it? 

Well… the solution is practicing giving ourselves grace and not taking life too seriously! 

And I know you you thinking that that is way easier said than done, but here are some ways that I have practiced giving myself grace in my adult life, and some ways I have taught the girls I coach: 

  1. Physically shake it off: When we are overwhelmed, upset, or angry, one of the best things we can do is to physically shake off the stress. Whether it is jumping around and shaking out our arms and legs or taking a few deep breaths, the act of doing this can be a physical reminder for us! 
  2. Laugh at yourself: We all take life way way way too seriously. The next time you make a mistake, just laugh! I guarantee you will feel better!
  3. It’s not the end of the world: One of the best things to remind ourselves when we make a mistake is that no one died, the world isn’t ending, and tomorrow is a new day. Life will go on, and we will be okay! 
  4. It’s a bad day, not a bad life: When we get in ruts of being too hard on ourselves, it is easy to take things to the extremes. Take a second to remind yourself that this too shall pass. 

These little reminders may be things that you have heard before, but I believe that a reminder is always a good thing. 

We all are way too dang hard on ourselves, and it’s time to make a change. 

What does God say about this?

One of the most powerful things I have been told is this: 

God has created you perfectly and wonderfully in his eyes. When you are hard on yourself or unhappy with yourself, could you imagine how that makes God feel? 

Constantly trying to change yourself and being hard on yourself is like telling God that he didn’t do a good job creating you… 

Which is the biggest lie you could ever tell yourself! 

So how about we make God proud and love ourselves! 

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

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