What happens when you’ve given all you’ve got, but you still don’t think it’s enough? Do you give up or give yourself credit for simply showing up? I’ve had to learn lots about this, particularly giving myself credit for giving exactly what I have in a situation.
We grow up learning that we have to give it our all, but not always being told that if it doesn’t look the way everyone expects it to look it’s okay. There’s a certain expectation that goes along with effort. If you put in a certain amount, then the result should be a certain output. That’s basic math, right? But what happens when that formula doesn’t add up?
A funny story for you. When I was in the 3rd grade I became really chubby. Let’s just say some things happened and the need to move became mandatory. As a fix I was enrolled in soccer, which I had never played before, but it’s an active sport, so easy solution. Even though this made sense, I knew nothing of the game and was very out of shape. In my first game I was placed at the half back position and it was a complete disaster! I ran to one end of the field in time to see the ball switch to the other end of the field. This happened the entire game and there were tears...lots of tears. I can still see my dad yelling and running the sideline to get me to move. I can laugh now but it wasn’t funny back then. I gave what I had and it wasn’t near enough. Was I wrong? Of course not, I didn’t know any better. I worked with everything I had and gave my all. Turns out, I came up very short in this situation but that’s okay.
Health hasn’t always been my friend. For that reason I’ve had to learn what my body can or can’t do. It’s meant compromising plans and sometimes relationships because people didn’t always understand what I was doing or why I set a boundary for an activity. When health is the priority you get really clear on what you are willing to do and when. Even then, you have layers of that depending on the day. One day 100% really is that. You’re firing on all cylinders and everything just lines up. Another you are at 75% and your best is just that. But your all doesn’t align with everyone else’s 100% because you simply don’t have it. What do you do?
A few things have helped me change my perspective on this.
- It’s never safe to compare yourself to others. When I realized how different my “race” is, it became much easier to stay in my lane and focus on my own life instead of others. I started thinking about what I was going through to get through my days and how each person really has their own journey, which can consist of completely different goals or objectives. That’s not my business, my goals and objectives are. How I fare in that, that’s up to me.
- Giving what I can is enough. When you realize we each have our own journeys, it’s much easier to look at your life to see how to focus your time and energy. Some days you can give 110% and cross everything off your to-do list with time to spare. Others, you have exactly 60% and prioritizing is the name of the game. Neither situation is right or wrong, rather a circumstance. When you are able to see this, it’s easier to cut yourself a little slack when you can’t push like you want.
- Give yourself credit. I didn’t use to celebrate myself. I was great at celebrating others, but always belittled my own accomplishments because I was supposed to do them. Well, that changed. I started giving myself credit for showing up. Yup, simply showing up and giving what I could. I also look at progress to see how far I’ve come and give myself credit for that. This makes the hard times easier and the easy times, well, better. When you learn to celebrate yourself for showing up when you don’t feel your best, you build compassion. And when you have that, it can go a long way for yourself and others.
So, are you giving enough?