Life can feel pretty unpredictable sometimes. Even when we have a rock-solid plan, things can still come up and change, causing us to totally derail, go completely off course, and leave us trying to navigate which direction we’re now heading. Things don’t always go as planned, and it can feel really tough, especially at the moment. Let today be your official reminder to always be kind to yourself.
For a specific example, look at 2020 – for most of us, our worlds were completely shaken up and our plans were probably altered to some extent. If you were going to travel in April 2020, you may have found yourself stuck at home. If you were to going to walk at graduation in June 2020, you may have found yourself celebrating online instead. If you were going to start a new job in a big company in a major city, your first day may have taken place in your living room. We missed out on a ton of memories in 2020, and while it kept us safe and healthy, it can still be extremely hard to think of the “what if’s” from the year.
Things happen differently than planned all of the time, outside of the pandemic. Imagine, for a second, that you went to the store to get a new speaker. You’ve spent hours looking at them online, and found one that works for you – it’s right in the middle of the price range of speakers, it’s in stock, and it’s exactly what you need. But when you get to the store to pick it up, you notice another one sitting there – it was originally more expensive, but since it’s on sale for the same price, you go for it instead. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but you’re immediately met with the benefits. These times are amazing, exciting, and let’s be real, leave us with a hop in our step. Then there are the times when we show up to pick up the speaker, but quickly it’s is sold out, discontinued, and the only other option is more expensive. This time it is much tougher to process.
Life happens, and we don’t get the promotion that we know we’re perfect for, we fight with our best friends, we break up, we make up, and everything in between. We create a plan for the future because not only does it help us to set ourselves up for success, but it also gives us something to look forward to – which is extremely good. But while we’re making these plans, our future has already written the story, and sometimes, it looks a little different than what we envisioned. When things don’t go as planned, you need to remain kind to yourself – and we’re going to give you a couple of tips for that today.
Be Kind to Yourself When Things Don’t Go As Planned
1. Beating yourself up makes it harder to change
Let’s start by addressing one reason why you need to be kind to yourself. There are countless reasons why you may wish to change – it may be a personal decision for growth and development or something that needs to happen when things don’t go as planned. Regardless, it can be easy to slip into the mindset of blaming yourself for whatever happened. According to licensed therapist (/TikTok star) Amanda E. White, “beating yourself up actually makes it harder to change.” Her recommendation is to show yourself some compassion instead.
2. Think of the bigger picture
It can feel extremely easy to get so focused on the thing happening right in front of us that we forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. What’s really going on here? Is it a big deal, or is it feeling worse because you’re in the middle of it with emotions attached to it? Things have a habit of feeling so much worse when we’re in the thick of it. When we step back we may realize it’s not as big of a deal, or that it’s something we can handle easier than we initially expected.
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3. Give yourself unconditional love
You are the only you that will ever exist. You are the only one with your own thoughts, opinions, likes, and dislikes. You’re an original, a work of art, and a limited edition one-of-a-kind. Do you need to be perfect to be a masterpiece? Absolutely not. Mistakes happen and things don’t go as planned, but that isn’t a reason to beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and remember to always love yourself.