Get Powerful Results by Not Giving Yourself Grace

giving your self grace--a reprieve or clemency--keeps you stuck

I have a friend who often says, “I’m giving myself grace.” Typically, this is when she finds herself in circumstances that provide a good reason—excuse—not to take action. Each time she lets herself off the hook by giving herself grace, she gives her power to her circumstances and stays stuck.

Then, she doesn’t get the results she desires. How could she? She is allowing herself to wait until she feels differently to do something to change her circumstances. How could she get different results while waiting for her circumstances to change before she takes action to create what she desires?

She allows herself to be a victim of her external and internal circumstances. When those circumstances change, she will take action.

But what if they don’t change? I’m sure you realize what type of results she’ll get.


A Little Grace Goes a Long Way

Sure… Give yourself a little grace to gather your wits about you before you take action. Allow yourself time to feel better, grieve, feel stronger, or figure out your next step.

But don’t give yourself too much grace or make it a habit to let yourself off the hook for long. You’ll never move toward your goals or achieve your dreams if you do. You’ll be too busy coddling yourself and waiting for something to change.

I may sound unfeeling or like I lack compassion. I’m not and I don’t.

I want you—and other people like you—to move toward your goals, find ways to change your circumstances, and do your best to realize your potential. I want you to stand in your power and be someone who can take action to create what matters to you.

None of that will happen if you continue giving yourself grace every time the sh*t hits the fan and you find yourself faced with difficult circumstances. So remember that a little grace goes a long way.

The Meaning of Giving Yourself Grace

If you don’t understand the phrase “giving yourself grace,” let me explain. According to most definitions, grace means: “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness or courtesy.” So, giving yourself grace is being kind to yourself and courteous of your feelings or needs.

Grace is equated to “clemency,” which is “an act of leniency or disposition to be merciful.” Thus, giving yourself grace means being forgiving, sympathetic, lenient, merciful, and indulgent with yourself.

Additionally, Grace is a “reprieve.” Therefore, giving yourself grace means you decide to cancel or postpone something, like taking new action, making a decision, or changing a habit.

Giving yourself grace is a bit like offering yourself “wiggle room.” It’s you finding a reason not to take action under the guise of “being good to or caring for yourself.”

But here’s the truth. When you give yourself grace, you have interpreted your circumstances as hard or uncomfortable. As a result, you decide you should get or need a break to recoup your strength, courage, positivity, and motivation. Maybe you believe you need self-care, time, or healing before you can feel strong enough to face whatever lies before you.

Giving yourself grace is all about finding a reason not to take action. But that reason is an excuse. Too often, giving yourself grace is procrastination or resistance—plain and simple.

Giving Yourself Grace Keeps You Stuck

There are times when you do need to give yourself a little reprieve—to take a little time to recover from whatever you’ve experienced. But granting yourself a reprieve or clemency can become habitual and stop your forward movement. Continually giving yourself a reprieve or clemency keeps you stuck.

You must take action to change, deal, or cope with your circumstances. Otherwise, things will remain the same. You will stay the same.

Sometimes, small steps are enough; other times, a significant jump forward is needed. But nothing changes unless something changes. And something will only change if you take action.

Giving yourself grace ensures you remain in your current circumstances even though you don’t like them. In fact, it lets you wallow in them and prolongs that experience for one simple reason: you aren’t doing something to change the circumstances.

A Little Tough Love Goes a Long Way

Just as a bit of grace goes a long way, the same is true of tough love. After a brief period of grace, push yourself to get moving and make changes. Love yourself enough to not give yourself grace.

Create a challenge for yourself. For example, you could challenge yourself to drop four pounds in four weeks. Commit to taking that challenge. Stick with your meal and exercise plan, and don’t allow yourself to deviate…no matter what.

Or pursue a goal despite whatever is going on in your life. If you want to be an author, write for five minutes daily in the morning—even when you feel depressed, sick, or discouraged. No leniency!

Take a baby step that moves you in the direction of new circumstances. Or leap in the direction of your desires.

Decide to be someone different. Change your identity. If you take that one decisive action, your habits and mindsets will align with who you are being. And as you change on the inside, your outer world will change, too.

And don’t let yourself off the hook. That’s the tough-love part. Be self-integral. Keep your promises to yourself… no matter what.

No reason not to act. No excuses for taking a day off. No giving yourself grace.

To stop giving yourself grace, you must:

  • Decide to be someone who takes action no matter what life throws their way.
  • Be firm with yourself.
  • Be self-integral.
  • Put boundaries around your grace periods.
  • Stop making excuses.
  • Top finding reasons why you need to give yourself grace.

An Excuse to Not Do the Hard Stuff

More often than not, Grace is an excuse not to do the hard or scary stuff. You want that reprieve. You desire clemency.

That response to challenging circumstances originates in your brain. The reptilian part of your brain is tasked with keeping you safe. It does not want you to do anything or find yourself in situations that might endanger you. However, it sees anything new, hard, or uncomfortable as scary even though you aren’t in any danger.

As a result, this part of your brain encourages you to give yourself grace. After all, if you let yourself off the hook you won’t do anything that makes the reptilian brain feel the need to protect you.

When you realize that your brain is working on overdrive, you can tell it to settle down and allow you to take actions that lead to desired results. Or you can dismiss your thoughts about giving yourself grace.

Confidently assure yourself that you don’t need a repreive. Instead, affirm that picking yourself up and moving forward in new and different ways will get you the desired results.

Allow Source to Provide Grace

Grace also has a spiritual nature. It is often defined as “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” It’s “a virtue coming from God” or “a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.”

You may have heard the teaching of Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” If you take action to help you get desired results, the universe conspires to help you.

For that to happen, you must stop giving yourself grace and allow a Higher Power to do that for you. As written in Positive Thinking For A Time Like This by Norman Vincent Peale, “Let go and let God.”

Grace is also “ease and suppleness of movement or bearing.” Rather than giving yourself a reprieve or being lenient with yourself, decide to move forward easily and gracefully. Allow yourself to flow toward the results you want. And then open to receiving grace.

Do you give yourself grace too often? Tell me about your experience, and share this post with someone who might benefit from reading it.

Imagine harnessing your powerful creative ability and creating what you desire. What might become possible? As a transformational coach and certified High-Performance Coach, I’ve seen my clients become people who are able to take the actions necessary to create what matters to them most. You can do the same. Click here, and schedule a quick meeting with me. Let’s see if we are a good fit to work together and what type of coaching would best help you get inspired results.

Photo courtesy of miloszg.

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