OUR OWN WORST CRITIC
What would life look like if we all started to show ourselves the grace we naturally show others on a day to day basis?
If you're a total jerk and treating people poorly is your natural state, then this blog is not meant for you. You should seek out therapy or take a relaxing vacation. Today, I'm speaking to the 99% of us who allow negative self-talk and damaging internal narratives to dictate how we see ourselves and affect the way we go about our daily lives.
I just got back from the most incredible vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (seriously, go check out my Instagram), where I was able to love on my partner, connect with friends and enjoy the beauty of a country and a people that cannot be described in words. If you've never traveled south of the border...DO IT! The Mexican people are so kind and full of joy; I always leave my time there full of renewed hope for humanity and this time was no different.
However, the trip almost didn't happen.
On the morning we were set to meet at the airport and fly down to Mexico together, things went wrong for all eight of us. Two friends put the wrong names on their flight itinerary, a couple others cut it way too close and our vehicle full of four hit roadblock after roadblock. What we thought would be a peaceful early morning drive to LAX, quickly turned into a disaster of epic proportions.
I'm not going to get into the details of it all now, because we've since exchanged apologies and moved on, but that car ride was BRUTAL and I was less than kind. Actually, I went into "get shit done" mode and when that happens, I tend to take charge and lose all empathy for opposing viewpoints or suggestions. On one hand, it's a great quality to have and gets results. Had I not spoken up and taken charge when I did, the four of us would not have made our flight. On the other hand, I could've been more kind and as soon as the chaos of the moment had passed, I felt awful.
We'd made our flight, but at what cost? Guilt started to creep in and I started to apologize. First stubbornly, because old habits die hard, but then with deep sincerity. I've worked so hard these past few years at growing as a man and letting go of so many of the self destructive habits I'd picked up throughout my life. I started getting really mad at myself, wondering how anyone would ever be interested in by my book or hearing me speak if they knew the real me, because the real me is highly flawed and very much a work in progress. I was not showing myself an ounce of GRACE.
You see, my boyfriend Emile had spent months planning this beautiful vacation and the moment we realized we might miss our flight, I became Poppa Bear! I asked what he wanted to do, then TOLD the rest of the car that the topic was no longer up for discussion and that the decision had been made. It was the right decision, I never doubted that, but my delivery was AWFUL and I hurt the feelings of one of our dear friends in the process. That's never ok.
When things cooled off and we knew we would make it to Mexico, we had a private discussion and she was kind and gracious, as was I. We had a human moment and later in the day, as I reflected on that moment, I realized that it's BECAUSE of my flaws that my book will succeed and it is BECAUSE of my flaws that my speaking career will continue to grow. I don't claim to be perfect, because perfection DOES NOT EXIST!
What I can promise you all is that I will always be fully transparent and give you every bit of me that I can, because I firmly believe that each of our stories holds power and if I'm going to believe in all of you and show you the grace you deserve, I need to be able to do the same for myself. So, here I am.
I'm a good guy with a huge heart, but sometimes I let me emotions get the best of me. Who can relate? What I've learned is that the goal is not to be perfect all the time, but to learn from the moments when we fall short. I fell short that morning, I've taken ownership, learned a powerful lesson and decided to share it with you.
I'd love to hear your stories. When have you fallen short and revealed a part of yourself that you know is not your best, truest self and how did you learn from that mistake and grow as a person? Do you have any tips for showing the same grace to yourself that you show to others, or are you still your own worst critic? There are no wrong answers, but I really am curious to know what works for everyone else. Please share below!