I am doing my best (and so are you).

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Don’t get me wrong — I know sometimes when I am doing my best, it’s not good enough, and that sometimes me doing the best I can looks very different from another time when I am doing my best.

Our conditioning.

We have been conditioned to forgive others, but not conditioned to forgive ourselves.
 
From when we are very small, our family, or our community, or our school, or our church maybe, has taught us that we should at least try to ‘forgive those who trespass against us’, so subconsciously we have that aim for most of our adult lives as well as a first response.
 

Our capability.

We think we know what are capable of, so when we fall short of that mark, we become easily frustrated.

I think we always hold ourselves to a higher account than we hold other people. Because we think we know what we are capable of, or what we want to be, even if that is unrealistic or unfair, we still aim at that mark for our own growth, and become very unforgiving when we don’t make it.
 
Conversely, we don’t really know what other people’s benchmark is or what they are truly capable of, so we cut them more slack than we would ourselves.

And shame doesn’t shake easily.

Frustration with ourselves and our own shortcomings (compared with the high bar that most of us set for ourselves) can lead to a consuming feeling of shame. This isn’t the result of being frustrated by someone else in our life which might end up in anger, or resentment for instance, instead.

And shame sucks man.

We can’t control everyone else, but we expect to be able to control ourselves (at least). 

I speak at lot about controlling those things in our life that we can actually control – to control the ‘controllables’ and stop worrying (as much) about changing the things we can’t change. Well, not at that moment anyway.

So, when we feel that we are lacking in self-control, it’s really easy to get down on ourselves. As an adult, we expect to have a certain level of self-control in every situation, on every day, but that often just isn’t realistic.

If we were perfect people, living in a perfect world, things would be different. But we’re not, and we are not, so they’re not.

So, moving forward, how do we stay on an more even keel, where we understand that even when we feel like we are not doing our best, or even that others might not be doing their best with us?

 

WATCH

I’m doing my best
(and so are you).

Pretty self-explanatory. If I get all this way, I have actually earned being able to move on and forward into healing. So I look forward to tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Being better each day.

 

Nick Bowditch

Nick Bowditch

Nick Bowditch is a motivational speaker, best-selling author, of 'Reboot Your Thinking' and 'Actually, it IS all about me', and therapist. He is also a successful (and unsuccessful) entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, inspirational storytelling expert, blogger, he makes podcasts, he's a mental health advocate, a sexual abuse victim, and someone who lives with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is also a survivor.

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