Don’t be so hard on yourself

a-don_t_be_so_hard_on_yourself-1558369This morning, heading in to work in the car, a song came on that got me thinking.  The song is pretty popular at the moment.  It’s called “Don’t be So Hard On Yourself”.

The general sentiment of the song is to give yourself a break.

I’ve heard this song hundreds of times, it’s on my playlist,  but, for some reason, this morning the message hit home.  Maybe it’s the new year and the thoughts it brings…

For most of the entrepreneurs I know, we’re our own worst critic.  “I should have” forms part of our everyday language.  I should have done that differently, I should have known that would happen, I should have worked just that bit harder.  But we already do our best – every day – so, come on, isn’t it time we gave ourselves a break?

While we all have the benefit of 20/20 vision when it comes to hindsight, most of us do the very best we can on a day to day basis.  It’s not as if we make stupid decisions by intention.

The reality is that nobody can predict the future.  No one can predict how someone will react to something.  No one can predict whether your marketing piece will work or will fall on deaf ears.  No one can pre-determine the outcome of a sales call.  You get where I’m going.

Crystal balls don’t exist so we make calculated, best-guess decisions every day.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  That’s just life.

This also applies to us personally.  Entrepreneurs have the propensity to work hard – really hard.  We’ll work six days 15 hours days then hammer ourselves with guilt for not working on the 7th.  Why is that?

It’s well documented that we work best when we’re fully rested and healthy so we’re not doing anyone any favors for wearing our exhaustion like a badge of honour.

Adriana Huffington, in her book, Thrive, opens it with a story about her getting to that point and then waking up on the floor bloodied and bruised after passing out from long hours and working herself into the ground.  It’s not something to be proud of.

What you can be proud of is balance – and achieving it.  And to do that, you have to stop being so hard on yourself.  The world does not end if you don’t work on weekends.  Nor will it really matter if that marketing piece doesn’t go out until Tuesday (actually it will probably work better than day anyway!)

It’s called “perspective”, people.  What does matter is that you look after yourself, that you are there for the people that matter in your life, that you hug more, smile more, dance more, breathe more and laugh more.

So don’t be so hard on yourself, huh?

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