Grace, Grace

There are many definitions for the word grace. In therapy, we often talk about the concept of giving oneself grace. This type of grace is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.” To show oneself grace is to simply be kind, courteous, and lenient on yourself.

For those dealing with depression, anxiety, and perfectionism, it is terribly hard to be kind toward yourself. You might think, “this shouldn’t be hard for me. I don’t know why this isn’t working. I need to produce more. I have to be on top of this. Why am I failing!” Guess what? You will not be 100-plus percent all of the time because you too are a whole human being. You are NOT a robot or a machine. And even robots and machines have difficulty at times.

Here are some steps to practice giving yourself grace:

1) Acknowledge that it is helpful for you to give yourself grace
2) Recognize the ways that you are being hard on yourself by paying attention to your self-talk
3) Identify new self-talk that is compassionate and kind
4) Repeat the self-talk over and over again
5) Identify the habits and patterns that enforce a lack of grace
6) Create new behaviors that enforce acts of grace toward yourself

Published by Counseling With Leslie

Leslie Stevens, M.Ed., LCMHC is a North Carolina and Virginia board-certified licensed professional counselor. She co-owns a successful practice in Carrboro, North Carolina. Leslie specializes in helping adults navigate stress, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. Additionally, she is a life strategist, spiritual coach, and writer.

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