Extending Yourself Grace in Your 20s
posted on September 10, 2019 | by Victoria Broomfield
A term commonly used in my home growing up, and also still to this day, is grace. My mom would always encourage my sisters and me to give ourselves a “two-week grace period” anytime we took on something new or were going through some sort of change in our life.
In our family, that meant for two weeks you were allowed to ask questions, make mistakes, forget a step, and you had to let yourself off the hook for it. We were never allowed to judge our experience until after that two weeks passed and we felt more adjusted! As I got older and gained more understanding of what extending grace meant, I realized why it’s so important to allow a grace period in the early stages of something new.
What is it?
But what even is grace? Maybe it’s not something that has come up a lot in your life. Let’s define it a little better before we dive deeper into it. In my family, to put it simply, grace is letting things go that are not defining of who you are. A very important concept when you’re in your twenties! Channel your inner Elsa and let that shit GO.
Giving yourself grace looks different for everyone. Maybe you just joined a gym for the first time in years or started a new class. Maybe you are moving to a new city or you’re starting a new job. Whatever it is, things are new and you’re adjusting. Let yourself off the hook for the things that do not define you. Let go of the “stupid” questions that you ask while you’re learning. Let go of the doubtful thoughts of whether your new boss likes you yet. Let go of the silly mistakes. And most importantly, don’t judge your abilities based off of those first couple of weeks. You’re human and you are going to face confusion, especially in new beginnings! Give yourself a grace-period, or some time to let yourself off the hook from your normal standards.
How it helps
Allowing yourself a grace period when you’re going through something new can really make a difference in your overall experience. It gives you a chance to focus on what’s important at the time, and not sweat the small stuff that doesn’t even matter in the beginning. Because guess what? It really doesn’t matter!
Whoever is taking you through this new journey, whether it’s your family, a teacher, an employer, they know that it takes some getting used to. They don’t expect you to know everything or be perfect from the very beginning, so why should you? A grace period really allows you to focus on the new opportunities, forget about the mishaps, and enjoy the ride (more on acknowledging your successful moments here). It takes that unnecessary pressure off, which usually ends up in a smoother adjustment phase because you’re in a more positive and clear headspace!
The first three years in my twenties have been filled with change. Some small and some life-changing. But no matter the extent of the change, I am constantly leaning on grace to keep me focused through those challenging stages.
How to apply it
Like I said before, it looks different for everyone depending on the changes you are facing. Implementing self-extended grace into your daily life can be challenging because we sometimes forget to remind ourselves. Or maybe we are having trouble letting go of our high expectations for ourselves.
It takes practice to change your perspective, just like it does with anything else. Gather the negative thoughts so you can set them free. Whether it is a daily reminder on your phone or a verbal affirmation in the mirror every morning, take those small steps to remind yourself you are human and that you deserve grace. Remind yourself to let go of the things that don’t define you.
Grace is an important pillar in my family, so it feels really special to be able to share something so personal with you guys. We are human and our twenties are full of change. Sometimes it’s easy to get focused on the wrong things and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
So don’t forget to extend yourself grace when going through new experiences. Doing this will truly allow you to fully enjoy the ride. Let those moments go and remind yourself that those silly mishaps do not define you! You are deserving of grace. Remember that.