The last couple of times I’ve played Frisbee or disc golf with anyone, I realized I have a bad habit of talking down to myself when I make a poor shot. Why?
I often imagine others notice my mistakes as much as I do.
It somehow feels awkward to move on without acknowledging or explaining my mistakes. For this reason, I had every intention of avoiding playing disc golf with a group until I became better at the sport. But this morning I woke up to a text from a friend inviting me to join them and several others at the course. For a moment I shook my head at myself, thinking, “Oh, shoot. I told them yesterday that I have discs now.”
After my moment of hesitation, I replied that I’d see them there. It would be good practice, after all. Plus, I really enjoy this group of friends. How awkward could it be, right?
As it turns out, 90% of the time, nobody really cared that I made mistakes.
What’s even better, is that on the rare occasion that someone acknowledged one of my poor throws, it was to offer advice for improvement. Nobody minded that my putts took several extra tries. We all made a point of cheering each other’s good shots and moving on and improving from the poor ones.
Now, if that is how we all treat new people, why shouldn’t I treat myself the same?
Like my friends, I always give grace and lots of love and encouragement to those new to something I am good at. If I treated a newbie the way I mentally treat myself sometimes, they might never want to come back. So why should I treat myself poorly when I am new at something? That thought stopped me dead in my tracks.
Now, that’s my new goal…
Today, and every day going forward, I need to give myself the sort of grace I would give a newbie. No berating mistakes. No making excuses. Just learning, encouraging, and moving forward. It’s going to be a challenge sometimes, but eventually it can become a habit.