When I heard the theme for this month was grace, I immediately smiled. Not because I thought it was an easy subject to write about, but because I instantly pictured my friend, Grace. Her quick smile, her caring questions, and her ability to help me think both objectively and subjectively about the things on my mind stand out. Moreover, she has taught me – and continues to teach me – to be kinder to myself.
The term “grace” is defined as a posture of empathy, understanding, acceptance, kindness, validation, favor, faith, and goodwill. This definition aptly describes my friend. I had the good fortune of meeting Grace when I was transitioning from being a daughter to a caregiver. Suddenly, I found myself doing tasks I’d never imagined, questioning my efficiency, doubting whether I was improving a dire situation, and simply feeling overwhelmed.
My friend Grace initially listened, then posed questions. Through those questions, she started guiding me toward realizing that I needed to be kinder to myself. It was during those conversations that I understood that no matter how much we chase perfection, it’s an elusive goal. She gave me the “grace” to accept a challenging path, to understand my limitations, to recognize that seeking help was a sign of strength, not weakness, and to navigate my journey in a way that respected the past, the present, and even the future.
As I advanced and continued to progress in my professional endeavors, I started implementing Grace’s teachings in my work life too.
I’ve realized that, like many of us, I often set higher expectations for myself than for others. I’ve learned not to demand perfection from myself. I recall one of my first facilitations during a ten-day training. I introduced a video and mistakenly named an incorrect actor. I was mortified. Yet, with humor, I pointed out the contrasting delivery styles of the two actors, steering us back on track. That night, all I could think of was that mistake.
Reflecting on my discussions with Grace, I understand that instead of dwelling on the error, I should’ve focused on the recovery. It’s essential to acknowledge areas of improvement. Now, I take time to assess my performance more objectively, pinpointing aspects I’d like to tweak “next” time and recognizing my successes. A small piece of advice: dedicate more time to ponder on your accomplishments. Aim for a 2:1 ratio of success to mistakes. I assure you, you’re doing better than you think.
I’m still working on integrating these lessons into my life, but I also hope I’m passing them on to others. So, when this month’s blog topic was announced, I smiled, thought of my friend Grace, and immediately dialed her number. Thanks, Grace.
About the Expert
Cheryl Grazier is the Principal of Cheryl Grazier Consulting LLC and has over 20 years of business experience in both the public and private sector as a trusted advisor in the areas of culture change, strategy implementation, program management, team and leadership development. Cheryl has worked in a variety of industries, including communications, government agencies, governmental contracting, and real estate.
She is particularly passionate about developing people skills and leadership capabilities for individuals.
- Cheryl holds a Master of Science in Instructional Design from Walden University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
- She also holds several industry certifications including MBTI, DiSC, and FIRO-B.