What do we do when we put too much pressure on ourselves? What if we don’t push ourselves enough? There’s a delicate balance between grit and grace — insatiable, relentless opposing forces that both have a vital place in your personal development.

For some of you, grace is the special of the day, and it’s always on tap. Perhaps you had plans in order — meal prep, a workout, learning a new recipe for family dinner, tackling a side project, cleaning a room. And, even though you had no reason not to do it, you simply didn’t do it. Nah, you think, it’s not essential. I can do it later!

Now, if it’s an isolated event, it’s not necessarily a problem! We all have those days. But if it’s a pattern, perhaps you’d feel more accomplished if you exercised some grit and motivated yourself to do the things. Set timers. Write in planners. Set up a way to reward your brain with a little shot of serotonin when you finish a task that needs doing, such as checking a box on a checklist or putting a marble in a jar. It’s FREE (natural) DRUGS.

Meanwhile, perhaps grit is the banner you wave. If you go hard on yourself, your spouse, and your kids, you may be best served in your parenting journey as you learn to balance that relentless push to improve with a healthy dose of compassion. As you learn how to be a conscious parent and cultivate harmony in the home, you are making big changes — often for the first time.

Your children are also learning how to do things for the first time, and chances are they’re even more scared of change than you are. Make it your prerogative to learn to forgive yourself when you make mistakes, and extend that same grace to the people around you as well. As you do this, the burden on your shoulders will feel lighter and people around you will feel their weight lifted as well.

In either case, whether you need more grit or more grace, know your limits. Don’t overdose on either; you will be happier and healthier when you learn to balance the two. As always, remember: you’ve got this!

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