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Forgive yourself

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with accepting negative outcomes. Whether it was receiving poor grades, or performing poorly in a golf tournament, I always let things that didn’t go my way affect my mood too drastically, for too long. 

One outlet I have always chosen for my frustration when it comes to golf is throwing golf clubs. These sorts of actions are – to say the least – frowned upon in the golf world, and they certainly aren’t actions that I am proud of. I have been on the receiving end of my fair share of criticism. 

But through all of my years of playing golf, through all of the lectures I’ve received from coaches and tournament officials about my behavior, only one person has actually been able to pinpoint the issue I deal with, an issue I have only recently started to address within myself. 

I’ve had various people throughout my life call me a whiner, tell me to accept responsibility for my actions, to stop blaming my equipment, and tell me that throwing my clubs won’t make me play better. 

Most people wouldn’t be able to handle the cruel things I call myself after a poor golf shot, or a bad grade on a test.

It wasn’t until one day this past summer, in a discussion with my mother, that she pinpointed the issue I had never been able to recognize: She told me that I need to learn to forgive myself.  

It’s an internal struggle that I know many others face. It’s a product of our insecurities. And social media exacerbates our feelings of inadequacy and constant desire for validation in our increasingly narcissistic world.

To any of you out there dealing with these same kinds of internal battles, I know how you feel. I know the crippling anxiety and self-loathing that comes with not achieving what you had hoped. 

And most of all, I know the astronomical expectations you set for yourself.

So, for any of you out there who can relate to what I am saying, I urge you to learn to forgive yourself, for your mental health and overall well-being.

You can keep your high expectations and your work ethic, but learn to accept you cannot always be your best. The level of happiness I now feel is something I never could have experienced before. I will continue on this journey with you. 

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
Forgive yourself