Sometimes the solution is to soften

When the most powerful thing to do isn’t to "power through," but to soften

Bernadette Cay-Soften

I’m used to “powering through” tough situations. Work hard. Don't look weak.

Last week, I had a lot on my plate. I tried powering through–get up early and put in the hours until things got done.

But they didn’t. I wasn’t making the progress I had expected, then I was blaming myself for it. The cycle continued each hour I put in. I knew that if I continued this way, I would spin my wheels all the way to burnout.

So I tried a different approach. I softened my edges. I gave myself permission to lay down my armor and put down my battering ram–I wasn’t being weak or lazy or a failure to do so. I slowed down and listened to the information in front of me. 

I saw the situation in a new light. Turns out I needed to rest and to take better care of my body. Turns out some items were bigger projects than I had anticipated. Turns out the difference between success and failure doesn't always have the hard edge that separates black from white–there's a soft gradient of gray in between.

I took a walk and had a hot chocolate at a café (which the previous week I would've considered an egregious waste of time) then recalibrated my to-do list. This week is off to a much better start. I’m more effective and having much more fun along the way. 

Sometimes the most powerful thing to do isn’t to power through, but to soften.

“I have embraced my curves and softened my edges. I have laid down my sword and I am a softer, gentler, wiser version of myself. I have stepped into the fullness of myself and my power.” — Amy Jo Goddard, Woman on Fire (Story of Jacqueline)