Advice for Every Year of College

Small Victories, Not So Small After All (Guest Post)

On Sunday I woke up in a panic. And yet, it was a small victory. Because the panic wasn’t induced by anxiety, but rather waking up ten minutes before I needed to be at work.

And this is what this past week has taught me: small victories matter.

Small victories usually go unnoticed, because 1) we don’t give ourselves enough grace and 2) we aren’t changing our perspective.

“Be patient with yourself.
Be patient with yourself.
Be patient with yourself.”

God has been repeating these words to me for the past week. So, I thought Hey, He’s been pretty persistent– I better give it a shot. When I began being intentionally more gracious to myself, a huge shift happened: I noticed more, I appreciated more, I accomplished more and I stressed less.

I noticed how tall my plant is growing.
I appreciated my legs (the same legs I use to be insecure about) and how they are strong enough to ride my bike to and from work.
I accomplished four poems I’m proud of in one and a half days.
I didn’t stress over silly mistakes I made at work.

I noticed how tall and wise my little sisters are becoming.
I appreciated others more.
I accomplished the start of my succulent propagation.
I didn’t stress over my daily insecurities.

And guess what, I was only 10 minutes late to work that day and only slightly resembled a zombie.

Instead of getting angry at myself about what I haven’t accomplished and writing a mental list of everything I should have done better I’m choosing to be patient with myself– giving myself the same grace I’d give my best friend. I’m learning to zone in and celebrate small victories because, actually, they aren’t small at all.

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Now at 22, I am slowly learning to stand in front of a mirror and love what I see. This is a small victory. Because my love for what I see finally does not stem from exercise and healthy eating results, others’ compliments, or anything else, except the fact that I am a breathing, living human being with immense value and purpose.

I can interact and help customers at work and calm my breathing without having an anxiety attack. This is a small victory. Because I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was 13 years old, but it finally does not consume me, it is not my identity.
Small victories are all about progress– how far we have come. Small victories are all about noticing what we couldn’t have if we were writing a long negative “I should have done that better” list. Small victories are all about being patient with yourself.

Thank you for small victories– how big they actually are. thank you that you allow me the will to breathe instead of panic. Thank you for reminding me to be patient with myself and that sometimes it’s enough just to be alive.

This was the prayer I scribbled in my journal last week and now it’s my prayer for you. You, the one who is weary, anxious, and needs to know that sometimes it’s enough just to be alive. You, the one who has a long list of goals, but a longer list of “I should have done those better.” You, the one who isn’t where they want to be. You, the one who has immense value and purpose– be patient with yourself, because you are no small victory.

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Get to know Angel more over at her blog, Pages of Curiosity & Coffee Spills. Also, make sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

9 thoughts on “Small Victories, Not So Small After All (Guest Post)

  • This is beautiful, Angel! I, too, know how hard it is to live with anxiety and self-depricating thoughts. It’s so important to realize that our worth is only and always found in Him. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • So true there are small victories everyday and can sometimes be so easily missed. Enjoying the process of each day and noticing and celebrating the small victories make each day more enjoyable. Being patience with yourself is also quite important, something I am working on everyday. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you Kristin, for your kind words and honesty! It’s a journey I’m constantly learning from πŸ™‚

  • Thank you Julie! That’s usually the way it goes but patience has been a game changer! πŸ™‚

  • Thank you Julie! That’s usually the way it goes but patience has been a game changer! πŸ™‚

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