Keeping Things in Perspective

Do you have something that you’re struggling with or that you keep beating yourself up over? Especially if it’s something that you don’t have a lot of experience with, or if you have never been taught much about, you may not realize that struggling is normal.

It might be time to put things in perspective. Bear with me for a moment and give this exercise a try. (Really do it, because it’ll take less than a minute.)

A quick exercise

Grab a piece of paper and write out your first and last name. Now switch hands and do it again. What do the two versions of your name look like to you?

Here’s mine:

Chances are, you think the second version looks worse than your normal handwriting. And it probably took you a lot longer to write your name the second time than it did the first time. In other words, you had to really concentrate, and you probably weren’t satisfied with the results despite the work you put into it.

But take a step back and think about it for a minute. Unless you’ve been trying to become more ambidextrous, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time writing your name over and over with your non-dominant hand. So you should probably give yourself a break.

Give yourself a break

Maybe the second version of your name actually looks pretty good, all things considered. And maybe, if you spent time practicing writing with your non-dominant hand, you could eventually learn to write as effortlessly with that hand as you do with your dominant hand.

The same thing is true for things like budgeting, learning to invest, or finding a more effective way to manage your household’s money.

Don’t expect instant perfection

We’re not going to be perfect at the things we try right away, but if we keep at them and learn from our mistakes instead of throwing up our hands and giving up, we’ll get them down.

So the next time you catch yourself struggling and then beating yourself up, give yourself a break so that you can make progress without recrimination and bad feelings.


  • Great point. I overthink absolutely everything I do or say. Sometimes I have to remind myself to just move on…

  • I already try that writing your name both right and left hands. First, I feel frustrated because my left hand did not do well, you really see the difference. I try and try to normalized it but it didn’t happened. So I just leave it and not stress myself about it. Thanks for sharing this article. I learned things from this article.