Give it a rest!
Your mind, that is. Your heart. Your soul. I don’t know about you, but some days I am my own worst enemy. A reel of negative thoughts runs through my mind at times full of all of my shortcomings.
“Why can’t you get more done on your days off? Why didn’t you put the laundry away like you said you would? You forgot to send your friend that birthday card. You skipped another workout. Why did you eat half a container of nutella, AGAIN?”
I know nobody is perfect, but darn it sometimes it seems like no matter how hard I try I just cannot get my act together.
I see people on Facebook exercising, fixing their protein smoothies, immaculately decorating their home, going out and doing fun things every weekend, working 40 hours a week at their job and killing it, all while managing to do their hair and make-up like they’re going to a photo shoot. Heck, some days I have to double-check to be sure I put a bra on when I’m on my way out of the house!
How do these people do it?
We all get 24 hours in a day right? We are all trying our best right? So how in the heck are these people getting it all done? Are they smarter than me, more efficient than me, or just better than me in general?
I believe, for the majority of us, we are doing way better than we think. If you are healthy, able to pay your bills, and find time to have a smidgen of fun along the way, then you’re doin’ real well! Even if you are lacking in one or more of these areas you are probably doing the best you can, and there is certainly something to be said for that.
So why do we constantly feel like we are failing? Quit being so hard on yourself sister! I’ve been working on myself in this area recently, as I’m always beating myself up it seems. As I examine my daily patterns and my thought processes I have discovered a few things. The main reason I believe we all feel the constant nagging feeling of failure in our everyday lives is because of this one nasty little habit.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others.
With Facebook and other social media outlets we are seeing a highlight reel of other’s lives. Not many people are posting selfies after a stressful day at work, the messy house, or that empty jar of nutella they just devoured. No two people’s lives or circumstances are the same, nor should they be. No one person’s life is more special or more important than another’s. Remember this. Your life is every bit as special as the next person’s. And remember they have their own amount of mess they are dealing with.
We’ve heard it said before, “Comparison is the thief of happiness.” Quit comparing yourself. You are awesome because you are different and you are you! If this is the case, then how the heck do we stop this constant reel of negativity in our heads? Let me share a few things I have been trying in my life to end the cycle of negative self-talk and help me realize how much I’m actually rocking this “adult” thing.
Rather than a to-do list at the beginning of my day, at the end of the day I make a list of all of the things I have accomplished.
From big to small, I write it all down. “Went to the grocery store, ate a healthy lunch, played with the dog, put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, worked a full day of work, fit in a much-needed nap, read my book I have been putting-off finishing.” Any little things that you can see as an accomplishment (even naps if it’s needed! See how I did that?) write it down and give yourself a good pat on the back.
Begin a “blessings” list.
I’m a big list maker. I love writing things down and keeping track of them. Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Blessings is what lead me to begin a blessings list. I had a small pocketbook I had not started using, and I deemed it my “blessing’s notebook.” Anytime I think of something I am thankful for I write it down. From big to small, and particularly during moments I am feeling down or frustrated. I find that my mood instantly improves, and it helps put things into perspective. It helps me realize how much I have, and how well I am doing in this thing called life.
Lastly, I root for those who are doing awesome things.
Think of what you can learn from those people. In our society, with women in particular, I feel we aren’t very good at rooting each other on. If someone is excelling in some area of their life, jealously takes over and we find reasons to criticize them.
To combat this, first root that person on and show your support however you can. You will be surprised how amazingly freeing this can be, this act of actually supporting others. Secondly, acknowledge your jealously for what it is, and then make the decision to learn from that person. Whatever bugs you about them is probably the very thing you are craving personally. Figure out what that is, and perhaps make some type of plan to improve in that area.
When we allow those around us to inspire us rather than make us jealous, we become better people for it.
If you try this you may make changes that better your life, and even inspire someone else as a result. Most importantly, we must remember how awesome we truly are. We all put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to do everything perfectly. Be happy with who you are and what you’ve got. You are enough.
If any of the points I have rattled off resonate with you, then I encourage you to try some of the simple habits I mentioned above. Let’s stop the cycle of negative self-talk. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s start realizing how awesome we really are. You are doing life in your own unique way, and it is beautiful. Keep on with it sister, you’ve got this!