Believe it or not, we can be our own worst critics. Let’s take a moment for some self-reflection on why we just may be doing better than we think …
Lately, I’ve noticed a less-than-positive sentiment popping up all around me, whether that be on social media, in Facebook groups or other places. And it’s this feeling that we’re all not doing “enough.” It’s self-doubt, it’s comparison, and it’s not doing us any favors. Although we all have different situations, let’s talk about this issue today and see if we can find some common ground to break through these negative thoughts …
Are you doing enough?
My story on whether I’m “doing enough”
Let me start with the fact that I’m happy, blessed and over the moon about being pregnant and doing what I love for a job. But also, let me back up and explain that now that I’m not working at a gym every single day as a trainer or working at an office every single day as a corporate employee — my schedule is flexible and unset. Outside of teaching just a few group fitness classes a week, the rest of my time is filled up with work on the computer writing — both for A Lady Goes West and some freelance. This is EXACTLY what I wanted. And this is what I love to do — but it also leaves a little room for doubt at times. Sometimes, instead of jumping from one task to the next on my bullet journal to-do list, I stop and ponder: Am I doing enough? Is this the right direction? Why is my growth on social media not as rapid as hers? What other projects should I begin right now to make the most impact? Should I study for another fitness certification? What else can I do to prepare? And so on.
My situation is unique in that I’m starting to feel some pressure from deadlines due to pending changes. I know that in less than four months my entire life will be different when I welcome a baby boy into the world. My time will be spent caring for that little guy. The rest of the time will be spent attempting to sleep or possibly shower and fit in some work and workouts when I can. I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that it won’t be easy. And it means that I have this strange feeling that right now, I should be going 100 miles an hour to get EVERYTHING under the sun done and reach all sorts of milestones — both personal and professional — before that time comes. And that bit of pressure has ultimately made me feel a little inadequate, whereas I think I should be a “super woman” conquering all things.
But you know what: Right now, I’m just trying to be as healthy as I can, knowing that I’m currently creating a human and my choices affect us both, and yet, I can’t live a life without at least four pints of ice cream each week. I’m trying to be a “fit pregnant woman,” by keeping up with my workouts and continuing to teach group fitness classes, even though I feel each and every movement getting harder and harder as the days go on and my tummy getting in the way of the weights. And I’m trying to stay positive and know that my hard work day in and day out in a field that is fairly new and misunderstood is worth it. Your comments, your feedback, your emails and your presence in the A Lady Goes West community keep me going. But just like anybody would, I still have doubt at times, even when I do have some great successes that make my day.
What this all means is that even though I’m happy and have so many good things going for me and often get praise from others just because of the public nature of many parts of my life, I too, have moments where I wonder if I should be doing more. Not to mention, it can be easy to get sucked into this whole “wellness” thing and start to second guess every little thing that you do and whether or not it’s non-toxic or right for your micro-biome. But that’s probably a full post for another day. 🙂
Each day, I can let this doubt creep in, or I can dig deep to face it. I can sit down and really think about where I am and who I am — and I can find the comfort that everything is just as it should be, and yes, I am doing all that I can do right now. Yet, it takes work to consciously remind myself of that. It’s an exercise in confidence, gratefulness and self-awareness, and you can do it too if you put your mind to it.
Remember that nobody’s life is perfect
I’m telling you this today, because I want you to know that nobody’s life is perfect. Nobody’s situation is perfect. And everyone wants to feel like they are doing enough and they are enough. Truth be told: I’m not very judgmental of other people and how hard they work or even how they look, but when it comes to me and judging myself — well, I’m a harsh critic. Perhaps you are the same way of yourself vs. others?
You may not be able to relate to growing your business or feeling like you’re not measuring up with what you do, but I bet you can relate to that nagging feeling that something you do each day is not enough.
For instance, maybe you’ve had the following things cross your mind …
- I should spend more time working on my own career and identity, instead of focusing on caring for others, like my kids.
- I should be 10 pounds lighter, ready to put on a swimsuit on my next vacation and going to bootcamp classes every single day.
- I should be in line for a promotion at work or I should’ve been promoted long ago. And I should also be way more productive while I’m at work each day, so I can get home earlier to see my family and get more chores done around the house.
- I should be cooking all of my meals at home to be healthy and save more money and not eating out as much.
- I should be able to make my family members get along better, and I really should have way more patience with them all.
- I should have my entire life planned out.
- I should have a perfectly spotless house and car and always be wearing an immaculate outfit every single day.
- I should have a full social calendar every weekend with dates and outings, instead of sitting in my pajamas at home with my cat.
- I should have total financial independence and should be building my savings account, instead of living paycheck to paycheck.
The list could go on and on if you insert your own issue …
Be kind to yourself and judge yourself less
Instead of dwelling on these “I should be” statements, maybe we can flip the switch and think about the “I am” statements. Because somehow, the positive things tend to get lost in the shuffle when we’re into the act of negatively reflecting.
For instance …
- I bet you are absolutely killing it in some areas of your life. Think of those! Praise yourself!
- I bet you are the best at something, whether that be cooking, cleaning, telling a joke, singing or any number of fun things under the sun. Remember that!
- I bet you have people that really care for you, and they love you for who you are right now and look up to you in many ways. Embrace it!
- I bet you are able to find joy in some of the small things that cross your path each day, like your pet, your kids or even your stamp collection. Soak it up!
- I bet you make major contributions to the greater good in some way, whether that’s at home or at work or in your community. Thank yourself!
That’s why, no matter what is facing you today or tomorrow, I want you to know that you are most likely judging yourself way more harshly than someone else would judge you. And the truth is — your opinion matters the most, so you should work to temper your judgment a bit and be a little kinder to yourself — focusing on patting yourself on the back for what you ARE doing and what you ARE accomplishing. It is enough.
Like I’ve said before about life timelines, you don’t need to base your own worth and life off of what other people are doing at particular times and what other people are expecting. It’s all about YOU!
So hear me out on this: You don’t have to have a string of accolades, a perfect body, a jam-packed datebook, a spotless Martha Stewart house or more than 100,000 Instagram followers to be a good person who is worthy and doing enough. You just have to be nice, and you just have to be you. And even though it takes a little work at times, if you ask yourself the right questions, you too, can remove some of that self-doubt that wants to creep in on the daily.
My friends, would you join me in this task of being kinder to ourselves? Let’s give ourselves a little break on all of the stuff we think would make us “enough.” Maybe there are a couple of things we could each do better (cough cough, drink more water and take more steps!!), but maybe there aren’t. Maybe everything is exactly as it should be right now.
I’m here for you, people. And thank YOU for being there for me too.Life talk: Are you doing enough? @apstyle tells us why we should be better judges of where we are right now ... #motivation Click To Tweet
(Photo credit: Tamalyn Ann Photography. And I’m linking up with Amanda.)
Questions of the day
What’s something that you wish you were doing better on right now?
What’s one area of life where you are really excelling?