Are you doing enough? Here’s how to be a better judge of yourself
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?
I love this!!! I think for the most part we could all be a little kinder to ourselves (I know I could). I am kicking butt at managing my time right now, I have a pretty backed schedule at the moment. I feel I need to work on getting my eats on track though, I am usually a meal planner and have been much more hit or miss since ending my Whole30.
Hi Emily! Totally! Sometimes if our health is slipping, everything starts to slip – so I agree that fueling your body properly (most of the time — NOT all of the time) can give you the strength you need to get your other affairs in order. Although they may be more in order than you think hehehe. So be kind to yourself, lady! You’re doing great!! 🙂 And PROPS to you for your time management — that’s an awesome skill not everyone has.
More often than not, your deeper posts come at the time I need them most. Reading this just now made me cry for the second time today, but this one was in a good way. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this and for giving all of your readers such a boost. This is a constant issue for me, but your perspective and tips are very helpful.
Thank YOU for reading, Courtney! Sometimes we all need a reminder that EVERYONE has their struggles, and even though our problems are unique to us, there is common ground. I can assure you that the times you feel like you aren’t quite enough, you are totally forgetting the things you are good at — i.e. healthy routines heheh! And I’m SO proud and excited for you to get your own blog up and running! Sorry for the tears, but I kinda like a little cry sometimes — it’s cathartic! 🙂
This is something that has been top of mind for me lately. I constantly feel like I’m juggling too many plates and not exceeding at things, so I removed some responsibilities so I could do a better job at my commitments. Something I wish I was doing better right now was my blog overall…but that’s why I signed up for the Shake Your Money Maker Class! 🙂 So hopefully I won’t be able to say that after too long. Something I am excelling at right now is my day job with a local non-profit, and if I’m doing well that usually results in more people in my community being helped which is never a bad thing!
Hi Emily! Ohhh yes — there have been a few times (most recently when I was working full time, blogging and teaching group fitness classes and going through fertility struggles) I knew that I had TOO much. I have felt WAY better about my commitments after leaving that job. But sometimes you have to keep all of your responsibilities for a while and figure out how to manage. Props to you for realizing something needed to give in your own schedule. As far as blogging — you will ALWAYS want to do more, because you don’t have a boss, and it’s all up to you — so you are doing the right thing by doing the online workshops and benchmarking with other bloggers. I’m so glad you are doing it!! 🙂
I constantly feel like I’m trying to do so many different things and always feel like I should be doing more. Especially with blogging and trying to build a social communities I feel like I could always be working on something. These are great reminders that I am doing enough and need to be patient and appreciate the things that are going well.
Hi Patricia! Totally! Blogging is a self-starter business, so you will always be questioning what you are putting into it, because you don’t have a boss telling you what to do. That’s why some people like to set mini-objectives and create work hours, like they would have at any other jobs. Know that all of your work is worth it for the people connecting with you, whether your community is 5 people or 5000 people! Keep it up, lady! 🙂
Love this and so well said! Gosh it’s do tough as I had a hard time keeping up with and pursuing blogging last year that now I question- should I keep doing it , should I start over, should I be doing more now? But really I’m fitting in the best I can and enjoy the process of writing- which is why I started in the first place!!
Hi Marielle! Blogging, like many other entrepreneurial industries, can have you always guessing whether it’s right. If you are passionate about your topic and enjoy writing and sharing content — then YES, it is right. And the degree to which you put toward it, is totally up to what you want to do. I’m sure you’ve found a lot of rewarding things about blogging, so it’s totally worth it to keep at it, even if other parts of your life seem to get in the way! 🙂 Keep it up, lady!
Ah so so true! I’m having more time to put into it which is exciting. I always second guess myself but just need to do it bc I love it ! 🙂 Thanks for the wise words lady!!
This is a question that I’ve often asked myself, and I’m thankful for the reminder that no matter what God ordains what He wants me to do in a day or a week, and I will never get it all done. But that’s okay, and the reminder to be kinder and judge ourselves less is such a good one.
Hi Emily! Sure is okay to be kinder to ourselves. And it’s also okay to stop comparing ourselves to others all the time! You’re doing great, lady! 🙂 Keep it up!
Great post! I can relate to this so so much right now. I am pregnant and feel great that I am growing a baby! But I am struggling at work and not able to work as many shifts at a job where I work on my feet in hospitality. I am lucky that I still can make enough to money that we are fine. My other job is a Pilates instructor and I also had a tough 1st tri with nausea and am much better now but struggle with some dizzy spells and I had to take a step back from teaching. I miss it and am worried about what I’ll do once baby is here and had to give up some opportunities. I have to remind myself to focus on ALL the good in the present which is so much and not stress about not doing enough or having my career perfectly lined up for after baby! We are so hard on ourselves and I am constantly trying to work on this but it’s always a struggle. Sounds like you are doing great 🙂
Hi Rose! OMG — YES — I can relate. I live in fear that I won’t be able to go back to group fitness teaching for a long time — but then again, maybe I will. And you are growing a human, so it’s pretty much a given that you will be more tired and have trouble being on your feet. I’m glad that you guys are financially doing okay, that you don’t have to push through extra shifts. And lady, you are doing AWESOME right now — so yes, give yourself a break. 🙂 Pregnancy is no joke!! Congrats again to you!!
*standing ovation* thanks for the reminder and for creating such a positive space!
Thank you for reading, Stephanie! 🙂
This post is such a great reminder that everyone has a little bit of doubt and moments of uncertainty, no matter what their social media accounts say otherwise! I know that I am definitely struggling with the fact that my life is not where I envisioned it would be at this point. Sometimes it’s even harder when it seems like everyone around me is posting exciting life updates on social media and I’m just dealing with day to day nonsense. I really need to focus on the positive-I am a dependable friend and family member, and there really is a lot more positive than negative in my life. Even more importantly-change happens and it’s ok! Life plays out they way it is meant to, and we have to move forward and not worry about self-imposed deadlines and timetables. Thanks for being real and talking about this!
Hi Jackie! I feel ya, girl! Life looks different for everyone — and maybe there are some things you haven’t done or some things you don’t have right now that others do, but like you said — you are a dependable family member and friend, and that means you contribute A LOT to people around you. You may not even know how much do you do contribute. I know it can be tough to compare — but it’s such a great exercise to be grateful and appreciative of YOU! Thanks for saying hi and sharing, lady!
Great reminder Ashley! I think too often we compare or judge ourselves too harshly. I see this with many of my clients.
Hi Megan! Comparison can totally throw us off track. As can harsh judgment. Here’s to positivity! 🙂
Great post. It was a pleasure to read it. I realized just recently, that judging ourselves is very important, yet very difficult task to do.
Sure is, Brian! 🙂
You have no idea how much I needed to hear/read this. As a single mom, ICU nurse and biz owner I have these feelings of never being enough all too much! Reading this today reminded me that it’s ok to not achieve perfection and that I need to keep focus of the important things! Thank you!
Hi Alexis! Thank you SO much for reading and for saying hi. I feel like we’re all trying to do our best, and with social media, it can seem like everyone else is doing SO much better than us. But they’re not. It sounds like you have a LOT on your plate, and I commend you for keeping it together — even when it seems like you are totally struggling. Being a mom and a nurse and a business owner is incredible. Keep up the great work, lady! And know that you are doing awesome! 🙂