All too often, we put deadlines and restrictions on our lives, not even realizing that we are setting ourselves up to fail. We will make a to-do list 5 pages long and wonder why we feel no sense of accomplishment at even taking on 2 or 3 of the tasks. Take a step back and think for just a minute about what you are doing.
Have you spent so much of your life expecting yourself to fail, that you barely know what it is to succeed anymore? What if that list had 1 single item on it? You would feel guilty, wouldn’t you? Worthless somehow. I know those feelings all too well.
Let me tell you a little story about a moment in time in my life. Everything had seemed to spiral out of control for me. My family life, my finances, my health, and especially my depression symptoms. Those of you that know me well know that I am a clean person. I generally clean my house every single day, and nobody is allowed in here if it isn’t. OCD? Yes…..probably, but we’ll save that for another day.
About 6 days passed and I hadn’t cleaned the house not once. I didn’t vacuum a room, I didn’t dust, and I barely even stacked the dishes in the sink. You know what happened? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. My world didn’t come crashing down around me, my husband didn’t leave me, I didn’t develop a bug infestation, and life as we know it went on just as if I had been tending to those things all along.
It was like an epiphany for me. Would I want it to go any longer than that? Good lord no, but the fact still remained that all of these impossible deadlines I put on myself were causing me more heart ache and pain than they were causing me to feel a sense of accomplishment. I have come to the realization that I can say to myself, OK…today is Tuesday. Today, you will try to recuperate. You will try to find your center and dig deep down for the energy you are so lacking right now, and the first thing you will do, is wash the dishes. That’s it. No more, no less.
Should Wednesday roll around and I still do not feel as if I can get out of that bed and find the momentum I need, then I need a smaller goal. We’ll reduce it to just getting out of bed. There will be no guilt, there will be no one standing over you telling you that you are not good enough….that you are not enough, period.
I can’t promise you that the blogs that I write will help everyone. I am not a professional, I have no formal schooling, but what I can tell you is how each experience has worked on me, my own personal guinea pig.
Do yourself a favor, until you feel stronger and more confident, throw the lists right out the window. As I said at the beginning, you are setting yourself up for failure, and an even longer bout with depression. Just give it a try.