Raise your hand if you are guilty of ever putting too much pressure on yourself to accomplish ‘X’ amount of things. I will be the first to admit that this is a daily battle of mine. I must remind myself that I am still worthy on the days that I accomplished ‘nothing’. Why am I mentioning this? Well, because the term “Productivity” has been on my mind a lot lately, and it struck me that I put far too much pressure on myself to be ‘doing’ all the time. I heard on a podcast once, “We forget that we are human beings; too many of us are human doings,” and that really made me stop and think. It also made me realize that I could not be alone in this.
As May came to a close, I started to ask myself why I was doing a task. I would pay attention to if I was doing it out of the need for some sort of validation, or if it was genuinely benefiting me to accomplish said task. In the process of doing this, I started to notice how bad I was at simply relaxing. I was not that good at just being a human…being. This realization allowed me to tap into a handful of other thoughts, which turned into a handful of lessons. Some I felt compelled to share below.
Self-Worth is not measured by tasks completed
Due to my opening statement, you know how I feel about this, but I think it is worth mentioning again. It can be easy to tie your worth or your identity to the work you produce, and because of that, we tend to forget what we are worthy of without it. We can do ourselves an injustice by valuing our work over our worth. These are two separate things. We cannot tie one to the other. We must instead learn that our work is important and of value, but it does not make us invaluable without it. If you are set out to accomplish something because it brings you value, then, by all means, do that thing. Inversely, if you must accomplish something to feel of value, then take an honest look at which emotion is in the driver’s seat.
Reading is important
I have always loved reading, but I must admit, it is one of those tasks that I put off doing. I think to myself, ‘You could be doing something else; something more important’. When I actually give myself the time to sit down and read a book, I am never upset with my decision to get out of my head, and either learn something new or join a new world temporarily. Reading is important for so many reasons, and if you happen to be someone who has never really given books a chance, I highly suggest it. What do you have to lose? There is just so much information out there at our disposable. I do not think we appreciate how lucky we are when it comes to access to information. Even if you happen to just read an article online, or a quick short story that piqued your interest…never underestimate the power of a book and what a new perspective can do for your own life.
You cannot learn until you are ready
There are a handful of truths that I have avoided bringing to the light because I was just not ready to fully take on what they meant. I believe that the truth is always there, but there is always a reason or a circumstance that often keeps us from seeing it, and allowing it to soak in. When it comes to people, finances, opportunities, and obstacles, there is always the truth, and then there is always the truth we have told ourselves that makes it easier to swallow. Taking a good look at all areas of your life, and being honest with yourself about them will allow you a new way to approach your life. When you are ready to see things for what they are, your life can never go back to the way it was before the truth was recognized. Use this as a way to grow, remove anything toxic, and become one step closer to who you are. The truth may hurt short term, but it can only hurt you long term if you continue to ignore it.
Emotions are necessary to feel
Understanding my emotions has been a new challenge for me. Allowing myself permission to sit in my feelings and get to the bottom of what they are stemming from is proving to be very hard work. It is not always easy to know what is triggering a specific emotion/feeling but we can learn if we are patient enough, and quite frankly, brave enough to let ourselves feel them. Despite not having drinking or drugging on the table, I still find myself resorting to other compulsive habits that are proof I am avoiding a certain feeling. It is in those moments where I stop, ask myself what I am feeling, and do my best to come to the surface with an emotion. When we can address the emotions that cause us unease, we can begin to find solutions for ourselves when we encounter them the next time.
I am not as important as my thoughts want me to believe
I have always kept myself in my own little world, that sometimes I forget there is a much bigger world outside of my mind. I have a tendency to self-obsess, self-loathe, and self-consume to the point that I find myself to be much more important than I actually am. I am self-aware enough to know that I have the potential of being very self-centered and it is because of this trait that I cause myself a lot of unnecessary worry, stress, and anxiety. When I start ruminating over my life, past and present, I block everything and everyone else out because my internal dialogue tells me that I need to focus on myself until I do or complete something that relieves the feeling of being overwhelmed. By focusing on activities that get me out of my head, or helping someone else who is in need, I am able to remind myself that I am not as important as my thoughts want me to think. Any time spent outside of myself is time well spent.
As of right now, I like the idea of this “End of the Month Recap”. Who knows what it will include moving forward, but I am always up for hearing your suggestions! What kind of things would you like me to include on these Recaps? Quote of the month? Book Suggestions? Podcast suggestions? Food for thought questions? You tell me! Use the below suggestion box to send me some of your ideas. I love feedback, and your opinion matters to me.
I hope you took something away from the 5 Lessons I Took Away from May! As we start off into June, let’s make sure we are putting our best foot forward. As scary as the future can often be, isn’t there also something beautiful about never knowing what is ahead of us? This month, I am going to wake up each morning and be open to the idea of a miracle happening, a magical moment, or just any kind of instance that could change the course of my life. Now I must ask, what are you going to do with each day you are given this month?
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.