I’ve been caught in the mental trap lately of feeling like I’m not doing enough – or doing it well enough – it most areas of my life. When I up the effort in one area, I feel like the others drop even lower on the quality scale. This is even more upsetting when those areas of my life are things I’m passionate about. Things that make me who I am. Things that aren’t up for the consideration of deciding whether I should take them off my plate.
Naturally, this leads to a mental ledge of sorts… do you let those feelings hit you like a gush of wind knocking you right over the edge into the free-fall of self-doubt, frustration, exhaustion and the temptation to give up? Do you let your brain trick you into focusing on the negatives?
Just like a Halloween haunted house, this situation is typically a lot worse than it seems.
Your focus goes straight to the looming skeletons of the ‘failures’ your perfectionist tendencies define. You can choose to walk straight into that eery forest of comparison. That forest where you continually stack yourself up against your perception of other’s reality. You can choose to walk further and further into that dark and dingy alley of telling yourself you’ll never be able to figure it out. That alley where there’s no room, no motivation for growth. The alley where darker, deeper thoughts lurk in the shadows.
Or you can back away from that ledge. You can make the choice that instead of falling for those same old tricks, you can choose the “treat” side of things.
You can choose to treat yourself like you would a friend. You can point out your accomplishments. You can laugh at silly mistakes while gathering confidence from a lesson learned. You can choose to celebrate your “wins” rather than wallow in your defeats.
You can choose to banish the skeletons, walk out of the forest, and turn away from the darkness of that alley. You can choose to offer yourself kindness, understanding and acknowledgement of being human.
You can choose to set the example for others who may be standing on that ledge. You can be the gush of wind that blows them farther and farther onto solid ground away from the free-fall.
Let’s all help each other cut ourselves some slack, focus on the positives, and figure out concrete ways to try to improve what we can – without beating ourselves down in the process.
So on this day of tricks & treats, let’s all choose to only give ourselves the treats.