Meaning, drive, passion, forward-thinking – all important if you desire to lead a rewarding life. I sit here, sipping my coffee, thinking about how questioning the point too much can keep you from finding it. I’ve struggled with questioning the point of many things – most expected things in life: career, family, relationships, personal development. It has gone so far now, that I am currently questioning my questioning of the point. When you’ve picked away at a puzzle, finally completed it, and then completely ignored the finished product, dumping the pieces of a new puzzle on top, that’s when you know it is time for change. I am ready for change.
When I was finished working on this puzzle, the end product showed me a clear picture of my life. I could not be happier with the people in my life, nor happier with my career. It also showed that I have never been satisfied with my personal development, despite making major strides every year. That was the piece of the puzzle I was trying to cover up, rather moving onto the next puzzle without learning from what I’ve accomplished, self-development-wise, in my lifetime. I have refused to acknowledge it, plain and simple.
A big struggle for me, and probably for many of us, is that we can get caught up in our perceived shortcomings. We tend to hold ourselves to nonexistent standards, and feel hurt when we realize we may never live up to the imaginary picture of “being enough” that we have cultivated throughout adolescence and adulthood. Recently, I have decided to tackle that weird set of standards that is, frankly, disturbing.
For some reason, my current self does not acknowledge that I’ve done great things in terms of personal development. I have lost (and maintained a loss of) 70 pounds, continue to work on my physical health, and gone from quirky agoraphobe to quirky, fully-functioning agoraphobe within the span of just several years without any outside help (aside from being part of a loving family).
This past few months, I have struggled with thinking this is enough progress. Almost obsessively, I consider all of the things I could have done in that time, instead of being proud of what I did or even better, taking some further action. I caught myself in the cycle this morning, failing for the 3rd time this week to get up at my set alarm time. I let disappointment take over, turned off the alarm altogether and slept for another 4.5 hours. Instead, I could have put the alarm out of reach, gotten up on time, had some coffee and pondered my day. Rather than take a simple step or two, I focused on how I had been imperfect in my goal, and gotten lost in feeling hopeless. I was almost upset with myself for not being happy about waking up early – I was bound to lose before the alarm was even turned off just because of my defeatist attitude.
When you ask too much of yourself, ask yourself why you hold yourself to that standard. Drop the things that don’t matter, the superficial and the unrealistic. Take action now, do things that you can. For me, that means remembering my past and using that as fuel to be sensible and partake in further personal development. Small things like waking up early might feel bad at first, but for me, I know that is just my defeatist attitude and unwillingness to change trying to take control. I should feel pretty good about what I have done, but also continue to work hard and stop justifying a lack of continued personal growth because I feel less than great at the time.