Enough is Enough

I have to be honest, I’m not in the best headspace right now. And for someone who writes blog posts about positivity and personal development, that doesn’t create the best environment to be creative. In my experience, I feel most creative when I am in a good mood, when my endorphins are rushing and I have so much energy I can barely sit still. When I feel glum, I don’t want to do anything, let alone write. My inner critic pops up telling me there’s no point writing; whatever comes out on paper won’t be worth reading. That voice prods at my confidence and eats away at my insecurities, pointing out that people probably aren’t reading my posts anyway. He’s the worst. Yes, I like to think my inner critic is a male because… men. Am I right? (Just kidding! Kinda…)

Here’s what been going on:

At the beginning of the month, I had high hopes of an amazing and wonderful year ahead of me where I would accomplish amazing goals and become the best version of myself. Unfortunately, as I said in my previous post, January didn’t get off to a very productive start. I hoped that the second half of the month would improve, but so far I feel like I’ve let myself down.

I signed up for a gym membership to start training for the triathlon (yay!), but haven’t been able to commit to a regular schedule (boo!). I bought a bathing suit to get back into swimming for the first time in years, but I’ve been stuck in my own head and haven’t so much as dipped a toe in the water. I published a measly two blog posts in January when I had hoped for one per week. I planned on working on the book, but all I did was move all my pages from Word to OneNote. I even stopped halfway through a 30 day yoga journey because I felt too overwhelmed by everything going on.

What’s at the root of all of this? My instinct is to blame external forces. Work has been pulling me in so many different directions: I’m teaching more hours than I ever have in courses that are new to me, and my advising work has been busier than usual. Because my brain is working overtime during the day, when I come home, I’m exhausted. All I want to do is sit on the couch and watch mindless TV.

For three weeks now I’ve been feeling like I’m just staying afloat, and that any minute now, a wave will come and pull me under. That wave arrived just as January was on its way out. I was behind on my lesson planning, a stack of tests and assignments to grade was piling up on my desk and my list of things to do was growing by the minute. Then I was reminded about how I hadn’t written in weeks, the de-cluttering projects I wanted to do were left untouched, my yoga mat was collecting dust and I hadn’t had a lot of social time. It all seemed to come crashing down.

Of course, after the storm, there is calmness and clarity. What was going on? I was getting in my own way and criticizing myself. For the past year I have been teaching the same course and now it’s something new. It’s only natural that there would be an adjustment period. And when one area of your life asks more of you, that time or energy has to come from somewhere. Why did I think I had to do it all?

It turns out, I haven’t moved past my perfectionist ways as much as I thought. I still talk myself into taking on more projects and doing more tasks all the while expecting myself to still do each of them perfectly. The logical part of my brain was telling me, “It’s okay to not be able to do it all. It’s okay to admit that you need to pull back”, but that other part that hates disappointing people, including myself, felt like a huge failure. I was devastated. Here I was, writing blog posts about what to do when you fall off course with your goals and how to be realistic about your expectation when I wasn’t even following my own advice.

I got home that night and finally said, “enough is enough”. Enough berating myself for only making it to the gym once last week. Enough criticizing the lack of writing I had done. Enough with all the negativity and self-doubt. Just, enough already!

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHINGI realize that I can’t do everything. It probably wasn’t the best idea to try to implement triathlon training, book writing, blog posting, new course planning and a daily yoga challenge all at once. Once again, I needed to cut myself some slack and give myself some credit. Instead of focusing on the things I hadn’t done, I needed to recognize the work that I had accomplished. I joined a new gym. I did some research into triathlon training. I tried a new class at my gym. I successfully planned 3 weeks of lessons. My students seemed happy. My computer was still at home waiting for me to start writing.

It’s so easy for us to feel disappointed in ourselves when we don’t meet our expectations, but often the problem isn’t that we came up short, it’s that the bar was too high to begin with. No one expects us to be super-human, so it’s time we stopped expecting it of ourselves. Show yourself a little love. Trust your gut – if it’s telling you something isn’t working, listen! Adjust your mindset and, if needed, adjust your plans. But, whatever you do, don’t let your head get in the way of what your heart is telling you!

29 Replies to “Enough is Enough”

  1. This post is so timely for my life right now. Know that you are not alone in this. I had a list of goals at the beginning of this year, and it has barely been addressed.
    I have struggled with allowing myself a few ‘false starts, giving myself gentle admonishment, thinking I will get in the groove eventually, but I get home exhausted and….well I know you know the rest.
    You are right to ease up on yourself. Just focus on the fact that you have done a bit of your plans, not how much of it you accomplish. I think you will be on your way very soon.
    I’m sorry it’s been a tough start to the year but grateful you shared this. I was able to exhale a bit, knowing we all struggle a bit but we keep our goals and try to carry on. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelsey, you are way way too hard on yourself. You are the very best version of yourself. Stop, take a breath, and realize that at the end of the day all that matters is you got through your day without a major catastrophe and when tomorrow comes it is a brand new day. Tomorrow is the day we worried about yesterday!!! I love you hun. xxxxoooo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so like you too! I get all these ideas that I’m so excited about and implement them all at once, only to realize it wasn’t sustainable in the first place. At that point I always try to remind myself that reevaluating is okay and to then prioritize the tasks accordingly. Thanks for making me feel less alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post really resonates with me. I made a conscious decision this morning to take a step back this week and have a chilled out week. My body is letting me know life has been a bit too full on and I need to take things a little easier, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m so pleased you said that YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING. I definitely try to at times and it’s something I’ve talked about on my YouTube channel, so I’m really pleased you’ve acknowledges this yourself. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know that there are people out there that felt the same way as me. I just have to see it first hand and thanks to your honesty in this post I can muster up the courage to tell my inner critic to hush her mouth. It took me a very long time to start my blog because I thought that anything I had to say wouldn’t matter to anyone. While my husband is very supportive, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as the support from my own brain. I have a way of talking myself into things and being productive but I can never seem to see my way through. Any advice on that? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post. I’m the same way. My perfectionism can be really helpful, but often it gets in the way of getting stuff done. If I can’t do it perfectly then why do it all?! I know that is not the right mind set but often that thought creeps in. It’s a constant inward battle. Narrow your focus and you’ll do great. You seem to have a good understanding of yourself. That’s a great start!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SO relatable!
    “The logical part of my brain was telling me, “It’s okay to not be able to do it all. It’s okay to admit that you need to pull back”, but that other part that hates disappointing people, including myself, felt like a huge failure.”
    Yes. So much yes. Thank you for sharing this; it’s perfect timing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. Our mind is such a powerful tool. My pastor often says the mind control the body. Everything starts in the mind. Every great invention started with a thought in the mind. It’s so important for our mind to always think positive thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Disappointing oneself-this is probably one positive of aging. As we get older, we become comfortable with our lives and our accomplishments. We don’t create a list of expectations that we will most likely fail at a few of them. We focus on the important ones, such as family, health, and love, and everything else will fall into its rightful place.

    No worries that you haven’t accomplished all you set out to do. January is one month out of the year. Find your rhythm, and in time, those goals you set might find their way into your life this year or years to come. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, as I read this I was thinking, I could have written this. Exactly how my year seems to have started out. I definitely have taken on too many things and now must pare it down and realize I can not do it all. It’s ok to say no and it’s time to simplify things! I loved this post, and thank you for the encouragment.

    Liked by 1 person

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