Sometimes I make life hard for myself. As a counsellor I put myself under pressure to have all the answers. I expect myself to have life all sorted. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you to know that I don’t!
So, like everyone else, I can have days where it feels difficult to get myself going – and at those times I add an extra layer of self-criticism on top because I *should* be able to do it. The more self-critical I become, the less effective I am, and so I’m sucked into a negative feedback loop.
I was on that loop again this week. I did too much at the weekend, didn’t give myself enough downtime, the week started and I responded to it with anxiety and a sleepless night. I definitely lost a couple of days feeling useless, lacking in motivation, and thinking I have nothing to contribute. It felt as though things were too hard and there was no point in bothering.
It was necessary to go back to first principles. A good friend reminded me that I wasn’t going to solve any worries at 3.00am. I knew that but I needed to be hear it again. I had to make sure I followed best practice for good sleep and I increased my commitment to morning meditation.
Another friend shared how she was going to look for the easy things in life. She’d been caught up in thinking that things were difficult. Following what I learned last week from Richard Wiseman that "luck" is a matter of how we see things, I decided to follow her example.
Here are some of the things I noticed that were easy:
- Booking my car in for its MOT. I’d left it until the last minute but got an appointment the day I phoned up
- Buying beautiful tulips - they were half price after Mother's Day
- Re-arranging an appointment. A client cancellation gave me the time
- Finding a parking space in Leigh-on-Sea (anyone local will know what a triumph that was)
- Writing my next workshop. It only took twenty minutes
Often when I have a lot to do I feel stressed. The “to do” list looms over me. However, changing my focus to look for what was easy helped me to feel less anxious. I noticed how straightforward tasks could be and this helped me to feel more confident.
It was such a fun exercise for me to look for “easy” things. It made me laugh when I noticed them. It helped me to appreciate the very many things in my life that are easy, or make my life easier. Perhaps life wasn't as hard as I was making it out to be.
Is this something you might find helpful? Here are a few ideas:
- How easy it is to complete household tasks with modern appliances
- How easy it is to relax with people you love
- How easy it is to feel better when the sun is shining
- How easy it is to have a relationship with a pet
Let me know how you get on!
This is what I spoke about in my video this week and it expands a little on why we tend to look out for the hard things.
You can view it at www.thegoodenoughmum.com/videos if you're reading this by email.