Before I start, I want to dedicate this post to one of my special friends who I believe will beenefit from this post. Hope it helps! Stay strong!
I've mentioned this before, but it keeps coming up in my life: I have a hard time giving myself a break or taking time off. I feel so useless and lazy when I do not do my work, study, read my notes, etc. Even if I am so tired by the end of the day, I still feel as though I need to keep working. It feels BAD to do 'nothing' - as in, to take time off to do fun things, to play, to 'chill' or to relax. I feel guilty when I DON'T work. It is as if my brain is on all the time and simply does not want to turn off.
It is not a fun experience. Sometimes I criticize myself for not being able to finish all my work, even though I have been working all day. Why aren't I done this assignment yet? Why can't I just finish it and be DONE? Why can't I be better? WHY WHY WHY?
It feels terrible. By the end, I am neither done my work nor am I satisfied with myself. It results in me feeling bad about myself, along with me feeling incompetent. I feel angry at myself for feeling this way, but I am also angry that I have not been as efficient as I wanted to be.
But I've noticed something. It comes down to this: what am I really trying to achieve? Is it reasonable? Am I trying to finish too much in such a small time period? Have I worked so hard that I am just tired and need to take a break? Am I putting too much expectations on myself that are unreasonable? Usually, this is the issue: I am being too hard on myself. I am pushing myself to be a 'superwomen' - an impossible task, even for the most efficient people.
Great. So I know what the problem is. But how do I solve this? Can I just ignore my work and expect it to get done? Obviously not. But should I still push myself and feel terrible nonetheless?
The answer probably sounds easier than it really is. But the simple answer is: STOP! Stop working, stop criticizing yourself. Stop being too hard on yourself. Breathe. Yes, you have too much to do. Yes, it seems impossible. Yes, you feel angry because you have so much to do and it seems as though it never gets done.
BUT...You are human. I am human. And I know that eventually, I reach my limit. I can no longer push myself to work anymore because I am tired. I look back at what I have done for the day and I suddenly realize that I ACTUALLY HAVE done so much! Maybe I did not finish everything, but that is okay. It is impossible to finish everything! What is important is that today, I have truly done my best. I really have worked hard, and I know it.
I am not saying that I will start to be lazy and not do anything - because honestly, I can never be lazy. I am a working machine. What I AM saying is that taking time to see how much I have achieved makes me stronger. It makes me more aware of my abilities, and this helps me realize that no matter how hard the task at hand may be, I am capable of finishing it. I KNOW I CAN because my past tells me that I am a strong, hard-working, dedicated, and organized person. I have all these wonderful characteristics and I have SEEN proof in my life that I can achieve my goals. But this will not happen if I am stressed, if I push myself too far, or if I criticize myself.
One of my close friends once told me that she thought that she was failing at everything because she could not do everything that she had wanted to complete for the day. My answer? There is no such thing as failure. There are times when we cannot complete all things. There are times when we are not so great at certain tasks. But we are NOT failures. We may make mistakes, we may fall, and heck, we might even totally bomb an assignment! But we are NOT FAILURES because when we fall, we get back UP. We brush off this little challenge or bump in the road and we keep GOING. We do not stop. We KNOW that we are STRONG and we keep pushing.
Have you watched Little Nemo before? If you have, I'll tell you what Dory says...
'Just keep swimming'.