Sometimes I still get really down on myself and the self-criticism comes back.
You’re striving to be better, make more money, be happier, be better in your relationships, not treat people like assholes, and get rid of your negative thinking.
Some days you’re up, some days you’re down. Despite all the mental tricks, techniques, and habits you implement sometimes you’re just going to feel shitty. The importance of your “training”, so to speak, is what happens on the shit days.
Everyone can feel great when everything is awesome – but it takes true courage, strength, and determination to pick yourself up and out of that mood and focus on what you have. It takes a GREAT deal of strength to not just mope around – that’s the easy thing to do.
You need to focus on helping yourself through the emotion, getting yourself what you need, re-framing the situation and seeing the positives you might not have seen before, and getting back to moving forward in life.
When you begin self-improvement, conquering your anxiety, and destroying your depression… you can get VERY ancy and impatient.
Because let’s face it: negative emotions, chest tightness, feeling unsure of yourself… all those things suck. It’d be nice to have a magic pill so everything would be fixed in an instant and you’d be super happy and know EXACTLY what to do to and NEVER feel anxious or depressed again…
But that’s not realistic.
Not only is it unfair to expect that, but it’s impossible. There will still be times when you feel anxious or depressed, but you’ll just get better at handling those times and feel better, faster.
If you’ve been a certain way for 10, 20, 30+ years of your existence, can you really expect yourself to change that quickly? What’s the point in comparing yourself to someone else who has their own host of problems and issues? It makes no sense.
I’m guilty of this. I get down on myself. “Why can’t I do this right? I feel like a fraud.” I say when I go into an anxious or depressed mood, yet I’m writing trying to help people.
But then I remind myself how even the greatest achievers and people among us have bad days.
They are HUMAN.
I remind myself about far I’ve come, how I’m pushing on my dreams when many people would just give up, how much STRENGTH and DETERMINATION it takes to do what I’m doing, and I focus on the amount of effort I’m putting in to help myself versus actually achieving all the exact goals I need to.
Type-As and society love GOALS, because they’re easy to measure.
But even if you don’t achieve the goals, you’re forgetting about the sheer amount of effort you’re putting in to help yourself. This is the measure of true grit and what should be rewarded.
So what do you need to have to keep on going?
Lots. Of. Patience.
(And being a bit stubborn to never quit.)
Treat your flubs and mess ups with kindness. Look at your progress from 3 years ago. Accept yourself as you are but also keep on moving in the direction you want go.
Everything worth doing takes a metric fuck-ton of work and time, but it’s worth it.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
So in case your self-critical voice is acting up, first there’s some very good advice from Les Brown:
“I TELL THAT VOICE TO SHUT THE F**K UP!”
[Editor’s note: I may have added the words “THE F**K” to Les Brown for effect, I.e., I did.]
You deserve to be happy. You’re pushing forward. You’re doing your best. You’re not perfect, but you’re trying. That’s more than most, who accept whatever they’ve been given even if they’re unhappy.
This is the long game. It takes time to change your habits, but is your behavior changing?
Are you tuning out more negative thoughts? Do you get back to being happy quicker? Are you feeling happier a greater majority of the time? Are you better at being grateful for all you have and enjoying where you are?
As long as you are trying to move forward, then you’re winning. Effort is what counts the most. You’re OK as you are and on the trajectory you’re going.
So keep on going, this is the long game. But we’ll get there.