Don’t beat yourself up (part 2 of 2)

Spoiler alert – I’m going to contradict the title within this post and be very self-critical…

Other than what was largely a borrowed post on Christmas Eve, my last wholly original YYCDI blog post was published on the 26th November. In that, which acted as a precursor to this post, I wrote about how I feel duty-bound to post here weekly, how I have always been my harshest critic, and how I / we should aim to ease off the self-criticism more frequently. What I’ve since realised and come to terms with (to a degree…), is that this will rarely happen. I do place too much pressure on myself a lot of the time though I know for certain that this is not going to change any time soon.

What I have determined is that this all boils down to whether I feel I’m achieving, developing, or contributing something meaningful. If I do, I invariably feel pretty good. If I don’t, I feel worthless, unfulfilled, and subsequently find myself getting angry and irritable. This was certainly the case during most of December, when I achieved little of note and felt really hacked off as a result. Thinking about it, that extends to pretty much all of 2020 – a year in which I didn’t achieve anywhere near as much as I intended to. This angers me even more when I consider that this was a golden opportunity to plough through my annual to-do list. In a world dominated by Covid and restrictions, I had more time than ever yet achieved so little.

However, what I need to do is accept that this is how things will be and move forward in a positive manner. Regular readers will know that I started this blog to achieve a balance between highlighting how I deal with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, and impostor syndrome, as well as trying to take a positive view of how to live with those issues whilst living a fulfilling life. So enough of the anger, frustration and melancholy which has clouded much of the past few months – it’s time to dust down, refocus, re-energise, get back on track and move on. That could, of course, change in an instant depending on my mood but it’s how I’m feeling today and I intend keeping it that way for as long as possible.

To help me, I recently created an image which I have on display on my desk at home. I’m not sharing the image here as it isn’t the type of message which I want to encourage, mainly as it’s quite relentless and almost military-esque in its wording, which is:

  • Be a machine. Just get started. No distractions. Be utterly relentless in the pursuit of excellence.

I don’t actually want to encourage people to act in this way though I have come to realise that I need to. I have a short attention span and am easily distracted. I am also prone to procrastination and therefore need to heed these words more often. As I’ve written about on numerous occasions, I need to reduce social media time, reduce time spent aimlessly browsing the internet, reduce time watching crappy TV etc. This is the only way I will consistently banish those feelings of unfulfillment, underachievement and disappointment that have been with me for years now. It won’t be easy but I have to aim to do something different this year – I can’t carry on drifting through life without realising my big ambitions, otherwise I’ll be in a perpetual state of misery and anger.

So, that’s my current state. I hope you can find a way forward which works for you and provides peace and contentment because, let’s face it, isn’t that what we’re all striving for? I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions as such though the beginning of each calendar year does always seem to be a suitable time to gather my thoughts, review the previous year, look ahead, determine what I truly want from life, and map out just how to get there, no matter how surreal and difficult a situation we all find ourselves in. The ever-important to-do lists will loom large again this year and the embedded images below are tongue-in-cheek references to my reliance on them (plus the one serious image I also need to share – I think it’s fairly obvious which is which).

I’ll be back to regular weekly posts now, with this coming Sunday’s post summarising the current state of YYCDI and what I intend addressing during 2021. In the meantime, thanks for reading, stay safe, try not to beat yourself up too much, and please do take care.

Best wishes.

Mick

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