Written by Dr. Eric Perry
“A good rest is half the work.” ~Buddhist Proverb
1. Remember why you started
What has inspired you to be on the path you are on? Anytime we forget our roots or the purpose for why we are in our current situation, it is easy to see our challenges only as difficulties. How many challenges have you overcome to get where you are? I am sure there are too many to count. It might be helpful to write down or say out loud the reasons why you started your endeavor. What was your intention? What was your goal? It is important for us to take a step back and remember who, what or why we decided to put energy into something.
2. You are not what you do
How do you identify yourself? Take a moment to reflect on how you describe yourself. Would you describe yourself as caring, generous or loving? Would you describe yourself as a writer, leader, son or daughter? Keep in mind that we can easily associate value to our description. If I describe myself as a writer, I might unknowingly wonder how good of a writer I am. Every moment we are instinctively processing our environment to determine whether we are safe or not. This evaluative system is also activated when we self-reflect. Remember, what makes you is not how you identify yourself. And, what makes you is not how good you are at something. You are you because you exist in a space of reality that otherwise could have easily not existed. That is a really big deal all by itself!
There is no such thing as perfection. Why? Because we can always make things better! Look at technology. Every new advancement is amazing! But, it always continues. I am not saying to stop striving for your best. I am saying if you are only looking at your progress you will never be satisfied. Find your satisfaction in the effort you put into something. Life is too short to wait for happiness to greet us at the end of every project.
4. Set and meet achievable goals
Of course, we have big goals and big dreams. But, set smaller goals that can be achieved on a daily or weekly basis. Every goal you meet will add to your confidence about your ability to overcome challenges. It is important to make meeting smaller goals a habit because then with time, patience and diligence you can achieve your bigger goals.
5. Don’t cut corners with your downtime
How easy is it to skip an evening jog because you want to finish working on a project? I’ll speak for myself and say very easy! Even if it is difficult to step away from a project, we need to keep the big picture in mind. If you are always sacrificing your downtime to push a little harder I guarantee you will eventually hit burnout. Balance is key!
The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a therapeutic relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a mental health professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific mental health questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology
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