So I’ve just spent a day and about 10 pages written in my paper journal deciding that it’s time I stop beating up on myself.
I’ve gazed deep into my navel, and realized that what I want is this: To live an accomplished life pursuing and achieving my dreams and goals to my fullest capacity. To live, to learn, to love, and to leave a legacy.
And I’ve realized that the way I’ve been trying to go about this is by beating the shit out of myself every time I falter, fall, or fail in any way whatsoever. The fact that I haven’t gotten done today every single little thing I’ve briefly considered as a fulfilling task has prompted me to belittle and undermine myself into paralysis. And so that means that tomorrow, I won’t get a single important thing done either because I look at myself as a piece of shit incapable of tying his own shoes, let alone living an important life.
So I will break this vicious circle. I’m going to stop being my own worst critic and nemesis. I’m not even making a deal with myself to “do better”. I’m just going to stop, for better or worse. If tomorrow, I don’t do a damn thing, that’s fine. Because this self-esteem of mine, this core of my self, is the thing that makes me able to ever succeed in the first place. And if I’ve blasted it into pieces, there’s no hope for me to ever do better. So, I must unconditionally call truce upon myself.
It’s like I’ve got a broken ankle. But instead of laying off and letting it heal, I insist on running with it. And when I fall over from pain, I get back up and hop up and down on it until I feel I’ve punished myself enough and more. So, now I have to stop that. I have to be what my internal critic calls lazy. Because the stupid thing about it all is this:
I broke my ankle in the first place because I’ve never learned how to walk properly.
In case that analogy is losing you, what that means is… I beat myself for not getting everything done, but I’ve never quite worked out how to get things done. I’ve just gone round and round assuming that if I just guilt-tripped myself enough, I’d magically start achieving greatness.
But now, I’ve got some decent ideas on how to pull myself around and learn how to get things done. But I have to start by calling my self off-limits to assault. I will work on these things, but will no longer whip myself on the back. If I miss a day, I’ll just try it again. I’ll stop expecting everything from myself all at once, and take it a piece at a time.
And that will be fine.