November 25, 2020
First of all, I wanted to compliment and thank you for everything you do. You motivate so many people including myself and show me what I can do to live a better life – I really love your videos.
But this is actually already where my problems begin. I feel like I never do enough. When I only work out for 10 minutes because I don’t feel good, I ask myself why I didn’t do 30 minutes. When I worked out for 30 minutes, I ask myself why I didn’t do 45 minutes. I think you can already see where this is going. When I ate mostly healthy for a week, I ask myself why I didn’t eat completely healthy. When I did work for my university for four hours, I ask myself why I didn’t do five.
As you can probably see, it is a problem that I have in all aspects of my life. So here is my question: how can I be proud of myself and see that I don’t need to be the perfect Wonder Woman to be happy?
Thanks for your answer!
Dear Never Enough,
Oh my gosh. I know this feeling all too well. Having the drive to push yourself is amazing, but then comes that nagging feeling of “but could I be doing more?” I seriously deal with this all the time. But you know what I realized? Pushing myself to the limit RARELY makes me feel more successful. It only makes me exhausted and it’s honestly just a recipe for burnout.
Here are some things that help me pull back a bit when I’m being too hard on myself! Hopefully, they can help you too 🙂
Reflect on why you’re not feeling satisfied.
Try to put your finger on what is really bothering you about your goals. When you only do a short workout, are you really frustrated because you didn’t work out long enough, or is it because earlier in the day you spent too much time scrolling on your phone or watching TV? When you only eat “healthy” most days, are you really just wishing your diet was more consistent? Are there some other projects or stressful situations on your shoulders that you’ve been avoiding?
Then, zoom out and change your perspective.
For some reason, it feels awkward to pat ourselves on the back for little things. We’re told to aim higher, set big goals, to push harder. But with that mindset of always doing the biggest and the best, we’re NEVER going to feel satisfied, right?! “More” isn’t always better.
So here’s what I’m saying – it doesn’t have to be about how many minutes you work out. Did you work out at all? THAT’S GREAT. Who cares if you had pizza one night this week. Were you mindful about most of your meals, and did you enjoy that pizza? That’s actually ideal if you ask me. Sure you only worked 4 hours, but did you get everything done that day/week?
Just like everything in life, we have to CHOOSE to see the positive. And it takes practice!
If you truly don’t like something, change it.
As they say, you’re not a tree. You’re not stuck! If you really want to change something, do it! Back to your workouts – what if it’s not really about how much time you spent working out? Maybe it’s time to change the type of workout you’re doing. If you’re not enjoying your workout, or if it’s not challenging you enough, trying something fresh might help.
For example, when I was doing bikini competitions, I felt like I was never working hard enough. I felt like I could always do better. But then I realized that I just didn’t like how training for competitions made me feel. So I pivoted into something new and felt a lot better.
Rethink how you track your productivity.
I like to start each day with a to-do list. Even if I have an idea of what I’d like to accomplish in my head, there is just something about having it written down that motivates me. AND it’s sooo satisfying to check things off throughout the day as I get them done. I can physically SEE how productive I’ve been, and I’m less likely to have that anxious feeling of not doing enough. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list you know will stress you out! Be realistic.
Seeing everything crossed off your list will feel AMAZING.
Avoid comparing yourself to others.
I’ve also realized that I feel more anxious about how hard I’m working when I compare myself to others. Having everyone’s lives so accessible online makes this even harder for me. Social media just creates so much noise and pressure to do more, aim higher, and show it off like everyone else. Constantly scrolling through everyone else’s “perfect” snapshots of their achievements urges me to keep up. And guess what?
IT’S NOT POSSIBLE.
Because life online is just that – a snapshot. It’s great to follow people for inspiration, but it’s also important to step back and realize that what you see doesn’t paint the whole picture. There’s more to the story for people who seem to be pushing at 100% all the time. None of us have it all figured out!
Don’t be hard on yourself, and remember that you’re your own worst critic!
I promise that you’re doing more than you give yourself credit for. Be kind to yourself. I’m pretty sure all of us “could” do more in just about every aspect in life. But would that be healthy? Nope. It would probably drive us all crazy. So next time you find yourself obsessing over not doing enough, shift your focus to what you HAVE done.
You got this!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.