I suck at balance. Or moderation. Or however you want to call it.
I am either super-motivated and driven, doing all my assignments ahead of the time, bursting with energy and enthusiasm, accepting all invitations for social events, applying to marathons and tons of other projects, working out few times a day, staying generally on top of my shit or I just can’t find the motivation to get out of the bed, procrastinate, delay and cancel all the plans, want to quit University and life all together and just stay in bed and wait for death to come.
It is the one or the other. Black or white. There’s no middle ground.
This all or nothing mentality followed me for as long as I can remember and to be honest, I am so tired of it. I refuse to believe that it is just the way I am and that I can’t change, because if I am to continue going on in this vicious circle, it’ll take toll on my health, relationships and everything else. It has already happened before and I am determined to put an end to it.
Basically what happens is that I go ahead like crazy, drive myself to the edge and am just left with no energy and drive to continue with life. Both physically and mentally. To understand why I do this over and over again, I had to dive in deep and face some of my beliefs about sleep, rest and productivity. The awareness is always the first step if we’re about to change some of the patterns in our lives. I learned through my upbringing that rest is something shameful, a sign of laziness and unproductivity and for many years I lived by the motto “I’ll sleep when I am dead” which is, obviously, a great motto to be anxious and irritated most of the time.
On the other side, the productivity is something intrinsically valuable and it’s a great measurement for our self-worth. Bullshit, I know. There’s a reason why we’re called human BEings, not human DOings and as much as I am rationally aware of that, I have to remember myself daily that I am fine, worth and lovable even if I didn’t get a shit load of stuff done that day. This brings me to the topic of self-motivation at which I like to think was always fairly good at, but lately I started to notice a difference in regards to the source and underlying emotion behind the drive to go, do and accomplish.
Most of us are very hard on ourselves and our worst self-critics and even though we know that we’ll feel better if we managed to release that hateful and judgemental voice from our heads, there’s a dose of fear attached to it as well, because - who will motivate us then? How will we get stuff done if it wasn’t for that evil little voice telling us how lazy, unproductive and incompetent we are? Would we be able to motivate ourselves to workout if it wasn’t for that inner self-critic that goes all crazy when we stand naked in front of the mirror, focusing our attention on all of our imperfections?
Maybe all of this doesn’t resonate with you at all and I am glad if that’s the case, but for those that recognized themselves in what I wrote, I beg you to become aware of the source of your self-motivation. Where that drive that pushes you comes from? What little steps can we take every day to replace the fear of not being “enough” with self-love and self-compassion that can be awesome inspirations as well and can help us in pursuit of our goals even more than fear-based thoughts? Can you go workout because you love your body and want to celebrate what it can do instead of using the exercise as a form of punishment for what you ate? Can you keep up with your work assignments because you love and honor yourself and therefore want to avoid that last-minute stress and stay calm and organized instead of pushing yourself through guided by fear, hate and constant negative self-chatter?
Honestly, I am not even sure that balance exists as such. I see it as an abstract concept, not completely reachable, but we can always get ourselves a bit closer to it if we’re committed to do so.
Lots of love,