I had a breakdown.
I was talking to my mom on Facebook – yeah, that’s what we do. All the time. – and suddenly, I was sobbing uncontrollably. In a Starbucks of all places.
As people were trying to figure out if I was a case for the mental health ward, I tried to pull myself together.
It didn’t work.
All the pressure built up in the last few months erupted in one big bang and I just couldn’t stop.
The last few months have been like standing on top of a TGV going 300 km/h and juggling a crucial decisions and actions at the same time.
I hardly had the time to breathe.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining. Hell no, it’s been an amazing ride.
I’ve received not one, not two, but THREE amazing job offers within three weeks of being here.
I’ve not missed a single blog post, podcast or video. I’ve made it all work.
But that isn’t enough. No, not in my mind.
I want to be superwoman in every single area of my life: the jobs, my biz, friends, exercise, healthy food, practicing self-care, looking sexy, networking and going to events, reading, meditating and on and on and on. [Click to Tweet if you can relate]
I want to do it all perfectly.
And I don’t.
I can’t give you, my beautiful readers, the time you deserve. I can’t meet my loving friends as often as I would love to. I can’t Skype with people who I know need my support and my friendship right now and I can’t take care of me. I hardly have the time for phone calls, let alone a haircut.
And it’s been eating at me.
I feel guilty – constantly. I’ve been beating myself up every single night: Why have I not worked out longer? Why have I not eaten better? Cooked for myself? Practiced more self-care? Why have I not called Andrea? Chatted with Sharon? Made time for Otiti? Why have I not done more research on my new job? Why can’t I be better, faster and stronger?
And then, there’s the visa issue and the divorce.
All that to say, that breakdown at Starbucks was well overdue.
I’ve taken on too much. I wanted to proof to myself that I can do it all.
Even worse: I wanted to proof to YOU that I can do it.
I was scared that if I wouldn’t perform at the highest level in all areas of my life, I’d be a joke, would be judged and, worst of all, not loved.
How far away from self-love, self-appreciation and self-care is that?
It’s on a completely different continent and it’s got to stop. Now.
So, as I am still trying to figure this whole issue out, I turned to my fabulous email list and asked what it is you can do when your mind is trying to tell that you just don’t measure up.
1. Let it Go.
Use this mantra throughout the day, whenever you feel like your fearful mind is taking over and pressuring you into thinking you’re just not good enough. Just Let. It. Go.
2. Practice radical self-care.
Your first responsibility is towards yourself. As Rashmi, a wonderful reader, put it “unless I’ll find the time and resources to replenish my own energy and come back to the stage of being centered, I really can’t help anybody else.”
And she’s right. It’s hard to remember this though in moments when you’re already stressed out.
Yet, it’s especially important in exactly these moments to put yourself first and be gentle with your vulnerable soul.
In the end, this’ll serve everyone.
3. Come back to the present moment.
The present moment is hardly ever as scary or as pressured as your mind is making it out to be. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, come back to the present moment: see what is right in front of you, look at the beauty that is surrounding you and remember that nothing can really hurt you.
4. Talk to yourself in a motherly voice.
5. Go out for a walk.
Oh, I love nature. I can be so calming, so refreshing and it often puts everything into perspective. Give yourself some time for a walk in the woods or a nice park and connect with the nature that surrounds you. See the beauty in the leaves, the graciousness in birds and the wonders in the fragrance.
This’ll ground you and make you feel one with the universe – for sure.
6. Dream crazy, big dreams.
You’ve always wanted to fly? Not on a plane, but you alone, your body. Sit with that dream. Envision yourself taking off from the ground, catapulting yourself in the hemisphere and seeing our gorgeous planet from afar.
This’ll help you escape the immediate pressures you’re feeling in that moment and it may even inspire you to reach for the stars – in a very non-pressure-y way.
7. You can’t please everyone.
In the end, it all comes down to the fact that you won’t ever be able to please everyone and that includes your own, sometimes nasty mind.
Maybe you have to accept that fact and live with it or you can make peace with it by subtly working on your thoughts and practicing extreme self-compassion.
It’s OK to not meet up with a friend because you’re exhausted. It’s OK to go to bed at 8 after your first day at work. It’s OK to not exercise for a few days because your body and mind just can’t do. It’s even OK to miss a podcast because your train is stuck underground for half an hour and there’s no way of getting out.
It IS OK.
You are doing the best you can. We all are.
Trust that others will understand and, most importantly, that you will one day too.
On to you: what are your favorite ways to come back to a place of sanity when your mind is attacking you, telling you that you’re not going fast enough and performing well enough? Share them in the comment section below.
Are you sick and tired of doubting yourself, hating upon your body, feeling frustrated, unsatisfied and simply exhausted? Do you never ever feel like you're enough just the way you are?
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