Dealing with Discouragement: Don’t lose your “Muchness”
(Originally posted July 7, 2012)
There’s a few things that have been causing me discouragement lately. I’m not going to go into them today, because I don’t want to re-title this post as “Woe is Me.” In my personal life and my professional life, I’ve been under a lot of pressure. I’ve got some goals and some extremely stressful deadlines. And, sadly, my hands are tied on the majority of it for now. This rut is not good for a perfectionist like me to be in, but still a good learning experience.
I realized something- I think I am looking at the big picture from a bad angle! I don’t know about you, but when something doesn’t go as I had planned, I really beat myself up about it until a) my Dear Husband gets tired of hearing me tear myself down and helps me remember to get over it and move on, or b) I lose all focus and momentum and tell myself it is time to just hang it all up for a while. (One thing is for certain. B is no longer one of my options because the goals and deadlines I have set for myself are some that I want so deeply that I absolutely refuse to let them be stopped.) Now is the time to change my perspective and push forward from a different direction.
1) Change the things you can, accept the things you cannot, and don’t condemn yourself if in hindsight you see you mixed a few of those things up. If you stare at the past for too long, you’re going to stumble in your future.
2) Reward yourself for the progress and achievements you have already made. It enables you to realize that even though you didn’t quite reach the point you wanted to get to, at least you’re further along than from where you started. (DH reminded me of this one.)
3) Step Back from your routine. Get out of town. Put it all away for a weekend. Go to your sacred little spot that helps give you a mental, spiritual, or emotional tune-up. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do or where you choose to go as long as you simply step away from that goal that you are feeling discouraged about. Force yourself to let it all go for a weekend, and relax! Chances are you just need to get a refill on things that bring you enjoyment. Renew your senses. Sounds, sights, textures, and smells can all give you new inspiration for whatever it is that you like to do.
4) Focus on Others for a while. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I am so super stressed (or discouraged) from working on a goal for too long without reaching the desired outcome it is because I’ve been focusing too much on myself and, to some degree, neglecting all the other important people in my life that matter. Spend more time with your loved ones and friends. You never know where your newest chunk of inspiration is going to come from, and you will have increased clarity and focus once you return to your goal.
5) Tackle Something Small that you’ve been putting off for a while. Clean your kitchen junk drawer. Put away that looming stack of papers into the file cabinet where they belong. Sort through the family wardrobes and toys and donate a ton. (I know that decreasing clutter always makes me feel loads better.) Whatever it is that you’ve been procrastinating in, go take care of it- it’ll make one less thing on your over-all list of goals and projects.
6) Be true to You. Never let anything get in the way so much that it makes you forget who you are and what you stand for. Only in the past year have I truly realized how crucial this point is to life. In years past I was so focused on sacrificing and making things work out for everyone else, so consumed and desperate to make others happy that I didn’t remember who I was anymore or how to even make myself happy. I had a shadow of a memory of the giant I used to me, but I had lost my “muchness.”
Keep on pushing- don’t stop. If you feel like you are no longer moving despite all your efforts, then try a new approach. Keep your “muchness” and make it even “muchier.”