As I write this, it is midday, I am sitting in the corner of a café because work got a little too much for me, and my screen displays a Michelle Obama quote that I swear has been put there to taunt me:
Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you.
Mrs. Obama, can you please take your well-meaning quote elsewhere? I am sick of reading it. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s quote is more attuned to my feelings. I am not going to lie to you, I am in a deep “poor me” mood, and this shit has been dragging on for days. Don’t get me wrong — I have tried a long list of things to get me out of my funk, with zero success. Heck, I am the person that wrote articles with titles like “De-Stressing Strategies for a Stressful Day In The Office” and “The Survival Guide For Your Next Bad Week #MentalHealthMatters,” and yet I just can’t shake this mood.
Does anyone else have those weeks where it feels the world is conspiring against you? Sounds a little dramatic, I know — and yet still, this is where I am. It feels like I can’t get a win. This week has just been wave after wave, and I am a little tired of the world knocking me down. Again, I know this all sounds a little dramatic — believe me, I know! But do you ever have an out-of-body experience where you are watching yourself be in a terrible mood and just want to shake yourself and scream “knock it out”? That is me. Right now.
I have a good life. I have good things happening in my life. Yes, it is pretty high pressure right now, but would I prefer a life of nothingness? Hell no. So why do I let the bad outweigh the good? Why do I let the negative words from a stranger impact me more than the words of love from my friends and family? Why do I allow people to make me feel inferior when I know in my heart of hearts, I am trying the best I can and ultimately that is all I can do? Why do I let a missed appointment piss me off rather than soak up that bonus time with my partner?
In counseling, my psychologist taught me to analyze my life as a series of towards and away moves. The premise is super simple — before you take any action, you stop and ask yourself, “is this action moving me towards or away the person I want to be, the life I want to live, and the future I am working towards?” If the answer is towards, go for gold. But if it is away, stop in your tracks and reverse the f*** away from that action. When I first learned about the towards and away technique, I would use it religiously — I would even literally stop in my steps and put my arms up to be like a fork in the road to visually drive the point home to my brain.
But, as we all do in life, as I gradually got better and better, I started to disregard the very things that helped me get better. As I got better and better, I started to think that techniques like the towards and away thing were, to put it simply, below me. I was better now, why would I need to use such techniques? What if, instead of giving up on these techniques, I leaned into them the better I got? What if I applied the towards and away practice to my internal dialogue? Imagine if every time the little voice inside my head started to talk I would stop it and ask whether what it was about to say was going to move me towards or away from the healthy, confident and happy person I wanted to be? How many unhealthy criticisms of myself would I have stopped? Would I be having this poor me meltdown right now? I don’t know the answer, but I am desperate to find out.
I want to start being kinder to myself. I want to stop trying to control situations that are outside of my control. I want to start taking time out for myself. Not to blog, not to work, not to clean, not to learn but just for me. I want to stop being so consumed by my inner conversations, that I miss the real conversations happening right in front of me. I want to start coming from a place of gratitude, not “poor me.” I want to stop taking my health for granted in the good times. I want to start working on myself, not for career advancement or anyone else, but for me. I want to stop the negative self-talk that is bringing me down. I want to start finding balance. I have to remind myself it is okay to take an extra year to get to a destination if it means you will be happy when you get there. What do you want to start today?
Carly is a 20-something gal living in Brisbane, Australia. She started The Chronicles of Carly in late 2017 with the intention of sharing her experiences as a go-getting gal with the other go-getters out there. You can find Carly at www.thechroniclesofcarly.com or go to her Instagram & Facebook.
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