This week I went into Monday pretty stressed. Even though I followed my own, “Fighting Sunday Scaries” guidelines, Monday morning still got me good.
I had a long fun weekend, with too much dairy, not enough sleep or downtime, and I found myself staring in the mirror Monday morning with a tired, sad face, filled with pimples like a high school teenager. I immediately started beating myself up in my head for all of the things I didn’t do right, and then my mind went onto work and I started listing all the areas that needed more of my attention and where I was lacking. It was like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and scarier with every thought that passed.
By the time I finally sat at my seat and was ready to work, I already felt defeated and I hadn’t done one thing yet.
I knew at that moment, as the panic was rising in my chest, that I had to make a drastic change, or I would be fighting an uphill battle all week long.
I was focusing on the negative, focusing on the past and where I went wrong. When I had to focus on the future. I had to put the past behind me, forget about it, and focus on what I actually COULD control, and where I could go right TODAY.
So before I did anything for work, I wrote out a list of the things that I could do this week that would make me feel like I was moving the needle forward for my personal and professional life.
I made a “2 week-push” goal list for work and then wrote down things that I could do personally that would make me feel better. I focused on the immediate future. The small steps forward that would, in the long run, make a big impact.
Some of the things I wrote down were:
- Walk at lunch
- Fill the pipeline for x job
- Take out dairy
- Go to bed earlier
- Organize the basement this weekend
For me, this made me feel infinitely better immediately because I changed my focus and knew where I was heading. I knew what I had to do next.
But most importantly, I decided to move on and look forward. So often, when we make a mistake we sit with it, let it completely consume us until the guilt and shame are crippling. That does us no good. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anything or anyone, it doesn’t move the needle forward. But if you can forgive yourself, or simply move on, and get back on track, you are one step closer to feeling better.
So please, let that shit go! If something or someone is bothering, leave that thought and memory behind you and focus on the goodness that is ahead. Because there is always goodness ahead. =]