Hey Guys! What’s new? How’s your week been?
So, I wanted to talk about feeling like you’re not doing enough when you can or should be doing so much more. Many of us young people struggle with this, especially in an era where you can create your own platform and opportunities. Yet, how can one overcome the sometimes debilitating feeling of not reaching your full potential?
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t do enough compared to my friends (I’m working on this comparison- thing, okay!) And I know that many young (and older people too!) feel the same. I think, though, it comes from the fear of not reaching your full potential, and this can be really scary.
Not doing all the things that you believe to be purposed to do and achieve, can make you feel worthless.
It’s also easy to feel that way, especially in the era that we are in, where everybody wants to be seen as saying, doing or being something. This isn’t surprising when one moment of you being in the right place at the right time can take you from living like a pauper to possessing the keys to the kingdom. As well as social media, which makes us all hyper-visible to not just our peers but to the people that can potentially change our lives for the better.
So, it’s no wonder that feeling like you should be doing more, lingers on. This is intensified when you see someone manage to hold down a full time job, have two different businesses, is a mentor, have an amazing ‘bae’ and a great social life. Yet, you’re there, just about able to hold down your job and do one small something something outside of work. Unsurprisingly, a study found that 62% percent of people say social media sites make them feel inadequate about their own life or achievements.
I definitely felt this way before I started my blog. Many of my friends were (and still are) doing amazing things, and I didn’t want to be left behind. I wanted to join team “I’m- doing -something -else- with -my -life -besides -having -a -job” before it was too late. So, I started writing and tried attending every single relevant event I could. I hash-tagged my heart out and posted all the blogger-y stuff out there. For the most part it worked, but it didn’t feel true to who I was.
I began to feel like I was in this constant state of anxiousness, just to keep up. In my head, I reasoned that, I had to make use of the great things life had given to me by ensuring I was doing enough.
Eventually, the pressure got to me so much so that I just felt fatigued all the time. Nothing felt fun or organic anymore, even the the wins were so short-lived. So, I took a step back, I stopped writing and gave myself a break. A break that actually allowed me to evaluate what I was doing and where it was taking me.
But there was two really important things that I learnt from that experience.
Firstly, it’s really not a race.
My journey to becoming the all-star, all-amazing version of myself won’t and can’t happen overnight. It’s a life long process of lulls and dips and highs that mould me into the ultimate Sosa. So, there is no quota of things I should be doing, or a minimum amount either. I am allowed at times, to just be. No project in the pipeline, no upcoming post, I’m just living.
Now, I know that sounds like I’m giving up, or that I’m not striving enough. But, really I’m allowing my ideas to ruminate and grow into something that will eventually become something special.
Secondly, it’s good to start small.
So for many, the idea of being still, doesn’t feel good. Doing something makes you feel content and fulfilled. Well, that’s fine too, but start off small. When I say this, I don’t mean that you can’t think big and aim high, rather I mean that you should dissect your project into small chunks.
That way you will always be doing something, but they will be achievable. And you’ll have more time to focus on it too, so you’re experience will be richer.
You’ll learn that it’s not about how much you’re doing, and more on what you’re doing and how it’s making you into a better person. You’ll find that there is no ‘enough’, only the measure of how much it improves your life and everything in it. Some people can be doing a million and one things, yet they are deeply unhappy or stressed out.
However, Vincent Passarelli, a clinical psychologist based in New York City, says that, “we falsely assume that being busy means that we’re smart and successful. If our life is hectic, we’re successful or we have more value. Not true at all.” And I’m inclined to agree with him. Doing the most doesn’t equate to being a well-rounded person. It may actually distract from the things that are really important and necessary for you to do, like self-care.
In fact Passarelli says: “Leisure time does not equate to being lazy, does not equate to being unproductive. Most successful people actually have that kind of down time. It’s where we learn a lot about our self and learn a lot about others and life.”
So, when you feel like you’re suffering from ‘never-doing-enough-itus’, concentrate on what doing more things could mean for you as a person, and not just keeping up with appearances.
Over and out.