“Don’t let yourself bring you down.” Unknown
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
I say this too often. I repeat it again and again when, truth be told, I do know what’s wrong with me. And I know how to fix it, but I don’t do it. And that’s what’s wrong – I let myself down.
Instead of admitting I’m avoiding the top priority on my to-do list, I’ll blame my husband, my kids, the dog, and even someone on Facebook where I’m spending too much time. I’ll blame my mental state, my age, my weight, and my mother. If you show up at my house unexpected, I’ll blame you.
By now, I should recognize the warning signs in the form of destructive habits, but usually I don’t until I get to the final stage of “I let myself down.”
My bad habits include having trouble settling down for bed, a restless night’s sleep, and hitting the snooze button a dozen times the next morning. Napping for two hours instead of 30 minutes. Feeling frustrated and acting on it. Eating chocolate late at night and pacing around during the day without accomplishing much. Scrolling Facebook for hours. Yeah, it’s a long list. Skipping the gym and most anything else that’s good for me, so I can focus on how to fix what’s wrong. Makes sense, huh? It’s not until I’m feeling anxious, insecure, and near tears (the final stage of “I let myself down”) that I’ll admit I’m letting myself down.
My choices narrow to either confessing and fixing it by doing what I’m supposed to be doing or melting down over and over.
I get more afraid by the minute when I’m in the middle of the cycle. It happened last week when I didn’t write a post for my blog. Instead of writing, which is my important thing, I did everything else on my list and then some, all the while dragging my anxiety about not writing through the weekend and into the beginning of this week.
If I’d keep track of my fearful episodes, I’d likely notice they flare up during my “I let myself down” times more so than during the times when I’m getting my own life, even if the latter is scary stuff like writing on a personal topic that makes me uncomfortable or making a video to post online.
A simple example that’s helping me change how I align my days is to follow how I reach my daily Fitbit goal, which is 10,000 steps. When I’m up by 8 and accomplish my steps by noon, it’s easy to get 15,000 or even 20,000 steps by bedtime, and I sleep better. However, on the days I only accumulate 5,000 steps by mid-afternoon, getting that same amount again before the day’s end feels nearly impossible. I give up after dinner and fall asleep on the couch.
I’m guessing there’s a universal law out there that makes this all make sense. The same law that helps create a productive and “feel good” day also has the potential to make my next 24 hours miserable when I don’t do what I’m supposed to do. Unless I figure out a way to sidestep it, I’m left with the same solution I wrote in a blog post six years ago.
Brian Tracy, in his book Eat That Frog!, offers 21 ways to stop procrastinating and accomplish more in less time. He suggests planning each day in advance. He says stop doing so much and do what’s important. And get this, Tracy recommends following the 80/20 Rule, similar to my Fitbit phenomenon. He says there are typically two items on a list of 10 that will account for 80 percent of the day’s results. Tackle those two things first and the rest of our list will either be accomplished easily and quickly or show up for what it really is, insignificant.
I sometimes pretend I don’t know what my important thing is, or that if I accomplish the other eight or nine things on my list, I’ll be more settled, prepared, and focused to undertake the important thing. Instead, I’m tired and put it off until tomorrow or next week, like this blog post.
Another game I play is tricking myself into thinking something else is more important than the important thing. In my case, it’s hard to overlook, though, since I only have one important thing on my to-do list. It is writing.
Today, I did my important thing and wrote this post. I can’t adequately describe how relieved I feel as I wind down this day and this story, so I’ll put out a call to action in case someone else wants to experience it for themselves.
If you’re wrangled up in life and struggling with your emotions, and most likely letting yourself down, put all of that to one side and do the one or two important things on your list. Take a chance on it working for you like it did for me this afternoon. I hope you’ll share it with us when it does. #GettingYourOwnLife
In This Together,
Thanks for the first two images, Pixabay.
Thanks for the motivation, Fitbit.
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Sometimes I think we can be our own worst enemy by being critical of ourselves! I struggle with thinking that anything I do in day I clearly have not accomplished much or worthwhile. That is when I start beating myself up with the negative thinking. My husband will say to me,\”What makes you think that what you did today isn\’t important?\” and \”just live your life Jennie\”. He will remind me that maybe I needed that nap and that what I do for us and our home keeps everything going. That\’s important stuff too along with my list of very important things that I think that is important. My new saying that I have been carrying around with me as a bookmark, in my wallet, on my office wall and desk is this, by Ann Voskam: Perfectionism is slow death BY SELF. It will kill YOUR SKILL, YOUR SPARK, YOUR ART, YOUR SOUL. I have come to realize that my struggle is more about me wanting to be perfect and that will never happen. There is only one who fits that mold and his name is Jesus and he tells me that the most important thing that I need to be doing is spending time with him, stop worrying and to live my life. Yes it is a daily struggle but I hope to get better at it. Thanks Kim for this blog post…enjoy your weekend, I do believe it is going to beautiful!
Jennie, I appreciate the wisdom of our husbands (John tells me the same thing) and the wisdom of Ann Voskamp. She\’s a beautiful writer.
Thank you and her for the reminder to steer clear of perfectionism. I know I\’m supposed to devote at least a portion of each day to my writing, but I don\’t have to do it perfectly. And the other things I accomplish daily are certainly important enough.
I\’m so happy you\’re reading and commenting. Other readers get as much from the comment section as they do the blog post. This is how we\’re helping each other.
I love you and all that you shared here. <3 Happy weekend! 😀
Jennie, I told you so. 🙂 Mary just mentioned liking something in your comment.
I can SO relate to you!! Are you sure you didn\’t do some mind reading on that post??! I\’m sure almost all writers would agree with you, and it makes me feel better just reading this piece. Now, I\’m off to write before I procrastinate any longer!!!!
Beth, my daughter often says she thinks I\’m psychic because of things I come up with. Maybe \”my gift\” is carrying into my writing. LoL. 😀
And I feel better reading your comment! It\’s not so much that misery loves company, but more that I don\’t want to feel alone in the struggle. Wait, are those the same things? Anyway, here\’s my point … I\’d prefer to stop procrastinating, so that I don\’t end up miserable, but, when it happens, I\’m grateful someone understands. <3 Thanks!
I hope you wrote like crazy today.
Kim, I think there was some planetary misalignment last week because I didn\’t write either. I can so relate to this, especially the part about beating yourself up because you didn\’t accomplish your most important thing. And the part about meltdowns. I love the phrase in Jennie\’s comment about perfectionism being slow death by self. How true! Glad to know neither one of us is alone in our struggles. I\’m still working on posting something new because I set aside what I had been working on and started something else. Here\’s to doing the most important thing–but not melting down if it doesn\’t happen on any given day. Tortoise steps.
I stalked your page a few days ago to make sure I hadn\’t missed a post. 🙂 I just glanced at my blog calendar and noticed I\’ve missed one week every month for the past four or five. I didn\’t mean to make skipping weeks a habit, but then I decided to focus on how much I\’ve posted this year as compared to 2015. I published a whopping four blog posts last year. LoL. So, when I say I\’m doing better, I have proof. #nomorebeating #stillmayhavemeltdowns 🙂
And what\’s up with starting a blog post, stopping it, and starting a new one? I think we\’re writer twins. If I\’d complete all of my half-finished posts, I\’d have enough for the rest of this year and the next.
I\’m happy we have each other and our friends who relate so we can inch our way towards whatever it is we want to be doing … and not have to do it perfectly. <3
I mentioned to Jennie that friends got as much from the comment section as they do the posts and then you referred to her comment. I love that we\’re in this together and helping each other. <3
JJ Snyder gave permission to share her email here. Thanks for your comment and for passing along the devotional, JJ. <3
Good morning Kim-
Your blog post showed up before my devotionals this morning, so I read that first (another great post that I can completely relate to). The below devotion followed and I felt God wanted me to share it with you. Your writings certainly allow God to touch others through you. So you are amazing and successful!
Have a great day!
The devotional JJ shared is The Secret of Success by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. The site is Moments with You: Daily Connection for Couples. The scripture is Micah 6:8, What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
The devotional is a story about Ruth McGinnis, a Nashville recording artist and author who redefined success for herself after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She concluded that success has nothing to do with fame and money and everything to do with the lives you touch.
Sometimes Life gets in the way of our plans.
Courage! Change your focus and Remember.
\”Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.\”
I love the verse, Bob. One of my favorites. <3
I'm more accepting these days when Life gets in the way of my plans. My impatience and want for change comes when I get in my own way. 😀 Goodness, Life has never been the enemy … it's been me all along. I'm okay with that since I didn't know better most of the time, but now I do. Time to do what you said … change my focus and do the work at hand. Thank you.
Love your comments always!
Great article Kim! I can so relate to this. Thank you for sharing and for the tips on how I can quit letting myself down!!
Vicki, I\’m rooting for you and me. When I hear friends like you say you can relate, it makes me feel less alone and more motivated to do the next right thing towards what is important to me. I hope you feel the same way. Love you! <3
From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~
Elizabeth Lisa Mealey Fithian, Jan Glover Selwa and 9 others
Tammy James Quinn Oh my…this hit me like a ton of bricks. Thank you Kim!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 9:55am
Kim Henson Thanks for reading along, Tammy James Quinn. I post this stuff and then panic, thinking I\’m the only one.
Like · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 1:31pm
Susan Blanton Thanks for my wake up call! I just realized this is more of a struggle for me than I thought! Off to tackle the thing that hasn\’t been done!!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 10:28am · Edited
Kim Henson Susan Blanton, I didn\’t even realize how much I struggle until I started writing the post. Goodness, I keep writing the same stuff over and over, but it\’s what I need, so I just continue to say it out loud until I get it straightened out … then onto the next thing. LoL. I hope you\’re on it! 😀
Like · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 1:34pm
Susan Blanton Making my list! I\’m making no excuses! You\’re doing an awesome job sharing it out loud with the rest of us. Somewhere in that sharing, we find help for our own situations. Keep them coming please!!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 1:41pm · Edited
Kim Henson Susan Blanton, thank you so much! <3 Really, I'm sure I would have already given up if it weren't for you and others who take the time to comment and encourage. I'm trying hard at "no excuses," but I'm pretty good at it. I mean, it comes natural to me….See More
Like · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 1:46pm
Susan Blanton Love you! <3
Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 1:58pm
Joel Carter Kim, Good to see you've discovered an activities link. Maybe we all need to kick our inertia in the pants and keep our kinetic in gear more often 😉
Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 10:52pm · Edited
Kim Henson Joel Carter, both John and I are attempting a lifestyle change instead of starting, stopping, starting, stopping. We'll see how this goes, but it's good to connect my mood swings and fears with what's really going on … procrastination and stalling on what's really important to me. I'm in gear at the moment. 😀
Like · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 9:55pm
Summer Turner Love this! Give yourself credit for skipping TWO gyms, lol!
Unlike · Reply · 2 · September 29 at 10:55pm
Kim Henson You're too funny, Summer Turner! Yep, when I skip out on life, I do it BIG. 😀
Like · Reply · 1 · September 29 at 11:49pm · Edited
From Facebook (S. Kim Henson) ~
Katrina D Owen
Mary Lancaster Kim I thank you for this post more than you can ever know. ☺️I am a little suspicious though that you may have my house bugged,🤔 Sadly I have done this all my life,I am just now learning how to say no and feel good about it, simply because I admitted to myself I am not God and I am far from omnipresent I cannot be every where and everything to everyone !! Thanks again for bringing me back to the reality of realizing I am letting myself down every time I lay my gift, the important thing down to pick up one of lesser value and make for me a miserable attitude. Always resulting in a miserable outcome Love you lady,keep these inspirational posts coming, We need you❤️
Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · September 29 at 9:18am · Edited
S. Kim Henson Awe, Mary Lancaster. Thank you. <3 I can't tell you how often I panic when I post these blog posts and think, "That's dumb" or "You keep saying the same thing over and over" or "You're the only one who feels this way" or …
You name it and, if it's a scary writer thought, I've thought it. I appreciate your comment because I can tell you know what I'm talking about. I've also done it my whole life and I'm tired and on the verge of tears too often. BUT, I'm better. I say that a lot, and it's because it's true. I say "yes" to me and my dream more often. I'm celebrating that right now and with you! 😀 I love you lots! <3 I need you also.
Like · Reply · September 29 at 1:42pm · Edited
Mary Lancaster 😊
Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · September 29 at 2:48pm