It’s OK to demand a lot of yourself – with a few caveats.
I had an interesting conversation with two women after yoga yesterday. Two of us were having a laugh at our own expense because we are often the last to arrive for class.
“I always seem to have to get one last thing done before I get out the door.”
Those words could have come from my mouth. I, too, am a member of the last minute club. I told her I had just written about rushing on my blog last week.
The second woman inquired about my blog. I told her what I’m up to this year with this daily letter.
“You demand a lot of yourself,” she observed.
It wasn’t meant as a criticism. It was a comment from someone I learned a moment later is a therapist. So I assume she is skilled at picking up on conditions that lead to pitfalls like unhealthy stress and overwhelm.
She got me thinking.
Is it OK to demand a lot of myself? Yes. With at least three caveats:
1 – Be crystal clear why we’re making the demand. Clarity is our inner compass. When creativity stalls, or the going gets tough, our internal compass can guide us to come back to get grounded, and align with the bigger picture.
2 – We can’t just keep piling things on top of a never-ending to do list. Sustainability is key to avoid overwhelm and frustration. I had to be both flexible and forgiving with myself in January. I missed two days, so the daily letter wasn’t quite daily. But I knocked my goal to write more out of the park!
3 – Something will have to give or go. If the new demand is a true priority, we will eventually have to let other things go. And we won’t always like it. In writing this, it seems obvious that the next thing that needs to go is cramming in one last thing and getting out of the last minute club. (Note to self!)
If I hadn’t started writing Laura’s Daily Letter at the end of December, I’d be driving myself nuts thinking about it now. And I‘d be missing out on the glimmer of ease that is starting to come with this (near) daily discipline.
It’s OK to want more, ask more, and be more. The key is to begin.
With self awareness and a few caveats, we can figure the rest of it out as we go.