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Blast from the Past: Separating Our Self Esteem From Our To-Do List

This week, while I am still in recovery mode I thought I would share some oldies but goodies from the the archives. This was originally posted in May, 2010.

I admit I am a little unmotivated today. It is warm and sunny here and all I really want to do is hang out.  I have been running from thing to thing most of the day and if I am honest I really haven’t accomplished anything on my to do list. I was just getting ready to grab my latest novel and sit out on the porch and then I heard my internal voice go off.  I told myself, “AT LEAST write in your blog, then you will feel like you accomplished something, then you will feel good about yourself” And then I caught myself, caught my internal messages.  REALLY?!?  I will feel good about myself when I accomplish something!  Will I? Or will I just add to the list of more things I need to do to feel good about myself?  It really does get annoying.  No matter how much I know and have internalized the message that I am lovable, worthy, valuable period. I still have the underlying current of you will be good enough when messages. So I decided to go back through my day and think about all the messages that just happened today.

I will feel good enough when:
the kitchen is cleaned,
I make a million dollars,
the house is free of dog hair (which is never going to happen even if I vacuumed every hour)
I have watched everything on my DVR
I have checked off everything on my work to-do list
I finish the book my mom lent me 2 weeks ago
I eat healthier and treat my body better.

And that, my friends is just my list from today.  Honestly, it is only what I can remember from today.  Who knows how many other messages I didn’t really acknowledge. How many messages have YOU heard today?

For whatever reason these messages are prevalent.  We might feel like we are fighting an uphill battle trying to win out over our negative critic.  But the key, as I see it continues, to be awareness. Awareness that they are lurking there.  Those pesky little voices that tell me I will be enough only WHEN I accomplish something.  Truth is these voices can be motivating, they can inspire me to get up off the couch and write, vacuum or return a phone call.  But the damage comes when we get stuck in the belief I will be good enough when.  Bottom line I am good enough no matter what, even if I gave myself the rest of the day off to hang on the porch and read.  AND at the end of the day I will probably feel better if I accomplish a few things on my to do list.  However, neither option has nothing to do with my self worth.  They are just options, choices in how I spend my time.  Because the list will always be there. A free evening to hang with my dog reading a good book in the sun won’t always–guess I made my choice.

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