Last updated on November 15th, 2020 at 04:36 am
Is it just me, or does anyone else have a never-ending to do list? I get being committed to growth, because DUHHH, that’s me. If you sandwich in self-help books, with a handful of podcasts, journaling, goal setting, a dash of working out, smothering it with the need to be better—you’d get me. A Black woman who feels like she needs to do it all.
But you know the problem with constantly working on yourself?
You never truly feel satisfied.
You never stop and realize all that you are and all that you do.
You just keep sprinting forward, overcoming hurdle after hurdle.
Maybe you stop and take a break because your body forces you to. But mostly you speed through life, always striving to be better. Always inching towards a future self that you can be content with, but what happens to your present self?
“Do you stop to smell the roses?”
Do you enjoy the present moment?
Do you realize that if you never achieved those goals, you’d still be worthy… just because?
Do you know there’s greatness in where you are right now?
I’m not knocking having aspirations or saying you shouldn’t have any—you should. I’m saying how harmful it is to never be happy where you are currently. And maybe I’m just talking to myself.
I get it though, we’re forced to be better! “We have to work twice as hard.”
But it’s a problem when don’t know how to be kinder, gentler, more gracious with ourselves. Especially as Black women. I mean, on top of being Super Women, we’ve got a list of things to do and accomplish. God forbid we take a break—all hell breaks loose.
Even during a pandemic I’ve struggled with not feeling like I’m doing good enough. I’ve set boundaries with myself, but still felt it was necessary to test those limits.
Ugh, I hate it here.
And no, this isn’t something you can dismantle easily. You can’t just snap your fingers and instantly be gentler. Instantly pace yourself. It’s a process of undoing. Unlearning. Reprogramming. And listening to yourself (your body especially). Pose questions to yourself (I do this often, but sometimes I fall short).
Will what I’m stressing about matter a year from now? Am I over extending myself? Am I going to be productive if I’m burnt out? How can I be kinder to myself while I figure out what works? What boundaries can I set to ensure there are checks and balances? Who am I doing this for? Seriously, who am I doing this for—is it for everyone else? Friends? Clout? To feel worthy? An unknown source? Who? And is this what I really want to do?
I also encourage you to be patient with yourself while you shift your mindset. I’ve got frustrated with the process of undoing, but it just makes me feel shitty and I’m sure it does the same to you.
That, my friends, creates a cycle of doubt and self-loathing.
A never-ending to do list mixed with perfectionism robs you of joy in life. You end up fixating on what you need to do next, and how you need to be better. Which makes it so you can’t just live freely.
Maybe this doesn’t bother you, or you’re a type A person. But this is a reminder to just be from time to time. To just enjoy the present. To find solace in where you are right now. And trust that naturally—you’ll continue to grow.
It’s okay to have goals—you’ll achieve them. It’s okay to look forward to the future—it’ll happen. Also, it’s okay to be committed to your growth—you’ll blossom. But it’s okay to be happy and fulfilled with where you are and all that you’ve done. You are doing the damn thing!
Here are 8 ways that help, when you feel you need to do more:
- Listening to Therapy For Black Girls podcast
- Setting time limits on doing work
- Making time for doing nothing (or whatever you feel like it)
- Going to Therapy and unpacking why you always need to be busy
- Having conversations with yourself and questioning your conditioning
- Not being on social media so much, seriously that’ll amplify your perfectionism and self doubt
- Having a self care routine, even if it’s just a bedtime routine. Every night/day be intentional with yourself. Love on yourself. Reflect and express yourself to yourself—journaling is great.
- Trust yourself. Know that you are doing enough.