Have you ever felt that internal tug of war where you want to rest, but your mind is full of all those “shoulds”? The actions you should be taking to reach your goals. The 1001 little to-do’s that are on your never-ending list. The energy levels you should be experiencing, rather than how you actually feel right now. 

Whilst self-optimisation may be admirable, the pressure it sometimes creates can also be destructive. That’s why many of us feel caught in a cycle of either giving up or feeling bad about ourselves.

You may hear a lot of talk about the importance of self-care and how allowing time out is vital to your wellbeing, but surrendering to those times can still feel challenging. 

It may feel like you are the only person around you who is not being productive. Perhaps you feel that you need to “push through” if you want to make real progress or that taking time out means you’ll fall behind. 

But fall behind on what exactly?

Your unique life and path are your own, you can never fall behind on your own life. You are exactly where you should be. 

How to shift guilty feelings of being unproductive or not doing enough.

Firstly, when you feel the ‘not-enoughness’ arise there are a few important things that you need to remember:  

  1. We all do experience this at different times.
  2. You only ever get a glimpse of what others are doing – and often through the very skewed vision of social media- not how they are feeling.
  3. Learning to tune into and ride the perfectly natural different waves of energy is so much more efficient in the long run than forcing yourself to continue. 

When you feel panic arise over where you are right now in this moment, worry that it is not enough, you are getting lost in fear-based projection. 

You are zooming so far into this one moment that you lose the power of perspective. It can help to get that bigger picture back and zoom out again.

How to regain perspective when you become anxious about the present moment.

  1. Close your eyes and picture where you want to be in one years time. 
  2. Where are you, what are you doing, how do you feel and look?
  3. Now zoom out even further to where you want to be in 10 years time. 
  4. Keep zooming out until you truly feel the perspective of this one small moment in time. 

Realise that this moment is a drop-in the ocean of time, and only a very small part of your journey. 

Now ask yourself or journal these questions:

  1. If you knew that all your dreams were going to be fulfilled. How would you feel about handling the natural ups and downs, spurts and stops that characterise any journey?
  2. If you knew that all your dreams were going to be fulfilled. How would you feel about handling the natural ups and downs, spurts and stops that characterise any journey?

Existence is full of ups and downs. Our lives, emotions and energy are in constant flux. Yet accepting the low energy can be far more difficult than embracing the high energy.

This obligation that you may feel to “do” all the time is not your natural state. The natural world around us is not expected to be in a constant state of go. Instead, there are seasons of life which are accepted and respected.

Research shows that far from being a luxury, you need this downtime in order to increase productivity, encourage creativity and improve brain function. Rather than trying to overcome lower energy – as if it is an enemy that needs to be defeated – honour that energy. 

This article was first published on Soulful Scrapbook.