Easy Does It. One Thing at a Time.
Recently I was annoyed with myself for not accomplishing enough. I was beating myself up for how slowly my new initiatives were moving along. I turned to my Inner Wisdom for help and guidance, with the goal of learning how to work faster and accomplish more.
The words I hear are “Easy does it. One thing at a time.”
This is most definitely not what I’m looking for.
In fact, the moment I hear the words ‘Easy does it,’ the impatient, angry voice of my Inner Critic jumps in, insisting that I should drive myself harder and get more done.
I quickly become confused. Is it okay that I’m not accomplishing more? Shouldn’t I be pushing myself harder? “Easy does it. One thing at a time,” feels like shirking or being lazy.
From decades of habit I come down on the side of needing to be hard on myself. “But I feel bad about not being further along with my projects than I am,” I protest.
My Inner Wisdom replies with a familiar question, “How do you feel when you think these things?”*
My response comes immediately: “I feel not good enough.”
A sense a deep sadness comes to me from my Inner Knowing and I hear the words, “You are very hard on yourself, aren’t you?” I feel that sadness.
Then, after a moment’s pause, I hear, “How does feeling not good enough help you accomplish what you’ve set out to do?”
I recognize that beating myself up just makes me feel bad and that does nothing to help me move forward.
Then I’m asked, “Not good enough for what? Not good enough for whom? Who decides what’s good enough?”
I can see that it is I who set up these demands for myself. I see how I then become hyper-critical when I fail to live up to self-imposed expectations.
I recognize that the whole thing is entirely up to me – both the expectations I lay on myself, and how I choose to respond if I fail to live up to those expectations. Old attitudes die hard, however. I reply, “But then I’ll never accomplish anything!”
I hear, “You’ll do things from joy, and that has nothing to do with not being good enough. Measuring up to expectations is not what it’s about. If you want the rest of your life to be lived the way you want it to be lived, that will happen through joy, not through needing to be good enough.”
I feel supported and reassured as I embrace these simple truths: I can only accomplish what I’m able to accomplish and this can only be done one thing at a time. True happiness comes with living my life from joy, rather than the need to fulfill expectations.
I feel a deep sense of relief. As the burden of angry self-criticism drops away, I feel lighter, like I’m vibrating at a higher frequency.
My circumstances may be no different, but as I come into loving acceptance of myself and my situation it becomes easier to find a positive way forward.
As hard as it may be to break the old habit of self criticism and judgment, I know I can always count on my Inner Wisdom to help.
If you find angry self criticism and judgment rattling around between your ears, pause.
Remind yourself that no one deserves to be treated like that, especially not you. Let yourself know that you don’t need to let anyone undermine you that way, especially not yourself.
Spend a moment to take a deep breath and calm yourself. Then ask your Inner Wisdom what it wants you to know about the situation.
Your Inner Wisdom comes from that place within you that is loving and forgiving. It knows how to help you replace harsh self judgment with compassion, so that you, too, live life at a higher vibration.
*This question comes directly from The Work of Byron Katie. I highly recommend that you check out her book Loving What Is to learn more about this powerful and very effective technique for coming into right relationship with reality.