The Fear Of Not Doing Enough And What To Do About It
As a mom of 2 boys, wife, business owner, writer, Boxer baby mama and multi-passionate creative I have a ridiculous amount of irons in the fire. I am sure you can relate and living your own version of chaos.
I feel like there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done despite being fully mindful and aware of how damaging that mindset is. I move through my day feeling rushed and crawl in bed at night wondering if what I got done was enough. My mind races in play back mode reflecting on the events of the day and my emotions get the better of me. I could have done more, finished more, created more, achieved more...until I reach the point of summing it all up with "I am never doing enough".
And its not like I don't understand how detrimental this is to my mental and emotional health. I am the girl who is writing and sharing with you and others how important it is to slow down, be present, to loathe the word "multi-tasking", to be intentional. The girl who's mantra is "a simple life is a fulfilling one".
But here I am being completely honest, real and human with you. I am far from perfect and struggle with my own demons of not being enough and indulging in the false reality that doing more will solve all my problems.
I have been doing some soul searching on this as I have no desire to keep crawling into bed and ending my day with these toxic thoughts. So what gives? Why do we live in a perpetual place of our efforts never being sufficient and wanting more? Simple, we are humanly wired for self-gratification and indulgence.
The word "more" is one of those double edge sword kind of things for me. There is nothing wrong with wanting more when it comes from the right place and from a good heart.
Having more quality time with those we love, having more real life experiences that bring us joy and fulfillment, giving more of our talents and resources to serve others, choosing to have more moments than possessions. Its not a bad thing to want more in life but the desire to have more can quickly spill over into other areas where over indulgence shows its ugly face:
I set a timer to spend an hour writing but find myself still writing 3 hours later because an hour wasn't enough. I want to see more words on the page (never mind that I forgot my child had tutoring and I have nothing laid out for dinner);
I crawl into bed with the plan to read for 30 minutes but 2 hours later its almost midnight and I am still reading because the more information I take in, the more I will know and the more I can create (never mind that I will be tired and cranky the next morning);
I make a commitment to close up my computer at 5pm for family time but am still trying to cross more items off my list at 5:30 (never mind that I am breaking my word not to work during that time).
I am constantly trying to do more in order to have enough results to show for it because results are gratifying and being productive feels amazing. And who doesn't want to experience more of that??
But the reality of always wanting more also means not being satisfied, not honoring the present moment, not taking the time to stop and recognize what has been accomplished as the great achievements that they are, not living in a place of gratitude for what has already been given. And doing more doesn't satisfy the need for more. Like a thirst that can't be quenched, it just feeds the indulgence to want even more.
As a creative who is passionate about her work I can't just switch this off. I can't say "April, stop trying to do more." and magically the feeling goes away. If it were only that easy right?
What we can do in those moments of feeling like our efforts are not enough and convincing ourselves that if we can just do a little bit more, do just one more task, to fill the void of satisfaction is to balance it with gratitude and self-assurance.
Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation. This opens up space to see everything that exists around you as a blessing, as being enough. It pulls you back from feeling like you need to be doing more to feeling satisfied with exactly where you are and finding joy in that.
A simple exercise of a gratitude journal spending 10 minutes to list out 20 things you are grateful for and listing 5 items you feel good about accomplishing can change your whole vibe and snuff out the urge to do more.
Self-assurance is feeling confident in your ability to manage your own life and responsibilities with the belief you will do well in any task you put your mind to. This lessens the need to prove to yourself that you can do more and to walk away from a to-do list that did not get finished being okay with it. After all, the sky is not going to fall in because you did not cross more off your list.
Some simple affirmations can be a powerful confidence booster:
"I am grateful for the time I had to be creative today"
"I am feeling accomplished for the tasks I completed today no matter how big or small"
"My success is a journey of growth, not about how fast I can get there"
"I am honoring the importance of the space between where I have been and where I am going"
"The tasks I completed today were more than enough"
The struggle to want more in all the wrong places is very real for many of us, especially the creative minds, over-achievers, people pleasers and perfectionists. Its an area I have to work very hard at and probably always will. I am learning to be okay with that for wanting more also serves me well. It gives me the drive to keep going, to not quit even when life gets extremely difficult and I face obstacles in my business.
Life is a precious balance and I don't always get it right. I am learning to be okay with that too. My wish for you friend is that you can see the value in where you are and the work you do even if its not where you want to be because who you are right now in this very moment IS most certainly enough xo
April Williams is the #CreativeMomista of two boys • Storyteller • Coffee Addict • Woman Warrior Of God • Texas Country Girl • Creative Expressive • A vintage soul passionate about living a simple life with a modern approach to business and branding
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