Give Yourself A Break! Making Progress Is Hard To Do

Over the past few months, I’ve been finding it hard to make really solid progress. Everything I do has felt small and painful. There’s been a lot of uncertainty in my life and finding the energy to move forward was difficult. 

During these times, there are the things you must do, no questions asked, one way or another they must be done. While these can be tough, there’s something about the mandatory nature that means they happen.

It’s the others that suffer – the ones that you should do. Or the ones that, if “A” happens you would do it, but if “B” happens you’d need to focus on that. Because of the uncertainty you can end up, as I did, not really moving at all. This starts a downward spiral making you feel low, which in itself makes it harder to do anything.

What I’ve learnt from this is to open up. 

I found energy via my friends and then by focusing on certain activities that I had already scheduled and couldn’t really back out of. As part of a networking group I belong to, I ran a cake auction to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support (a UK charity). On the same day – which in itself was a completely mad thing to do – I was team leader in a debate. My team won!!!

Doing this was exhausting, given my state of mind at the time; it ate up all the energy I had. But once I’d allowed myself to replenish my energy, I started to feel really good. I’d been out meeting people, talking in front of them, raising money for a cause I really believe in (the group raised £350!) and there was more to come. I had a talk scheduled. A facebook live interview.

I’m not saying that these things came easily, all of a sudden, just that as my friends helped me start to see the positive again, I started to work on it more myself.

I’m still not completely there. I have had news which means that my direction may be clearer over the next week or so. I’m feeling more energised as I work with someone else over a really practical and helpful workshop. But it’s still hard work.

Why am I telling you this? I think it’s all too easy to assume we are alone in these situations. To beat ourselves up over the lack of energy. To say it’s simple and to really make ourselves feel even worse.

I’m saying give yourself a break.

If all you can do is walk around the block – then walk around the block. It doesn’t matter what you used to do or what you should do, just do what you can. If you can just walk to the corner – walk to the corner.

Accept that at this point, you can’t do what you used to. This doesn’t mean you sit back and say well this is it. But that you acknowledge where you are and you feel positive about what you do achieve and see the success every time you push yourself a little bit beyond what felt entirely comfortable.

So, if you find yourself in this situation, cut yourself some slack – but push a little. Ask for help. Celebrate each success. Know that as you keep pushing, it will start to come back into focus and you will start to be able to deal with the challenges ahead of you.