Friday, March 14, 2014

we're doing better than we think

I always felt like the worse part of being a grad student was constantly feeling anxious that I wasn't doing enough. Even if I got a lot accomplished in one day, I still felt like I should have done more. One aspect that was most difficult about finishing my thesis was realizing when to cut it off, because I knew I could always do more. 

Now I'm not a grad student anymore, and I'm realizing that this mindset is just a part of life. One of my favorite things about myself is my ambition and motivation; I don't need a lot of external pressure to get ish done. The flipside of that, though, is the constant feeling that I need to be doing more. And it's not just applicable to work; I can run 8 miles one day but if I didn't clean the kitchen like I planned, I feel like a failure.

It's so easy to overlook our accomplishments when we're being so hard on ourselves, and when the constant state of busy-ness never ends. I think it's healthy to keep looking forward to the future to keep things inspired, but sometimes I really need to remind myself of what I'm accomplishing to even feel like it's possible to move forward. On a really tough day, when I'm getting ready for bed, I will actually make myself a mental list of things I've done that day; big things, like finishing writing a paper or doing a good workout, to small things, like clearing out my blog reader or putting away all of my clothes at the end of the day instead of dumping them on the floor. When I'm feeling really unproductive or hard on myself, it's just nice to think "you're doing better than you think you are." 

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