Six Things to Remember When You're Feeling Unaccomplished
As the first few months of 2022 are drawing to a close, do you find yourself reflecting on those resolutions you vowed to stick to just a few weeks ago? Get fit, save money, eat healthier. Grand ideas of how things are going to be better this year. I think we've all had moments like these.
Perhaps it's due to the pandemic and the unpredictability the past few years have brought us, but many have decided to ditch resolutions altogether. However, that feeling of needing to make a fresh start is still there. Whether you see it as a clean slate, a blank page, or another opportunity to try again, the New Year brings with it the idea that we can magically transform into our best-selves within a 365-day deadline.
Setting ourselves up for disappointment
In the age of self-improvement and self-reflection, it's worth asking if setting large resolutions is simply another source of anxiety and low self-esteem.
If you're feeling like you're falling short, especially after letting those resolutions fade into non-existence, you're not alone. And this feeling of "imposter syndrome" reaches far beyond the first few months of the year. Our society is designed to make you feel like you are never successful enough. Just take a scroll down Instagram and you'll see what I mean.
Social media makes it easier than ever to measure how we stack up against our peers. We scroll through posts that shove other people’s accomplishments in our faces. We compare our colleagues’ online followers and likes to our own as a measure of social status and power. Everywhere, we can find people doing better than us. Feelings of not being accomplished creep in and it can really wreak havoc on your wellbeing.
As the new year continues on, it's a good time to reflect on our own feelings and what we can do to gain long-lasting improvements to our mental health. Below, we've made a list of six things to remember when you're feeling less-than and unaccomplished.
1. Acknowledge the thoughts
You are not alone in how you're feeling. Even the best and the brightest have thoughts of inadequacy. As a mother to three teenagers, I see it daily in our young people, the pressure to achieve more than ever. By taking a moment and acknowledging these thoughts as they enter our mind, you can take away their power and you can see them for what they are: thoughts, not facts, not truths. Once you acknowledge your thoughts, and understand that feelings are not facts, their negative effects on your emotions will diminish.
2. Pat yourself on the back
How often do you truly take the time to enjoy your successes? Instead, we mark it off the mental to-do list and immediately race off to the next goal. Yes, it's important to always keep learning, to keep growing, but through this ambition, you might forget to reflect on how far you've come. Take the time to congratulate yourself on where you are today, all you had to overcome to get there and don't focus for one second on what someone else is doing. Remember the saying, "comparison is the thief of joy"? Celebrate your accomplishments, big and small, which will in turn boost your motivation, enhance your self-worth and can subside the feelings of burnout.
3. It's not all about the hustle
Do you ever take the time to just do nothing? I'm being serious, just to sit and not feel the urge to do five other things? Most of us rarely take a break because we fear boredom. We don't enjoy being alone with the noise of our thoughts. We have this urge to produce and strike tasks off our to-do list, which can morph into an addiction. But being at peace with our thoughts in the absence of distraction can boost psychological strength. Without resting, our productivity fades, relationships can get strained, and you run the risk of getting burned out. In fact, researchers think that we are at our best if we work no more than 6 hours a day. So, take time to truly rest. Your brain and body needs it.
4. Nurture your connections
This one is quite simple, when you're sick in the hospital, all those achievements are not going to come visit you. Take the necessary time to feed that need for social connections in an authentic way. Get together with friends, go on a date night or even just call that person that's been on your mind recently. High accomplishments may make you feel great in the moment and improve your career, but they can take a toll on your social life.
5. Don't get lost in others' successes
You see that person on social media just killing it, winning at everything and you think to yourself, "man, they must have had it so easy!". When we marvel at other accomplishments, we sometimes think their path to achievement was a straight line. But that's simply not true. Everyone has to overcome failures and disappointments; it's just the way life is. Rarely do we see people post their failures and short comings on social media, so try not to get swept up in the frenzy and remember, that there's enough room at the table for everyone. Stay focused on yourself.
6. Give it time
Instant gratification seems to be a way of life now and it's what connects us all in the chase to greatness. We want what we want, when we want it - which is normally, like yesterday. Patience is a hard pill to swallow and oftentimes it's not about our ability to wait, it's the power to remain positive while we're waiting that's the struggle. Things will happen as they should and once you've put the hard work in to plant the seeds, step back and give it time to grow.
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