I am doing the best I can. And, you are doing the best that you can.
If you’re a high performer like me, you might be thinking: But I’m really not. I could be doing more, could be doing better, could be…could be…could be.
Years ago, I was seeing a therapist. I don’t remember what was going on at the time but I vividly remember telling her the story of my morning. I’d driven into work and the whole 20 minute drive I had to fight myself to not turn back and go home. That I’d needed to get gas, but I just couldn’t face stopping. And so, I made it to work. But then, I wasn’t able to do anything.
I was paralyzed by stress and anxiety. And, all I could think was how much I wasn’t getting done.
And she said to me: “You are doing the best you can right now.”
To which I said, “But I’m really not. I could be doing more. How ridiculous was it that I couldn’t face stopping to get gas?”
Her reply was, “You are doing the best you can right now. Maybe tomorrow your best can include getting gas. Maybe it won’t. But you should let yourself be ok with having made it to work today. It was the best you could do.”
For several visits, she continued to remind me that I was doing the best I could. Until eventually, I was able to say to myself, “I am doing the best I can right now.”
Why do I share this rather personal story?
Because I want to remind you as you are managing the chaos of the holidays and the new years and the possibility of a government shut down and whatever else is going on at work – to give yourself a break. Accept that you are doing the best you can today.
As high performers, we are often the biggest self-critic. The first to judge ourselves as not enough.
My challenge to you for the next week is that whenever you start to think, “I could have” or “I should be” that you stop and say: I am doing the best I can.
And, if you have the same internal voice as me that says, “Right, right. That’s what you are supposed to say. But, you really should be…” Stop and repeat it again. I am doing the best I can. Repeat it again until your internal voice stops disagreeing.
Be kind to yourself. Would you tell your best friend whom you see overwhelmed with life, “Do more! You should be working harder!”
No, you wouldn’t.
I assure you. Once you stop that voice and you start believing you are doing the best you can right now – a peace will wash over you.
So right now, as I am surrounded by boxes preparing for our move and we are out of groceries and we have Christmas presents unbought and I have this post to write that was due 3 days ago…I am saying to myself: I am doing the best I can right now.
And that is ok.
Check out my other post to help if you are finding it hard to keep your head above water right now.