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An essay on self-compassion, energy, and coping

For me, self-compassion is the art of appreciating the effort you put in, not the outcomes you get out. I’m not sure this a universal truth, but that’s how I’ve simplified it.

I’ve always had a difficulty accepting mediocre outcomes, even if the effort I’ve put in is what most would consider was “their best”. I’m not trying to say it wasn’t my best, it most certainly was, I’m trying to say that I don’t recognise it as a best, and therefore think I should do better. It’s not my best if I think I can do better; It’s not good enough if I think I can do better.

I find myself in a bit of a vicious cycle of improvement, where I make an improvement, but then learn what it means to take the next step beyond that, and become unhappy that I didn’t make that initial leap in the first place.

The goal posts are eternally shifting. At first you can see them right in front of you: “Release that piece of work; send that important email; arrange that event”. When in reality, that task or goal multiplies once you’ve completed it, leading to this never ending lack-of fulfilment.

For me, most simple tasks take a lot of energy: something as simple as sending a message to a loved one. It’s not the task that feels draining, it’s the potential of what that task can unlock – another never ending job.

I find it hard to isolate the energy of a moment and instead imagine the entire lifecycle of that moment, and how it becomes much more – this is where I get exhausted.

From this point on, I'm going to focus on the now: what can I do to make small progress? With a simple question, hopefully comes a simple solution.

I'll keep you posted.

Published on

September 23, 2019