Slow down to go further – letting go of 'shoulds’

I’ve always been hard on myself. My inner critic is never satisfied with my achievements, no matter the outcome. I always feel behind, blaming myself for not doing enough. As a result, I’m stuck in a vicious cycle: whip and procrastinate, whip and procrastinate. My perfectionist mind makes me start something but then I never finish, discouraged by any bump, difficulty, or discomfort.

One time, at the gym, I had a sort of emotional breakdown.

I was pushed to my limits, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I could feel my body reaching the point of exhaustion, but I was afraid to stop because the coach kept telling me, ’You can do it, M!’ Somehow, I believed he knew me better, but eventually, I gave up and ran to the bathroom, where I burst into tears. I cried and cried and cried. Not only was my body under stress, and so I was releasing all the emotions flowing through me, but also – I felt like a failure. Although I knew I had reached my limits, I was still being hard on myself, ashamed that I hadn’t accomplished the challenge. I wanted someone to come and tell me: „It’s okay! Today just wasn’t your day, and it doesn’t mean you are a failure.” I needed someone else to say this to me because my twisted mind was bullying me over and over. I walked back home, crying. I got home and cried some more. Eventually, I calmed down, made myself dinner, switched off my phone, and sat in front of the TV to watch my favourite show. It was then I said to myself: „Screw that!”

I was feeling quite emotional and vulnerable for another few days, but I allowed myself to take a break. What I also managed to do for myself was to accept my breakdown as something normal. I actually took it as a gift.

Normally, after such an event, I would quit. I would be too ashamed to go back to the gym and face my 'failure.’ Instead, I decided to ease down instead of giving up. I changed my gym membership to only twice a week, and I made a promise to myself that I will always listen to my body and never push it to its limits. I chose a gentle approach. I understood that this works better for me, and this is the only way I will be able to stay on the track of building new habits.

After having a week off from any sort of commitments, I decided to focus on what has worked for me in the past: practicing yoga, morning meditation, daily writing, taking time for myself when I need to, and generally listening to what my body is telling me. Without overthinking, I committed to writing every day, doing yoga, and writing down every single task I do each day. The last point was particularly important because I would always think I hadn’t done much and had wasted my day. Now, my calendar is very organized. I feel the satisfaction of crossing completed tasks and have no guilt if there’s something I wasn’t able to do. I simply move it to the next day or even week. I focus on my top two commitments: yoga and writing. Anything on top of this, I take as a bonus. And it’s working quite well so far. I’m on day 6 of my habits, and whatever happens, I always remember how important this is for my growth, self-care, and inner peace. It also brings me joy as well as pride. I am actually feeling proud of myself first time in a very long time. I can only keep going like this if I follow this one simple rule: be kind to yourself. Take it easy. No more whipping, only compassion and kindness. And then the magic happens – my inner child feels looked after, and with the attitude „slow down to go further,” it really fills my soul.

Uparta i niecierpliwa introwertyczka. Jednego dnia tryska radoscia, drugiego dnia rozczula sie nad soba. Wulkan sprzecznosci. Na swoim blogu probuje znalezc odpowiedzi na pytania "Jak byc soba?", "Czym jest milosc?" i "Jak sie w zyciu ogarnac?"

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