“Do the best you know how to do and when you know better do better.” –Maya Angelou
Breath…breath…close eyes…exhale…hold off the panic…ignore the buried alive feeling threatening to overtake you…
Recognize the feeling that comes when you focus too long on all the things you SHOULD be doing—or doing better? The anxiety produced by trying to keep all the plates of expectation spinning?
I do. I know the frantic panic that ensues when I feel like a total failure. I also know how I fight it, or at least how I fought it most often in the past. By trying harder, or working harder to ‘look’ like I had it all together. I’d spin and spin and spin the plates trying to hold off the mess as long as possible.
Are your insides as uncomfortably churning as mine are at the moment? Can you relate to the heavy pressure, like a boulder being set on your chest, that striving to keep the plates spinning causes?
Eventually gravity wins and all the plates come crashing to the ground around us and with them our confidence shatters as well. As long as we had all of life handled, all the plates spinning, we felt confident our abilities and value…but then they fall. The unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves for how many plates we can keep spinning is where we find our first self-esteem assassin, also known as perfectionism.
Somehow we know logically that we can’t possibly do all the ‘good’ things there are for us to do…but we keep trying. We keeping adding one more plate, one more expectation, and that is when the killer finds us.