It’s much later than I had promised and hoped to be back to the Challenge but I’m here.
My family left London almost 3 weeks ago and in that time I just couldn’t bring myself back to the challenge, I couldn’t snap myself out of this quick sand I had fallen into and I was sinking deeper into my negativity and complaining, almost completely undoing all the good work of the first 10 days of the Challenge.
In this time away from the Challenge I’ve gone through the whole spectrum of emotions from feeling guilty and berating myself to completely not caring about getting back to the Challenge at all and feeling like a failure for wanting to give up on it altogether. Usually the guilt wins over and I end up doing whatever I was putting off anyway but that made me realise something very important. I don’t want guilt to be the motivating factor in the choices I make. While it may be effective in certain scenarios it also just makes me feel miserable and in turn feeling bad about myself. I want to get back to doing things because I enjoy them, exercising because it makes me feel good not because I feel guilty about eating that extra piece of banana bread on the weekend. I want to write every day because it brings me joy, not because I’ve guilted myself into believing I should be doing it every day because that’s what other people say I should do. I want to eat healthy because it makes me feel better but I don’t want to be depressed when I decide I also feel like having that donut and then feel guilty about it later.
I know this isn’t just me because I spoke to a friend about it over the weekend as well and she confessed that mostly its her feelings of guilt that propel her into action instead of just doing what she wants to do. That just isn’t the way I want to live anymore and completing this 21 Day No Complaining Challenge won’t stop the negative thinking unless I can also curb this habit of using guilt to motivate myself.
So I’m trying this new thing where I don’t feel guilty about doing something that makes me happy. I’m also trying to be happy with any small effort I can make towards my goals, even if it’s less than what I was hoping to achieve that day or that week.
I’m learning that just turning up, just starting, just doing any small thing to work towards your goals is an achievement. I’m learning to be more forgiving of myself because we usually forgive so much in others but so little in ourselves. And I’m finally accepting that I control how happy I can be, no matter how great or small my achievement is that day.
As always Peanuts has some life advice that perfectly lines up with how I’m feeling, because while Lucy’s super inflated sense of self might be a bit much at times she also makes a very valid point. I am the positive force in my world, just as you are the positive force in yours. It’s really just that simple.
I know this was probably more introspective than usual but I know a lot of my friends feel the same way and I’m feeling really good today and I wanted to put that back out into the world.
On a side note, I spent most of the weekend cooking and I feel it definitely has contributed to this great mood I’m in. I made delicious banana bread on Saturday and crepes on Sunday, so so good.
Have a happy Monday everybody, because as Charlie Brown says “the world is filled with Mondays…” so we should at least try to enjoy some of them! I will try to keep this positivity going and harness it into my no complaining challenge.