It seems like everyone is in a race to be the best — the best parent, the best spouse, the best neighbor, the best PTA president. To become the best, people often lose sight of the things that really matter. Unfortunately, I've even seen this in my own life. As my husband worked toward a law degree, I pushed forward, day after day, trying my best to be a supportive wife — the best homemaker, the best mom, the best neighbor, etc. But I often found myself burned out and discouraged. At times, I just couldn't do it.
This shouldn't have happened. I shouldn't have allowed myself to become consumed by the need to be the best in every aspect of life, and neither should you. As I contemplated what I needed to change, I realized I was carrying garbage. I was holding on to habits and thoughts that were tearing me down. I needed to throw things out and never look back again.
Here are five pieces of garbage you should quickly toss out and never hoard.
When my husband started law school, we moved hundreds of miles away from family and friends. I knew nobody and I could hardly navigate our town with the million one-way streets. I had a lot of doubt about what my husband and I were doing, why we felt we were supposed to be in this town, how I was going to raise a family so far away from my family, etc.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, self-doubt leads to anxiety and depression, which, in turn, leads to numerous physical and mental consequences like weight gain, high blood pressure and chronic fatigue.
When doubt creeps into our minds, when we start to question "why," it can consume us. It can tear us down until we give up on everything. However, it doesn't have to. When you start to experience doubt, pull out your notebook and make a list of all the good in your situation. Think about your good qualities, about the blessings and tender mercies you receive each and every day. Also, don't be afraid to talk to someone about your feelings. Positivity from another person is the perfect way to throw out any doubt you have about yourself or your current situation.
Fear of failure
It isn't uncommon to let the fear of failure stop us from accomplishing our goals. When thoughts of failure creep into your mind, just think about the worst possible scenario. Often, it really isn't as bad as you think, or you can plan ahead to avoid that situation. When you create a plan, you are prepared. When you are prepared, you cannot fail.
Procrastination is a terrible, nasty habit that will only stop you from reaching your full potential. Many people come up with a million excuses why they should put something off: the kids are taking a nap, I'll wait until my husband comes home, etc. However, putting things off doesn't help. In fact, it only makes things worse. I am a firm believer in creating a daily to-do list and schedule. If you know exactly what needs to be done and you prioritize your tasks, it is easier to keep working throughout the day. Plus, the feeling of satisfaction as you cross items off the list is contagious.
Laziness goes hand-in-hand with procrastination. Being lazy doesn't just mean being idle in family and household responsibilities. It also refers to our physical bodies and our health. If we do not put forth the effort to properly care for our bodies, we won't have the energy to become our best. We won't be able to care for our children, be supportive spouses and manage our households. Throw away your lazy habits and participate in some type of physical activity every day. It doesn't have to be a large or overexerting workout — just move. Also, be careful of what you eat. You don't want to eat anything that will suck away your energy. Put food in your body that will fuel it like fruits, veggies, protein, etc.
We may not realize it, but over-analyzing situations can be a large burden on us and it's something we need to get rid of fast. We may find ourselves in many situations where we don't feel comfortable or something is said that makes us upset. People may critique your parenting or say something about your marriage or how you run your household, etc. Don't overanalyze what they say. If it isn't kind or if it is judgmental, push it away. Don't dwell on it and don't think about it.
You can easily lose sight of the things that matter by losing focus on your life. Evaluate your life. Think about those things that are tearing you down and throw them out. Get a giant garbage can and chuck them. You will feel so much better.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.