This morning I spent 3 solid hours working diligently on my to-do list. In that time, I managed to whittle down my “pile of things that need to be done” considerably. And yet… I still felt like I hadn’t been very productive. It felt like not enough had been accomplished. Sound familiar?
We’re all victims of “not enough” thinking from time to time. Society and culture tell us that we need more, more, MORE— and we should have gotten it yesterday. The unspoken message being that if you have less, less, LESS or if you have to wait until next Tuesday to get it– then somehow you’re not enough. That can lead to unhealthy thought patterns like “if I was a better Mom, my kids would….” or “if I’d just work harder to close more deals, then we’d have more money to….” or “if I was smarter/richer/prettier, then I’d be able to….” It’s easy to fall into the trap of “not enough” thinking, so here are a few ways to combat it–
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
Instead of paying more attention to the items left on my to-do list this morning, patting myself on the back for all I did accomplish in 3 hours would have left me feeling productive and motivated to continue working on my list. Switching our attention to what we do have will shift the focus away from “not enough” thinking. What have you accomplished today?
LIVE IN THE PRESENT.
When we’re faced with lots of “not enough” thoughts, it’s easy to get stuck in future thinking (“when I get a raise” or “when the next client comes” or “after I lose 10 pounds”). Somehow we start to believe that our happiness lies in the future and it’s tied to some *thing* we need to accomplish. Happiness begins at this very moment. Yes, right now. Look around you and be grateful for what you see, how you feel, what you have. What are you grateful for today?
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
When I complained a little bit about not feeling terribly productive this morning, one of my friends suggested that maybe I simply had too much on my to-do list. And she was absolutely correct! There was no way I could cross everything off that list in the time I had available today– my expectations were just too high. Once I adjusted them to reflect reality, I did feel better about what I’d been able to complete in those 3 hours. The same principle applies to other areas of life. Where do you need to readjust your expectations?
Can you relate? If you find that you’re struggling with these issues more than you think you should be or if it’s been going on for far too long– give me a call at 256-655-0648. I’m always happy to answer questions about music therapy and how it might help you! You may also find my video on how to use music to motivate yourself useful!