Sometimes It’s Hard to Give Myself Credit

Depression sucks. (Duh).

One of the hardest symptoms to deal with (for me personally) is how incredibly critical I’ve become of myself. I’ve always held myself to reasonably high standards. But it’s like depression raises the bar, while simultaneously adding an extra 50lbs to my barbell. The goal is now so high and my perceived ability to succeed is so diminished that I find myself in a constant state of self-disappointment. In an effort to remedy this I’m attempting to give myself credit; to celebrate the small everyday victories and convince myself that I’m not a disappointment.

The problem with disappointment and perceived failure is that it creates a loop. Just about every time I sit down to start to work on something I think through all the times in the past where I messed up, or didn’t do, or outright failed to perform similar tasks. It makes it impossible to get things done – after all, I’m probably just going to perform as miserably as before, right?

The idea of focusing on small victories and giving myself credit for them goes back to an old Reddit thread: No More Zero Days. The idea is simple: Do Something Every Day. The Thing you do for the day can be small or it can be big.

Examples of small simple tasks to give yourself credit for:
– Getting out of bed
– Brushing your teeth/hair
– Doing laundry

Yeah, those are small, and pretty standard. But they’re still Things You’ve Done, and it’s important to give yourself credit for them. It creates an environment in which it is now incorrect to say “I haven’t done anything today.” … that phrase is, by the way, the introduction to our negative spiral described above.

The more I’ve focused on the little things I have done, instead of ruminating on things (large or small) I haven’t done, the easier it’s been to get more things done. The final result is that I’m not only happier, but more successful.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
-Oprah Winfrey

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
-Willie Nelson

2 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s Hard to Give Myself Credit”

  1. Oh, how I feel you. Anxiety alone can be paralyzing. For me, it’s just an awful feeling of dread.

    I’m happy that you have figured out how to motivate your way out of it – for you are so right. Some days just getting up is an accomplishment, and getting dressed another! Add bonus points for personal hygiene.

    I look back on my 4o plus years of my working career and truly wonder how the hell I managed to do it! I guess the fear of failure and starvation beat out the blue meanies in my head.

    Youve got a great attitude and
    I’m proud of you, Emma. For putting it out there and for persevering through the tough days. XOXO Auntie Peg

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