Yesterday was one of those days where, to quote the Friends theme song, it felt like I was stuck in second gear.
I’d kept Evan out of school because of his cough, and I’d posted up at the dining room table with my laptop to work from home. I had my task list in front of me, but somehow I couldn’t get traction on it. I felt anxious, distracted, and low energy. I kept running into roadblocks, like baffling error messages on the digital ads I was trying to publish.
I had a desperate, helpless feeling as I watched the hours slip by without much to show for them.
As an Enneagram 1 (The Perfectionist / Reformer) personality type, I’m especially sensitive to not living up to expectations, my own and others’. Ones believe that they must be good and right to be worthy. And in my mind, it’s good and right to be productive.
Throughout the day, my inner critic and inner coach were battling it out for dominance.
Critic: You’re worthless. You’re a burden. You’re a pile of human garbage.
Coach: Of course you aren’t as productive as you’d like to be. Avery hasn’t slept through the night in six weeks! You’re taking care of Evan and managing regular interruptions. You are doing the very best you can.
Back and forth they went, the critic loud and confident, the coach more soft-spoken but resolved. The coach, however, had an ace in the hole, something that the inner critic couldn’t refute:
You have inherent value as a human being, no matter what.
Even if you don’t accomplish what you set out to – today, this week, this year.
Even if you’re not where you want to be in your career.
Even if you don’t write the book.
Even if you don’t look the way you’d like to.
Even if you don’t do any of these things, or the many others on your list, you have worth. You are enough. Period.
So many of us need this daily reminder, especially those of us who tend to equate productivity with worthiness. As the saying goes, we are human beings, not human doings.
So today, let’s remember that it’s who we are that matters, not what we do. We can practice letting go of the pressure to produce and give ourselves the grace just to be.