What Are You Doing to Yourself?

I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately.

Because the truth is, when I feel busy, rushed, stressed, overtired, or overwhelmed, it’s not because of someone or something ‘out there.’

It’s because of me and the things I do to myself.

Things like:

Saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no.’

Not practicing proper self-care.

Holding myself hostage to unrealistic expectations.

And allowing dirty words like ‘have to’ and ‘should’ into my mind.

The reality is:

I get to decide how often to post, how many blogs to visit, and what jobs to take on.

The house will not collapse from a little extra dust here and here.

Putting on my own oxygen mask first is essential.

And less is more.

Your turn: What are you doing to yourself?

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy How to Get Off the Meltdown City Express.

Image Credit

87 Responses to What Are You Doing to Yourself?

  1. S. Ali Myers August 6, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    So profoundly true, Jean. External factors can NOT determine your state. Only if you allow it to.

    It’s hard to be selfish sometimes but it is absolutely necessary. Who else is out for your best interest? Who else is going to put you first? This is something that I had to learn and I’m glad that I did because it helps me focus on bettering myself to better those around me.
    S. Ali Myers recently posted..Interview with Mimi Kirk PETAs Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 &amp Raw Vegan Foodist

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 8:29 am #

      It’s so easy to forget that we’re the ones responsible for our own lives. Or at least it’s easy for me to forget :) And you’re right – when we do focus on caring for ourselves, we end up being able to give more to others in the long run.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  2. Meg August 6, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    So true. This is where the “support team” can be of vital help–not so much to take up the slack, but to provide perspective and help you distinguish between what truly needs to be done from the would-be-nice-to-get-done-but-not-dealbreaking things. It’s hard to see what those things are when it’s all in a whirl around you and you’re getting tireder and tireder.

    I found myself getting caught up in giving too many different things almost-equal priority again, but some gentle and well-placed observations from my “support team” was like getting a kiss on an ouchie from my mom–made it feel all better :)
    Meg recently posted..Gratitude for a Simplified Life

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 8:30 am #

      I like your idea of a support team, Meg. I have that same issue with trying to give everything an equal priority. That’s a recipe for a meltdown!

  3. Marion Anderson August 6, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Absolutely Jean

    Thank you for sharing this. It is so true. We can be very hard on ourselves and this is not the attitude we would take with a friend.

    Time to be our own best friend!
    Marion Anderson recently posted..How to Succed with Success

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 8:31 am #

      Being our own best friends is so important. I’d never expect a friend to work through lunch or not get outside for a bit on a beautiful day.

      • Linda August 7, 2010 at 7:12 am #

        I so often forget to be my own best friend, and the result is just as you describe, Jean.
        Having read this post and the comments, I’ve set myself a task for today-
        Make a list of how I would advise my best friend to spend today (Saturday).
        Then…take my own advice…

        So… where’s that pen and paper?
        Linda recently posted..I Don’t Know What To Say

  4. Jake LaCaze August 6, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and merely changing the way we think about small issues can make a big difference.
    Jake LaCaze recently posted..Why We Can’t Afford To Ignore The Past

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 8:32 am #

      I’ve had to both challenge and change my way of thinking on a lot of things recently. It’s difficult sometimes, but necessary.

  5. Scott McIntyre August 6, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Jean,

    It’s way too easy to blur the distinction between other people’s expectations of us and what we expect of ourself. Usually, we expect far more of ‘me’ than others do.

    Then, when we can’t meet those self-imposed and unrealistic demands, we beat ourselves up. It wasn’t others who made us do stuff we couldn’t cope with… it was ourself.

    No one can do it all, and it helps to set realistic expectations of what is possible. Saying ‘no’ when necessary stops us setting ourselves up to let ourselves down.

    No one else really cares if I’m not a superhero 😉

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 9:31 am #

      Hi Scott. That’s right – we set up demands on ourselves more so than anyone else does. And we’re the only ones who can move towards healthier, more realistic commitments.

  6. Farnoosh ~ Prolific Living August 6, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Jean, I was asking that question to myself this Monday when I return after being away for 8 days? And as you saw, I had to finally drop a commitment and I am still overwhelmed with too much to do but I find balance, and take extremely good care of myself (almost to the point of fully spoiling myself – which I highly recommend). Excellent question to stop and ask with a deep breath! THANK YOU!
    Farnoosh ~ Prolific Living recently posted..Making Tough Decisions- How to Break a Commitment Professionally

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Farnoosh. I keep getting myself in one bind after another because of taking on too many things. The good thing is I keep learning new ways to streamline, but I’m ready to quite learning for awhile now :)

  7. Evelyn August 6, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Hi Jean,
    This post is just for me. I tend to work until I complete my task, but it stops today. I don’t get enough rest and really I bring a lot of the stress on myself. I try to set a post quota for myself, but I realize that if I can’t do it then, there are still posts that people can read, who haven’t found them yet.

    I have to keep telling myself..there’s tomorrow and take your time. Nothing is going to happen between now and then.

    *Less is always more. :)

    Great post, Jean!

    Take care,
    Evelyn recently posted..How to Make Healthy Crunchy Raw Croutons

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 9:48 am #

      You hit it right on the head with, ‘I bring a lot of the stress on myself.’ We all do that and it’s hard to see because we’re so close to the situation. Have a great weekend, Evelyn!

  8. Carolina August 6, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Hi Jean,

    I recently gave up going back to school in the fall because I knew my heart wasn’t in it. The funny thing was that it was a Business and Economic Reporting Master’s at NYU with a full scholarship. Five years ago, this was the program of my Dreams (I would literally GOO-GOO-GA-GA the program while miserable at work). And to be accepted with a scholarship, some people cannot imagine why I would give up such a “Treat/Dream/Accomplishment.”

    But when I got to thinking about what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life, none of it had anything to do with going back to school. I wanted to write, grow my bra business, exercise, socialize, and do well at my day job. And none of that was going to happen while I was sitting in class listening to a Professor talk.

    In a way, I felt liberated withdrawing my application. Like I had won my life over, instead of lost out.

    Good Luck. :)
    Carolina recently posted..I heart Nutrition

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 9:50 am #

      I can understand your choice, Carolina. The clothes that fit us yesterday often are a bad fit today. I think you did liberate yourself – you made a choice that resonates with who you are and not based on expectations. That’s awesome!

  9. Karen August 6, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Oh, I know that exact feeling, Jean!

    There is always one more task to do, one more thing to learn, one more commitment to complete, with this all-encompassing blogging thing we have undertaken. I think we have to decide exactly what we can and can’t do each day and then be satisfied with our results. I’ve consciously scaled back some of my posts (was a slave to the M-W-F schedule), some of my commenting that was taken up hours of my time, and some other things in order to have a semblance of a life. It’s particularly hard because the sun is shining and you can hear and see people enjoying themselves but you feel obligated to sit in front of the computer. I think we have to take a step back and ask your question, “what are we doing to ourselves”. If we don’t like the response, then take some action to fix it.
    Karen recently posted..Finding Out Who You Really Are Takes Love And Courage

  10. Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I’m beginning to ‘get it’ that we are never ‘caught up’ when we’re bloggers. Like you said, there’s always ‘one more’ thing. I’m glad to hear you’re backing off as needed. We all have to do that now and again.

  11. Well… I’m looking through all my swipe files and writing content after content for my blog and my newsletter and sometime take time out to watch my favorite drama.
    Life is always up and down… even though I told you what I’m doing, sometime I feel lost in the air starring blindly thinking… should I sleep or continue to finish what I had not done.
    The Bad Blogger – Down & Dirty Secrets For Players recently posted..The Fact- The Truth And The Myth Of 3 Online Marketing Kings Revealed !

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

      I’m pretty good at that blindly staring into the air too. Way too good at it, actually! Good luck with your content creation.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  12. Steve Hauptman August 6, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Hey, Jean. I just wrote about this same thing myself, in a post recommending what I call “listening for instructions,” a practice which “replaces chasing some mythic Happiness with the more achievable goal of getting our simplest needs met. Tired? Rest. Hungry? Eat. Sad? Cry. Like that.” http://monkeytraps.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/the-illusion-of-control-2/
    Steve Hauptman recently posted..Parable

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

      Isn’t it funny how we actually DON’T meet our own needs on those basic things? Well, not haha funny, but ironically funny. We work for some big goal and ignore the very things that will keep us alive, healthy, and happy!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  13. Leah McClellan August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I absolutely get this and agree, Jean! “I am not wonder woman!” was my constant refrain awhile back because of the expectations and constant demands from people close to me. But only I can set my boundaries and expectations of myself, and if people don’t like it, that’s just too bad.

    And then there are some things that just aren’t very obvious, and not really coming directly from anyone except me…little expectations I have for myself, like keep my lawn trimmed nicely (read perfect), flower beds weeded (make them bigger and nicer!), house clean (paint! Decorate!), stuff like that. I’ve come a long way from the time I had a yard fit for Better Homes & Gardens and the indoors ready for a Pottery Barn photo shoot lol Now it’s more like sanitation standards for indoors and common neighborhood decency for the outside lol And when I have the time and it feels good, I pretty things up. When. I. Have. Time.

    Just say no :)
    Leah McClellan recently posted..Men Get the Short End of the Stick- 10 Common Assumptions

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

      Leah, I so relate to your Pottery Barn trauma :) I used to think things needed to be spotless in side and out and that the food had to be fully stocked with all sorts of goodies. Needless to say, things have slid a bit. Haha!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  14. Angela Artemis August 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    I have to & Should – should be 4 letter words!
    I only posted to my own blog 1x this week – but I’m not going to worry about it right now. I can’t!
    Thanks for making me feel better.
    Angela Artemis recently posted..Develop Your Intuition- It Could Save Your Health

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

      Well, the post that you published was wonderful, Angela, so who needs more than that, really? I know some bloggers who go for weeks in between posts when they are really busy. And though that isn’t the greatest for growth, sometimes we just have to say, ‘so what?’ and go live our lives for awhile!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  15. Kate August 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    So,so true. Sometimes we don’t even realise what we are doing until we just step back and see that the to do list could easily be cut in half, when we look at what is really important. I like the part about the dust, and I’m definitely going to leave more of it around!!
    Going to forward this to my mum, she runs herself ragged looking after everyone else, but does sweet FA for herself. I keep telling her she needs to look after herself before others, but she takes no bloody notice!
    Kate recently posted..Lacking motivation

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

      I’ve started cutting things off my to-do list like you wouldn’t believe, Kate. I’m very good at not doing today what can be put off until tomorrow (or deleted entirely!)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  16. Hulbert Lee August 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I had one of the most stressful weeks trying to get interviews for the LOA topic. One time when I was interviewing someone, we lost disconnection and that was that. She said she was booked until Friday. I think it was because there was a helicopter flying over my house! Not a lawn mower this time…

    Then on Thursday, an interviewee told me he couldn’t do it anymore because his computer needed to get repaired. So at the last minute, I was scrambling to find someone to interview.

    Sometimes I wonder what am I doing to myself then I go take a break to chill. After that, things become better. Hope things are getting better for you too Jean.

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

      Oh my goodness, Hulbert. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that stuff this week. And all on the law of attraction week too. We won’t try to figure out the universal meaning of that :) I really kicked back today – I was still working but it was with a friend who I’m planning an offline workshop with. We got a lot done yet it was relaxing and away from my home office. Have a great weekend, Hulbert!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  17. RainbowEU August 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    It’s the beginning of August, and only today did I realise that I’ve only been to the beach 4 times this summer. I got up, left the house as it was, asked of anyone wanted to come and just left… I swam, then I lay under the umbrella, then I swam again, then I lay under the umbrella, then… well you get the picture.

    This is exactly what I was thinking, What are we doing to ourselves? Whatever is happening in the world, it is going to go on happening whatever our worry meter shows. We need to relax. We need time out.
    It constantly amazes me, when reading other people’s responses, that no matter where in the world we live, we are all sooo alike. We face the same challenges, problems and fears. Nevertheless we also have other things in common, hopes, wishes, expectations and dreams.

    The sea and the sun really boosted my confidence and disolved some of my desparation thoughts of the last year.

    Sending some positive energy and love from Greece.

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      Oh, I’m SO glad you went to the beach. That is true success in my book. Returning positive energy and love from Wisconsin!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  18. Jered August 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Hey Jean,

    The way I look at things is that we are all the leaders of our own lives, and that we have the conscious decision of how we choose to influence the environment, and how we let the environment influence us.

    I think stress can be stimulated by outside factors, but ultimately we have the choice to respond to that stimulus and determine what it means.

    This post is a breath of fresh air because it reminds me that self awareness is one leadership super-power that needs constant development.

    Thank you, Jean.
    Jered recently posted..Leadership Vision Podcast

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

      ‘The leaders of our own lives.’ Beautifully put, Jered. It sounds bizarre that I have to remind myself to be self-aware, but it’s true!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  19. Pete Stean August 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    For me, sometimes it’s blogging that actually motivates. I have a terrible tendency to be lazy, and that new place to visit or event to attend so that I can cover it in copious detail in the blog is what gets me out there a great deal of the time. That being said sometimes I do go at it a little too hard – people are often surprised when they find out that it’s written by just one person – me!
    Pete Stean recently posted..The Guards Museum- Wellington Barracks

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

      Pete, I love that blogging motivates you! It does that for me too when I don’t overdo it with other projects and commitments.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  20. Preeti @ Heart and Mind August 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm #


    I think we can let internet and blogging take over our lives if we are not careful. That is why I have decided not to be on twitter and facebook, not because I do not care but because there is simply not enough time to do it all.
    Preeti @ Heart and Mind recently posted..Heart and Mind does Blogging Report – What not to do

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

      I totally get why you’re not on Twitter and Facebook, Preeti. You do exceptionally well to get done all the things you do. Plus, the rest of us say good things about you on Twitter and Facebook, so you get extra traffic that way :)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  21. Andrea from britetalk August 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Please go easy on yourself, we’d like to have you around. And you are right, the world will not stop if you take a break. I usually take life slow and make sure I take time to enjoy small blessings. This fills my heart with gratitude and then I’m ready for the day. :) loving blessings and much love!
    Andrea from britetalk recently posted..Why Did You Do That

    • Jean Sarauer August 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

      Okay, Andrea, I promise to take it easy :) Taking life slow is my normal way too so when I get caught up in these frenzies of activity and the ‘have-to-do-it-all’ mindset, I really pay for it. Love and blessings to you, too!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  22. Farouk August 7, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    hmmm, i wake up late sometimes and then become stressed because i start racing with the deadlines, that’s what i sometimes do to myself
    Farouk recently posted..Response cached until Sun 8 @ 8:06 GMT (Refreshes in 23.92 Hours)

  23. Maggie August 7, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    When I start feeling overwhelmed about all my have to’s and should’s, I remind myself – is anybody really thinking about what I am doing at this exact moment? The answer is always no – people are thinking about themselves and their own business. Assuming otherwise is awfully egotistical! Thinking about that helps me laugh it off and realize that I’m only living my life to please one person, myself. It relieves a lot of the pressure.
    Maggie recently posted..Justification

  24. J.D. Meier August 7, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    I find when I spend the right time, on the right things, the right way … I feel “on path.”

    When I’m “on path,” I’m not rushing through to get to what’s next … there’s a time and place for things, so I’m just right here now.

    The key is, I had to learn to let things go to trade up for what’s more important, and I had to learn to catch the next train, over worry about the train that I missed.
    J.D. Meier recently posted..Day 6 – Friday Reflection – Identify Three Things Going Well and Three Things to Improve

  25. Jean Sarauer August 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Releasing things so we can trade up to what’s important – that’s beautiful, J.D.
    Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  26. Keith Davis August 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Hi Jean
    “The house will not collapse from a little extra dust here and there.” – that’s a relief. LOL
    My computer is down at the moment – I’m typing this on an old laptop with IE 6 as the operating system and I’m not getting any posts out.
    So what, the posts will wait and I can still read posts on other blogs and get involved with the community.
    Thanks for a nice “putting things into perspective” post.
    Keith Davis recently posted..A splash of colour

    • Jean Sarauer August 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

      It must be the day for computer issues. My laptop has a virus (poor baby) so I’m at my old, slow desktop. Guess we’re both getting a strange form of support in slowing down!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  27. finallygettingtoeven.com August 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Writing a blog on how to ‘balance my life one day at a time’. However, it is going something like this:

    Instead of balancing my life I have become obsessive about getting my posts done and finding content and tweaking it this way and that…

    Instead of it helping me, it’s another thing driving me nuts. Balance- I so need to learn BALANCE!
    finallygettingtoeven.com recently posted..Stop 22 – Inspiration Station

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:18 am #

      Oh, that turning something healthy into an obsession is so familiar to me! I catch myself doing it and then can laugh about it but I normal have to drive myself into a mini-meltdown first.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  28. Alien Ghost August 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Hi jean,

    Such a small post with so deep insight!

    So simple to change things around:

    1- We control our activities
    2- We are not so essential
    3- Proper self care is important
    4- Quality over quantity

    “What are you doing to yourself?”
    The same, so gotta follow your “Rules of four” more closely

    Alien Ghost recently posted..The Problem With Life

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:15 am #

      Yes, we are not so essential!

      I was struck by the power of writing small this weekend when I was reading a few favorite quotes. Most are just a sentence – or at most two – yet they shoot straight to the soul.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  29. Sibyl-alternaview August 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Jean: I totally agree. Less is more and you can only do so many things and maintain the high quality that you desire. I think it is all about doing what you feel is right and never pushing yourself too hard or too much. There is always a perfect balance and we have to find our won way to it and not be persuaded by guilt or a sense of obligation. If I am being honest, I am still working on that myself :) Great post Jean.
    Sibyl-alternaview recently posted..The Key To Doing Great Things- Do Less … Not More

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:12 am #

      I think working to find that place is part of the practice of blogging, Sibyl. And that’s how I look at blogging these days – a practice that continues to teach me many things about myself.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  30. Dia August 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Very nice post Jean. We sometimes get harsh on ourselves. For me personally, I was harsh on myself in the past 2 weeks and feeling guilty because I was not putting much time into my blog or visiting blogs often as I was busy with other things. However, then, I stopped and realized that it is not the end of the world that I didn’t put in much time. Thanks for sharing
    Dia recently posted..How to be happy

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:11 am #

      Exactly, Dia! We all get into this “have to” place when it comes to our posting and promotion routine. There is no “have to.” Yes, we want to be as regular as we can to help our blogs and our businesses grow faster, but if we have a few days off every now and again, the world will keep spinning!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  31. Brandon Connell August 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    “have to” and “should” are your only dirty words? I feel like a foul mouth comic.
    Brandon Connell recently posted..The big fat blogger repeat

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:09 am #

      See, the thing is, Brandon, there are just so many dirty words allowed in the universe. Rumor has it you’re using my share :)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  32. Jeffrey Morgan August 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    What am I doing to myself? Sometimes I consider it suicide. I have a therapist. Here name is Jean Sarauer. However, she is not in the office as often as I would like! :)
    Jeffrey Morgan recently posted..WordPress Secrets – The Clean-Up

    • Jean Sarauer August 9, 2010 at 8:06 am #

      Yes, Jeffrey, that therapist of yours has been spending a lot of time out of the office lately. That appears to be the secret to her own sanity :)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  33. TheInfoPreneur August 9, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Hey Jean,
    I can sympathize with exactly what you are talking about. I understand the feeling, and you know what the BEST answer to the problem is…whatever YOU want. Do not worry about what others dictate, tell you, promise, or promote…do what feels best for you, whatever makes you the happiest, whatever shows you the light to creating the most profit per amount of time invested, etc.
    Those are what are important.

    Take care jean,
    TheInfoPreneur recently posted..3 Pre-Webinar Tips for Success

  34. Joy August 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    I am creating my life, moment by moment. Allowing my heart to be open to the moment as it is presented to me. Allowing my thoughts to reflect my overflowing heart, to manifest my reality. I am making the choice to embrace good, and grow that while raising my vibration level so that anything less than peaceful naturally sloughs away. I am nurturing my children by allowing them to have space to be creative, to dream, to just be…I am reflecting Love and Light to All because I allow Love and Light to be reflected to me..I make these choices each and every day. And if there is a moment that anything else is allowed in, I give gratitude for Awareness, then let it go and continue on..I am now doing to myself exaclty as I do to others..allowing myself to live my dream life with ease, one moment at time..

  35. Doug August 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I have to admit that I pressure myself more than I ought, and I use those nasty words to justify it all. Funny thing is… when I back away from the keyboard for a bit my mind clears up and I find myself writing better, crisper articles. Even finding answers to those unanswerable questions.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    Doug recently posted..A Lesson in Peaceful Coexistance

  36. Caileagh August 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    The analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask is perfect. Message heard, loud and clear.

  37. Ricardo Bueno August 10, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    I used to make these big lofty goals that were always difficult to tackle (both personally and professionally). It was stressing you know. On the one hand, I knew that I could do it, but I was also putting myself through a lot of stress to get there.

    I’ve since learned that a much better approach is to break things down into little pieces and to award myself for the little victories. I wanted to do a marathon earlier this year. I didn’t get there. But my goal(s) now are to do 3 miles every other day and slowly but surely increase that number. I’m getting there. Like most things, it’s a work-in-progress :-)
    Ricardo Bueno recently posted..I Don’t Friend Logos

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 7:08 am #

      The work-in-progress model is a good one for us to adapt in any situation. Take small steps and celebrate our small successes!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  38. Aileen August 10, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    oh I love this post and all 67 comments. Jean you have a wonderful community here at Virgin Blogger Notes and I love it!

    “Putting on my own oxygen mask first is essential” sage advice.

    I’ve taken up a side hobby of worry and freak-out. It’s not that I enjoy those states but alas, it’s time to face some ultimate fears and take my shaking self through the tunnel. What we do to ourselves in our minds is really in our control – just doesn’t always feel like it.
    Aileen recently posted..Survival Tips to Beat the Heat

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 7:07 am #

      You’re sure right that it doesn’t always feel like we have that control, Aileen. I forget these things just as often as I remember them :)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..What Are You Doing to Yourself

  39. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella August 10, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    I recently realized that I was obsessing about not keeping up with doing all the things that all the “in-the-know” macro-bloggers pontificate about.

    I finally stopped trying to live up to the musts and shoulds that they went on about.

    Two things happened. I felt less pressured and my creativity really came to the forefront and I started doing things on my blog that are really making a difference.

    Not because someone “in the know” said so, but because I listened to my own inner voice and the voices of my readers.

    What a freeing experience that was!
    Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella recently posted..KeywordLuv Gives High Quality Backlinks On Comments

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

      I love the word ‘pontificate.’ :)

      When I get in ‘keeping up’ mode, my creativity shuts down too. When I back off from that nonsense, the flow returns.

      You definitely have you creative groove on. Seriously, I’m so impressed! I have to get over there and catch up on a few articles soon . . . they’re bookmarked!

  40. rob white August 10, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Hi Jean,
    It was to be careful of ‘Should’… lest we find we are ‘shoulding’ all over ourselves. When I realized that I am never going to get it all done and I will never get it all done right – I was able to let go of any ‘poor me’ attitude that was gripping me to any degree. I could clearly see that if I am to put all of myself into life, then it will always be a COURSE CORRECT JOURNEY that I am on.
    rob white recently posted..Money Matters – It Never Condemns- It Wants to Help

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Rob. How true that we’re never going to get it all done. And I love the concept that this is a course correct journey. That feels right.

  41. sharbori August 10, 2010 at 10:16 am #


    First, thank you for visiting my blog and your words of encouragement.

    Secondly, I so identify with what you have said here. To answer your question, what I am doing to myself is to actually tell myself to breath first and then think. there are so many times when I am rushing from one chore to the other, without thinking. Yes, I know what you are talking about, my friend :-)

    On another note, I notice women taking on more such stress on themselves and I had written about it on my blog a while ago. here is the link, read it when you have time (remember self care first?)

    It is not exactly on the same line and is a little more in depth take on the context of Indian women but there are some similarities to what you are saying.


    remember, breath first?

    take care.
    sharbori recently posted..Where do we go from here

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

      Excellent article, Sharbori. There is much to consider as women when we look at why we think and feel the way we do. We are worthy of excellent self-care! I really enjoy how real you are in your writing. Plus, it made me feel better to know I’m not the only one who struggles with exercise :)

  42. Sharbori August 10, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    hi Jean,

    to answer your question, what I am doing to myself is to reminding myself to breath first and then act later. I often find myself rushing from one thing to another without thinking and without breathing. this is what i am trying to stop.

    what i also like to share with you is a note that I posted a few months ago (http://sharbori21.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-is-it-that-prevents-us-from-self.html) on similar points but with a bit of in depth view specially in the context of Indian women.

    please read when you have time (remember say no first and to add, breath first!) :-)

    take care.
    Sharbori recently posted..Where do we go from here

  43. Tia August 10, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    I have been asking myself the same question lately as well. My faith’s been tested recently, and I keep being brought back to a place of ultimate trust.

    We do these things to ourselves out of fear or worry (however small amount). When we let go of the worry, we find peace!

    Inspiring, Jean. Thank you!
    Tia recently posted..Eat Pray Love

    • Jean Sarauer August 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

      Tia, you are so right. When we cling to our challenges and worries, we’re blinded to all that’s true. Here’s to faith and peace!

  44. Clearly Composed August 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Sometimes I have a cookie when I want a hug. That’s where I will make progress…asking for more hugs. :)

    • Jean Sarauer August 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      Well, here’s a virtual hug :) Trouble is, now you’ve got me wanting a cookie too!


  1. So Called “Free” Days, Making Every Day a Success and Rockin’ It like Aerosmith — Big Girl Branding - August 16, 2010

    […] leaves me room to slack and tell myself “there’s nothing to do”. Give myself up to the whole less is more mentality… even if in fact, less isn’t really more this time around.Mayhap you you’re […]

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes