Progress Over Perfection: Re-focusing Your Emotional Energy

If we are completely honest with ourselves not everything is going to go the way we want it to. No matter how well we plan, some of the things we set out to do, aren´t going to get done. And worrying about that can be a real drain on emotional energy levels.

In today´s blog post I want to share some perspective and encouragement I hope will help you take that energy and put it to more productive use in your life.

Is All Your Planning Getting The Better Of You?

Every single day, we have thousands of thoughts rushing through our minds! We mull over “to-do” lists, think about that important presentation and try to squeeze in time to go to the gym. Ours is a society in perpetual forward motion! We plan meetings and weekend get-always. We schedule appointments and jot down last minute things we can´t afford to forget.

In many ways this focus on the future is both unavoidable and beneficial. We make plans and set goals based on our hopes and dreams; the reality we´d like to see happen.

The problem comes when our reality doesn´t match up with our expectations. Few of us realize just how emotionally draining that can be.

You may be thinking: So, big deal. Stress is part of life.

Well, even a bit of worry, stress and anxiety here and there can have a cumulative effect.  And over time, it saps you of the energy you need in the here & now.

Let me ask you something…HOW MUCH

  • energy do you spend wondering how things are going to work out?
  • fear and anxiety attach themselves to your projections for the future?
  • frustration are you experiencing  because you feel like you don´t have enough time, can´t get it all done or will never figure out how to do it in the first place?
  • emotional energy do you invest in being disappointed, frustrated or irritated that your day didn´t go the way you expected?

progress over perfection Caring too much about life living up to your expectations can set you up for a fall.

I know, I know. I´m just as guilty…expecting predictable results from my efforts, and then when things go wrong, figuring it´s my right to feel stressed out.

But here´s the thing…I´ve never known a leaky faucet to fix itself.

What I´m trying to say is emotional energy drains won´t stop themselves. You have to become aware; notice the pattern of thinking that leads to the dripping and STOP it.

Spending your emotional energy on anxiety and disappointment means that energy is not going to be there when you need it. And as your emotional energy drains away, so does your creativity, joy and hope.

What To Do Instead

I discovered not all that long ago that my biggest problem was that I´d been asking myself the wrong question all along.

You know the question I´m talking about. I´d get up and the first thing I´d ask is: What do I need to do today?

Then I´d rush around like crazy planning, organizing and trying to check off everything on my list. Still, no matter how much I managed to get done, I never really felt like I was moving closer to my goals.

That´s when I realized I needed to be asking myself a completely different question.  I needed to start asking myself: What do I want to get done today?

Just shifting my focus from what I thought I needed to do, to the most important things I wanted to get done to move me towards my goals not only made a huge difference in how I felt at the end of the day, but how productive I was, each and every day.

I began focusing on progress over perfection and the few important tasks over the never-ending minutia of everyday life.

I can only say, give it a try. You will love how much more energy you have…and how much more – of the important things! – you are able to make happen.

Have you realized that you have some leaks that need fixing? We all do. Self-awareness is the first step.

 

 

 

 

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

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