In my last post, I wrote about the importance of actually DOING whatever it is you want to do. Now I’ll give you the other side of the same coin.
Stop beating yourself up for not having done whatever you haven’t done.
Feeling shitty about yourself is just part of the cycle of depression that is a productivity killer. It’s part of the binge / purge cycle of not actually accomplishing anything. Just like it’s easier not to finish anything because nobody can criticize you, it’s also pretty easy to beat yourself up in the peace and quiet of your own mind.
So how should you treat yourself when you aren’t being productive?
Trying listening to yourself.
When I’m not getting something done that I feel like I should be getting done, after a little bit of beating myself up (which is a natural first step) I try and stop and figure out what’s actually going on. If I can’t figure it out, I just stop beating myself up anyway and assume that I’ll figure it out eventually.
If you’re blocked creatively, it probably all comes down to one thing: you weren’t ready.
You weren’t ready to write that song or start taking that series of photos or to make that film. There are lots of reasons that you might not have been ready. Maybe you didn’t have the equipment you needed or the didn’t know the people you needed to know to help you or maybe the idea wasn’t fully formed in your head.
Now here comes the scary part…here’s why you’re beating yourself up rather than listening to why you’re putting something off; because once you answer that question, you have a fairly clear path to actually doing something.
When you’re indentified what you need, you’re a big step closer to that frightening prospect of doing something and then being criticized for it. And sometimes all you need is to get over that fear.
Whatever kept you from getting your work done in the past, it’s past. Be a good friend to yourself. Listen. Figure out the problem and solve it. Then get to work.