Monday Hour One- Expectations Too High?


I have a recurring thought I am working to overcome of “I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy”.  It stems from patterned thinking from my past that doesn’t serve me anymore, yet it sneaks back in when I’m not paying close attention.  I know this plays out with my confidence in my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  When planning my week I always seem to put pressure on myself to do more, sometimes what’s probably an unrealistic amount.  This thinking then results in overwhelm which leads to avoidance/procrastination and perpetuates the vicious cycle of not getting what I had hoped done.  I want to find a balance.  My actual work and my thinking around work take up more of my mental energy than I would like.  I want to figure out how to both build better integrity with myself and release unrealistic expectations and judgments I have on my productivity.  I feel like I want to care less and care more at the same time.

I have tried several executive function strategies that help to a degree (do the worst first, set a timer for a short interval just to see what I can get done and if I can build momentum, etc.  I have used a prioritization matrix but seem to think everything is urgent and important, which just seems to stem from judgment that I should have all these things done no matter what.  Ultimately, these tools haven’t provided the fix for my thinking, so ultimately they don’t get me the results I’m seeking.

Some thoughts I have tried/found to be helpful so far have been:  I don’t have to be the best; I am doing a similar job to my colleagues; we are all struggling this year with the restrictions and catchup from COVID-related school closures; this is not an average year for caseload/workload and you’re only one therapist; consistent small steps will lead to big results; keep taking action no matter what; there is no wrong decision; I have a beginner’s mind and am open to learning and growing through new experiences this year; and I can do hard things.

However, I think it’s easy if I’m tired and depleted to resort back to a victim mentality with all my victim thoughts:  I have a one-year old who’s not sleeping great these days; my step-son committed suicide in February and my husband is grieving/not super available/requiring a lot of support; and I just need to cut myself slack and not be working full-time and nights/weekends too.  I have a hard time with the thought my family and my mental health come first and I’m not sure why.  Yet I end up having to focus on my mental health to help myself work through thoughts and feel better but then have guilt for the time I spent not doing work.  Am I buffering with the self-help work?  As I type this, I think all around I put a lot of pressure on myself with the thoughts I think about who I am as an employee, wife, mother, and just human being.  How do I believe that I am enough?