Do You Suffer From This Syndrome?

The other night a family member was rushed to the hospital.

Matt & I volunteered to go to their house & pack an overnight bag. We were in & out in under 10 minutes.

The next morning I had a text from my relative (female): 

"So sorry the house was a mess"

Um...

1) It was spotless. There might have been a dish in the sink & a sweater draped over a chair.
2) Like that would even be noticed at a time like this!?
3) Daaaamn - we are hard on ourselves!

We hold ourselves to the highest of expectations.

Have you ever walked into a man's garage & have him say " sorry it's a mess?"

Hell no!

We need to cut ourselves some slack & we need to do it PRONTO!

I must admit. I always thought I was pretty good at doing this - at cutting myself slack. In my opinion, I did not suffer from what I call the "Do It All Yourself" syndrome. 

But then I caught myself doing it - and not only that, I realized I was giving myself a DOUBLE DOSE of it! Here's what happened:

I spent the day with my niece, celebrating her birthday. 

I knew I had to be home by a certain time because I hadn't written this post yet and it was due to be published tomorrow. 

I was 2 hours late getting home because I was enjoying the festivities too much.

When I got home, I realized how tired I was but knew I still had work to do. 

Criticism Dosage #1: I should have been home on time. I can't be tired. I still have so much to do.

Then I realized my clothes were dry but still hanging on the line & it was threatening to rain. Reeling them in required me to balance, exhausted, on my tiptoes. 

Did I mention I'm almost 35 weeks pregnant?

Criticism Dosage #2: I have to get the clothes in. I'm too tired. Can I just leave them for tomorrow & throw them in the dryer if it does rain?

BAM - DOUBLE DOSAGE!

Do you suffer from this at all?

Would you be able to know it if you did?

Or would you be clueless like me, heaping it on twice as fast?

Here are some common symptoms of "Do It All Yourself" syndrome:

  • You feel bad when you have to say no to a friend/family member when they ask for a favour.
  • When someone does something nice for you out of the blue, you immediately feel obligated to return the favour.
  • You feel guilty bringing anything not homemade to a family gathering, kid's school bake sale, etc.

If you answered no to all of these, congratulations! You've found a healthy balance.

But if you hesitated even the slightest bit, I want to encourage you to watch out for the next time you're holding yourself to unreasonably high expectations.

Holding ourselves to these standards ROBS US of being in the moment, being fully engaged in the experience, and therefor making us MISS OUT on happiness.

How did I course correct once I caught myself bullying myself?

I got present:

  • I'm house sitting. Hanging my clothes out on the line is a treat for me. I don't have one at at home. I smelt the clothes to remind myself of that fantastic scent.
  • Taking them off the line was so hard because of the awkward balancing act. I went and got a stool.
  • Staying later at the birthday party allowed me to take really nice pictures with BOTH parents in them. How rare is that?
  • Not having this post written allowed me to see how easily even I do beat myself up instead of preachin' to you on my soapbox saying "give yourself a break lady!"

Noticing these awesome 4 things was enough to silence the brain chatter, my inner critic.

The next time you find yourself face-to-face with yours, I hope you'll take a minute and get present.

In the comments below, let me know which side of the fence you fall on: Healthy Balance or "Do It All Yourself" syndrome?