Mental Health Moments: Being OK With Your Limits
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
My ambition knows no limits.
With that being said, reality sometimes does not match those expectations. Due to the fact that I am a human, I get tired. I lose motivation and productivity. My energy levels naturally deplete depending on the season of my life and hurdles I’ve had to jump.
Still, however, I have the unrealistic expectation that my ambition cannot be limited. I can achieve everything at 1,000 percent at all times. The problem with that notion is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish. When you don’t accept your limitations, you push yourself over the edge. Your anxiety levels increase, and the all-or-nothing mentality plagues your everyday life.
It is vital to push yourself to achieve your goals and objectives; however, when it compromises your mental, emotional and physical health, it’s time to take a step back and analyze the pros and cons of your behavior.
As I get older, I’m learning to accept my limits. I will be honest, though. I have not mastered this skill, and I may never reach the pinnacle of being OK with my limits. What I can offer in this blog post is how I cope with my thoughts and processes during flare-ups.
Here are three ways I have found inner peace while attempting to accept my limitations:
As a people pleaser since at least the early 1990s, I can say with certainty that I say “yes” to way too many requests. I have this innate fear that people won’t like me or will be disappointed in me if I say “no” to something. You have to say “no” in order to achieve your high-priority goals. If you say “yes” to everything, then you will burn out and not have the energy to do the things you actually want to do. This could come in the form of telling a family member you’ll call them back after your work day is over or opting out of that after-hours networking event. You are in control of your life. Although I know this, I still struggle with wanting to make everyone else happy before myself. When it comes to the detriment of your mental health and your company’s growth, just say no!
Be up front and honest.
The past five years have been formative for my emotional growth. At age 25, I started a journey, and at age 30, I’m still navigating the rough waters of authenticity. This goes hand in hand with saying no. I feared that if I showed my true colors, then people wouldn’t like me. The ultimate realization is that I honestly don’t care if everyone likes me. I want to be liked, but as long as those closest to me love and accept me, then I’m doing an OK job. Be honest about what you want and what you are able to do within a certain timeframe. Ask for help when you need it. (Again, I’m the worst at this sometimes. I want to conquer everything so I can prove to myself that I have inner and outer strength.) Everyone needs help to grow and to take breaks. Rome wasn’t built in a day. (I’ve said this a lot lately.)
Schedule relaxation time.
You have to take time to recharge. I’m the world’s guiltiest culprit of doing everything possible to NOT have time to relax. When I started my company, I would work my full-time job and then come home and work until the wee hours of the morning. I would wake up and start it all again. Now, my career fulfills part of my life purpose, but I noticed that I was burning out more frequently. No matter how much you love what you do for a living, you have to schedule down time. I actually have to put it on my calendar so I make sure I do it. Accept the fact that your to-do list will still be there when you return. In fact, if you finished your entire to-do list, you wouldn’t be fulfilled. You’d wonder what’s next. Taking breaks allows you to realize new dreams and items to place on your coveted to-do list.
Please note: These blog posts are not clinical, although we will provide symptoms and other information. These posts are based on my experiences with anxiety and mental health in general.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit a website like Mental Health America to learn more.
Mental Health Moments blog posts are every other Tuesday of the month. Our CEO and contributors highlight what it's like to live with a mental health disorder and continue to fight the stigma through storytelling.
Kaylin R. Staten, APR, is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer based in Huntington, WV with nearly 16 years of professional communications experience. As CEO and founder of Hourglass Media, she uses her compassionate spirit and expertise to delve into the heart of clients’ stories. She is a recovering perfectionist, mental health advocate, wife, cat mom and Leia Organa aficionado. Connect with Kaylin on LinkedIn.