Monday, November 4, 2013

When you feel perpetually behind in life

"Always focus on how far you've come, rather than how far you have left to go." ~ Unknown

As 2013 comes closer and closer to the end of its rope, I've been reflecting on the past year and figuring out where I want to go and what I want to do in the year to come. I sort of always do that this time of year. I love October through December because of the weather, the fun holidays, and the "slow down and reflect on what really matters" pace of it all, but I'm not a huge fan of the feeling that I somehow fell short and took yet another year for granted---the feeling that I'm running out of time to make the year "truly" count. I don't know. Maybe that's just me.

Sometimes I just feel so behind in life. No matter what I do or accomplish, I always get hit with this sinking feeling that I don't measure up. "I should work harder. I should be a better friend. I should have more friends. I should be a responsible grown-up. I should make more money. I should be more social. I should be more business savvy. I should be more educated. I should go out more often. I should have better work/life balance. I should eat more vegetables and less ice cream. I should seize more opportunities. I should have my shit together by now."

When my confidence gets shaky, I seem to lose sight of everything I stand for and believe in. And I stand for unconditional self-love and believe that everyone measures up in their own way, regardless of where they currently stand in life. It's just not always easy to remind myself of those things when I get stuck in the cruel cycle of my own mind.

So this is what I am going to tell myself and you today:

There will always be an endless stream of reminders from well-meaning sources about how you don't measure up. You can either choose to think other people are better than you, or you can choose to recognize that although every journey is different, we are all on the same journey. The people who seem to have super awesome lives have days where they hate themselves and think other people are better than them. We're all in the same boat here.

There is nothing wrong with you, and until you embrace that truth, you will never make the changes you want to see. You have to want things from a place of self-love and patience---not comparison, pressure and self-judgment. You are perpetually going to screw up and have your flaws yelling in your face. Be okay with that. Love yourself through it all. Because when you do, wonderful shit will happen. You can't make wonderful shit happen when you sit around telling yourself how behind and underdeveloped you are.    

Maybe it's time to focus more on what you've done, rather than on everything you haven't. And for the love of all things, please believe me when I say you've done quite a lot.

<3 Madison


  1. As always I loved your article. Thank you for writing this. you know what, I was just thinking why haven't i measured up to my full potential then a little voice in my head said, lets check the blog for inspiration and i am glad i found this article. I guess, i needed someone to say to me that i have done quite a lot. Thank you, again. keep up the great work.

    1. Glad I helped! I have a little voice like that too. It usually tells me to read my Tiny Buddha book though. Haha :-)

  2. Guess,I have to start reading more of your blog and of tiny buddha. :)