It Won't Be Easy, But It Will Be Worth It: How To Achieve Your Goals When Fighting Lyme Disease
With fingers hovering just above the keypad, eyes fixated on what I have not written instead of the ideas trapped and whirling around inside my head, I question whether or not I can write this.
Whether not I am qualified enough to give others this kind of advice. After all, half the time I struggle to do anything. Half the time, I can't seem to keep my head above water for long enough to tell myself, "sure, you've had a few setbacks, but you've got this. You've always had this."
Usually during a time like this, I feel incredibly small, making the things that I wish to do, conquer even, feel even more impossible. But you know, I'm beginning to think that they feel so scary because only half of me is committed, and that half that is, is constantly trying to convince and drag along the other half. The part that questions, doubts, and questions some more.
You're standing in front of a beautiful door, one with a gold handle with the face of a lion with different shades of blue and grey paint covering its magnificent carved and cared for wood exterior, and as you stand there, you begin to wonder what could be on the other side? I mean, with a door so beautiful, how could anything come close to its grandiose appearance?
Not to mention, the people on the other side, they probably have their sh**t together, and you, well you're standing here in an outfit you bought over five years ago with a heart that pounds through your chest, hands that shake, energy that wavers, body that aches, and eyes that can't see clearly. You're standing here, fearful that if you turn that knob and enter the way you are, that "they" will reject you, kindly asking you to return when you're full of confidence, health, and a resume that has more job titles and degrees than medical bills and failed treatments.
But in a way, I think we all struggle with this. Struggle to face parts of ourselves that we for some reason see as unqualified or lacking. Though you know, this struggle before diving into any project, only brings to light the importance of doing it, even if dong it means spending weeks, months, years even, walking up to that door, all judgements aside, and saying either "now, now I'm ready," or "not yet, but soon I promise." After all, we must find a way to forgive ideas or projects that have dropped by the way side, whether it be from health or what have you, it's just another way to make room for that same idea or project to pop back up when it's ready, or for a new one for you to grab hold of and run with.
I think part of it is I feel like a fraud. Like, yes, others have made it, but I just don't see how I can. I just don't think I have the "umphf" that you need to get you there. HOLD UP (yes, these are my actually thoughts that I am attempting to stop in their tracks because they ARE NOT TRUE) you already have what it takes to "make it," and do you know why? Well, my friend, it's because making it isn't necessarily what she's done or he's done or what that one blog post told you you need to do (this one included), making it is about truly, really in truly, believing that you are well enough, strong enough, and hold all the tools right this very moment to achieve your goals.
No timeline, no rulebook, no you need this or that. Just you and all that you're doing right now to make things happen.
So, back the to question that I typed just before my fingers "hovered over" the keyboard for approximately three days (and that's a relatively short period of time for me to hover) before typing this out...
How do you achieve your goals when fighting Lyme Disease?
*or any other mental or physical setbacks you may be facing - do not discredit these obstacles, they are real.
Here are a few things I have found to be helpful:
- Wide Time Frame - Instead of picking specific days that you'd like to have something done by, try taking the pressure off by allowing yourself an extra big "give" period, where you can take days to rest, slow down, and re-group.
- A Focus Day - Pick a day, whether it be once a week or once every two weeks, where you sit down and do that thing for at least an hour. By spacing these days out, you will have time to prepare for them, taking extra care of yourself the day before, during, and after.
- Yoga, Stretch and/or Meditate - Now, this one involves some movement, and for some of us this might always be possible, but I do urge you try this when possible, especially meditation + yoga. Doing this in the morning, or whenever you find those doubts and negative thoughts creeping in, can be hard at first, but when you view it as progress being made towards and for your goal, rather that time against it, then you may find that your productivity and motivation will increase over time. Not just that, but it's such an amazing tool to carry with you wherever you go.
- Don't Compare - This may seem obvious to some, but I find that comparison can slip in and crush me, convincing me that whatever I'm doing is silly or insignificant. When this happens, just remember why you're doing this and who you're doing this for. DO IT FOR YOU, and ask yourself, does this make me happy? If it does, run with it and use others to help motivate you + lift you up, not bring you down.
- Asking For Help + Advice - Now, this one definitely ties into the above one. When we start to compare, it might be because we look up to that person, admiring them for what they do. Which means that they are in a way, inspiring us. So, instead of seeing that as competition, try viewing it as an opportunity to reach out and ask them for advice, or simply to say that you're feeling a little stuck in a rut and are curious as to what they do to stay motivated? (because I guarantee they get stuck in ruts too and you can help each other to get out of them!)
- Accept Positive Feedback - I'm rolling with this whole "lean into others" thing because you guys, it works! It really does. So, the next time you ask someone for feedback or advice, and they say it's a job well done, accept it and know that HECK YES YOU ARE GOOD AT THIS! It can often be hard to allow ourselves these complements, brushing them off as "yeah I did ok but I'm terrible at this - or am probably going to mess this up..." wears down our confidence and does us absolutely no good.
- One Accomplishment - I find that it can be hard to find stability and structure when fighting this disease, often I feel like I didn't (couldn't) accomplish anything from my to do list because doctor appointment, feeling terrible, anxiety attacks - or what have you - mean't that I needed to set everything aside. When this happens, forgive yourself, then try to set up your To Do's in a different kind of way. Try writing down just one thing to do a day, even if it's tiny. Something you know you'll be able to accomplish, that way everything else is just an added bonus!
- Be Forgiving - Continuing this theme of blurred lines, be sure to forgive yourself when you can't accomplish that one thing, or the goal just doesn't seem reachable that day. Forgive yourself and move in a different directions, bringing your attention either inwards (taking a bath/ a little self lovin'.)
- A Goals (+gratitude) Log - This is something I just started doing daily, usually right after my morning meditation (will write a full post on the benefits of meditation soon!), and I have found it to be extremely helpful when it comes to reaffirming why I keep circling back to those things that are so important to me, as well as everything that I have right now to be grateful for. Kind of begins to feel like I'm building off of something already established instead of starting from scratch. And wow, this feeling is good.
- Making Mistakes, Falling + Get Back Up - Being the highly sensitive person that I am, failing, slip ups, set backs, and everything else of that manner weighs incredibly heavy, and often I can't help but take it personally, like what I am doing isn't worthy enough or important enough. However, every time something that I consider to be a mistake, after time, only makes what I'm doing even more important. It's as if I wouldn't have seen what I needed to do next if it weren't for the fall.
Lastly, do not undermine your abilities, as you have a great many, some discovered, and some yet to be unveiled. So move forward holding all that it means to be you in a place that is seen and felt by others, because when you get after your goals in your own way, amidst pain and adversity, you are succeeding like no one has before, and that should be considered a job well done.
The rest? Well, the rest doesn't really matter because you're already making things happen. You're already moving, shifting, and shaping the world around you.
And boy am I honored to be here supporting and watching you along the way. So, let's lift each other up, shall we?
All my love,