When I did an anonymous survey of dynamic and excitable women, there were a lot of common themes. One person captured it beautifully in one simple sentence, "There's not enough time for all of my awesome."
In general, we are a self-critical bunch. But that's not to say we have low self-esteem. On the contrary, we know we have the potential to do great things, so we judge ourselves when we fall short.
Part of the problem is, there are so many things that we could do well that it's hard to pick just one or two. When we try to do to many at once though, we are prone to get overloaded and shut down. This leaves us with a feeling of "spinning our wheels" without actually getting anywhere.
Here's the good news -
According to Dabrowski, dissatisfaction with oneself is a crucial step toward positive personality development. It is only useful though if it can be directed toward achieving your personal ideal through conscious action.
To do this, we must move past ruminating about what should be and focus on the challenge of what could be. This involves accepting the current reality, and assessing what steps or actions it will take to move forward based on our deepest values.
Easier said than done right?
One tool I've found mighty useful for prioritization is Stephen Covey's Importance-Urgency Matrix from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. At first I thought this book was just another pop-culture self-help book, but it actually has a lot of valuable insights to share!
One of the things that keeps you spinning your wheels is constantly responding to the urgent rather than the important. We often prioritize things that are urgent and not important over more important things that don’t have the same urgency. Covey points out that focusing on important issues that aren't urgent requires a high level of initiative and proactivity.
In order to determine what is most important, you must know where you are trying to go. Take the time to really examine your ideal future life. Include your deepest values and purpose as well as what you love and nourishes your mind, body and soul. Be mindful of your choices and consider whether they fit the big picture you’d like to see of your life.
I use this tool and many more in my upcoming free two week program called Stop Spinning Your Wheels to help women to get unstuck, and make more time for their own awesomeness!
You can access the program in my League of Excitable Women group on Facebook.