Productivity and Self-Worth

Lists and CalendarsI’m realizing lately just how much my self-worth on any given day is tied in with how productive I am, how much I get done. Holy macaroni! I’ve always been an organized, list-oriented Virgo. But I didn’t realize how much self-judgment is involved with my precious lists and calendars.

As I started 2013, I purposefully moved away from lists of goals and instead focused on my intentions. I wanted to practice BEing rather than constantly run around DOing things. I took a look at my daily spiritual practices and adjusted them to be more in line with where I am right now. I kept the self-love affirmations that I’ve been working with for more than a year now, and which have been helping me find more compassion for myself. I resolved to still keep lists, but to be less focused on getting things done and more aware of how I’m feeling, more attuned to intuition and able to flow through life.

But it took the wisdom of a good friend of mine to help me see how I’m still trying to prove something, whether to myself or others. She commented on how, in an organization we’re both involved in, I seem to run around doing things, as if I need to look good to justify my worthiness of being there. She emphasized that I’m worthy simply by virtue of being myself – and that notion brought me to tears. I hadn’t understood that I was (still) doing this to myself, and how harsh it was, how unkind.

Checking things off my list sometimes becomes more important to me than joy or love or creativity or other qualities I value. The almighty list can trump resting or feeling well or spending unscheduled time with loved ones. As I write this, I can see how this mindset has affected my transition from working full-time for someone else to the life of an unschooling entrepreneur and author. I guess, even after a few years, I’m still “deschooling” myself. I no longer have the satisfaction of employee reviews and other feedback; and trust me, my former boss was a lot nicer to me than I have been to myself! He often expressed his appreciation for my skills and hard work. And then I started working for myself, and rather than praise I received higher and higher expectations.

So, it’s time to remove the link between what I do and my value as a person. To let go and trust that I won’t become lazy or a burden. I enjoy working, and I love it best when it’s related to my passions. There’s no way I’ll give up writing and music and learning and creating and teaching, even without my ego as a harsh taskmistress. In fact, I’m willing to bet I’ll get more accomplished along the way to my dreams – and have much more fun in the process.


Productivity and Self-Worth — 2 Comments

  1. So great Starcat! I can totally relate to this post subject. I finally took care of myself today and decided to get some much needed rest instead of pushing to fill up unexpected extra time today. It felt good to not judge my self worth because I didn’t DO DO DO.
    Thank you for this post and for your honesty and openness.

  2. Thanks, Jenn! I’m not sure why it’s so hard for us (especially women) to “get” that we are already worthy. I’m glad we’re working on it and being more gentle with ourselves. Love you!!

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