I recently had a client tell me that she felt guilty that she wasn’t working anymore. She kept referring to her actions as “just” or “only” doing certain things.
She was “only” walking instead of going to the gym. She was “just” reading with her son instead of reading herself, “only” managing a deployment, “just” watching her son, “only” taking care of the finances, “just” cleaning the house, and the list went on and on.
Avoid “Just” and “Only” Statements
These kinds of “only” or “just” statements kept coming from her mouth, even though everything she said amounted to a series of huge accomplishments in my eyes.
“Angela,” I said, “you’re already doing so much!”
And this client, like many of us, really seemed to demonstrate that she was (1) already incredibly successful and (2) expecting WAY too much from herself.
Celebrate Your Successes
Even our everyday tasks can be hugely meaningful for both ourselves and our families. You might be bonding with your children over trips to the grocery store. You may not be “working” in the traditional sense, but you’re doing some incredibly important work by reading to your kids, preparing them for school, and being a good parent to them.
Plus, you’re doing so much for our country as you take care of yourself, support your spouse, and hold down the home front.
Build on This Base of Excellence
During my chat with Angela, I asked her what she wanted in her life, and she admitted that more income would be helpful. However, she also explained that she loved being at home with her son.
This conversation demonstrated to me that she had definitely built a base for excellence—she was already committed to serving her country as a military spouse, serving her family by making more money, and serving her son by being there for him. That meant that I was able to work with her to come up with strategies for making more income without being away from her son, enabling her to make changes that align with all of her values.
Remember, You Are Awesome!
We all have goals that we’d love to attain and ideal lives we want to move toward. But, until we achieve them, it’s important to live gratefully and appreciate all that we’ve already done.
Remember, you are already awesome!