Monday, November 15, 2010

Accomplishing a Lot – but Never Enough?

Have you ever felt like you got a lot done but still felt like you should have done better because you have so much you still need to do? I've been feeling that way a lot lately. I have been working hard on an event and getting caught up on a number of projects. I've gotten a lot done. Still, I look around at all that still needs to be done and I'm not satisfied.

I'm sure this is a common problem. It seems that many of us find it difficult to be happy with our accomplishments. There is always a way we could have been better, tried harder, done more, or whatever it is that comes to our mind. Sometimes it is true, but even if it is, we often gloss over our accomplishments to focus on what could have been.

This may be the bias our mind has for remembering the negative. There are studies that show that people tend to remember the negative more. If you give someone 5 compliments and one criticism, the criticism is the one that will stick in the mind more. In the same way, bad experiences can linger, overwhelming good ones. I know that one trip I took with my husband is like this. Although I know I had a lot of good times, there were some rough patches (our airline caused a lot of hassle and stress and my husband didn't handle it very well, which stressed me). When looking back though, I mostly remember the overall negative feeling about that vacation, which is a shame because I'd been looking forward to that trip for 10 years.

In the same way, I have been feeling like I'm not getting anything done--while accomplishing lots of stuff. While it is important for people to see that there are still things to be done (and ways to improve), it shouldn't be done at the expense of recognizing the victories as well. We need to be careful that the negative doesn't begin to overshadow our perceptions and make things seem worse than they are.

For that reason, I'm trying to pay attention to all the things I do right this week--the goals I accomplish, the projects I finish, the progress I make. I can acknowledge all the things that still need to be done or the ways I could be better, but I am working on also celebrating all that is right too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be kind in your comments.