A Blissfully Simple Technique to Let Yourself Be Enough
A Blissfully Simple
Technique to Let
Yourself Be Enough
I’m a real sucker for being told what I’m doing wrong. In all sorts of different areas of life. I know I’m not alone in this.
As human beings living in this era, and in this society, we are hardwired to have a sense of insecurity about…everything.
From the super-personal: Am I thin enough? Am I drinking enough water? Am I becoming less valuable as I age?
To the bigger and more existential: Am I doing enough to reduce my carbon footprint? Am I a good parent? Am I a good citizen?
It always comes down to this one central question: Am I enough?
The answer to this—and the origin story behind why we ask it—is a subject big enough for a book.
Though in short: Yes, you are enough, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
The idea that there’s something in us that needs to be fixed is a myth.
Still, generally, I’m all for digging into those deep, big-think questions.
Analyzing the societal structures that lead to them can be illuminating and relieving.
But sometimes, I find that doing that work, where I’m trying to understand the complex inadequacy issues we all deal with, just makes me feel more stressed out.
It takes me away from whatever I’m trying to do in the moment, when I’m actually feeling the inadequacy, and spins me out.
Sometimes I don’t need to think big, I need to think small. I need help organizing myself and directing my mind towards a sense of practical accomplishment.
These days, when I’m in that spinning-out place I apply a blissfully simple technique suggested to me by my acupuncturist.
It’s called the rule of three and it goes like this: in the morning, first thing, I write down three things I intend to do that day. Only three.
There are no rules about what things these can be—big, small, whatever. It could be as simple as “workout, grocery shop, call a friend.” Or it could include some more intense tasks mixed in.
The only rule is that you hold yourself accountable for doing these three things, and—this is the key—when you do them, you pause to give yourself credit.
At the end of the day, you don’t get to say to yourself, “Yeah I did the laundry but so what? I didn’t also buy paint for the bathroom and copy keys for the dogsitter and…cure cancer,” etc.
You pick the three, you do the three, you let the three be enough.
I don’t want to spoil the fun by oversharing how this has affected my days, but I will say that one of the most surprising things I’ve learned is how much my mind overestimates what I need to do in a day.
I thought three things would be amateur for an overachieving multitasker like myself.
It turns out that when you’re not burning energy worrying about what you’re not accomplishing and instead staying focused on what you are, the bang for your buck satisfaction-wise is pretty high.
Try out the rule of three and let me know if it worked for you. I’d love to hear about your experience!
Elizabeth is a journalist who has been writing about health, beauty and wellness for over 20 years. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her two dogs and several hundred trees, shrubs, bushes and succulents.
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