It’s been 3 weeks now since I wrote my open note about identity and my experiences feeling depressed the past months. I remember writing in January about expressing more often, more authentically. But along the way I had to retract to get myself together. And now that I am feeling good, I am still not productive, the gym still does not see my face, I barely write, I don’t meditate and I still can’t seem to do what I say I would do. I thought all that was part of being depressed, and that I would get back to my best self sooner. I had higher expectations of myself.
Somehow I thought my comeback after the past few months would be a super-inspired, self-actualized, complete version of me. But I was doing the same stuff I did while depressed the past few weeks. The only difference was that I wasn’t feeling like shit.
After analyzing my behavior the past few weeks, I understood that feeling better does not equate feeling motivated. To feel good does not mean to be inspired. This made me think about the nonlinearity of life in general, but especially of being our Best Selves. With so many habits, attitudes, beliefs and what not, how can our personal evolution be anywhere near linear?
And then it hit me: this is a constant battle. I’ve been in this place before – where my actions don’t align with my vision and I battle my thoughts to do better. In fact, more often than not. In retrospect, I have to admit that depression had its comfortability with it. Eating your sorrows is easier than losing 10 pounds or working out. To lay in bed takes much less energy than to sit and create. Consuming is always easier than producing.
Introspection has helped me find out more about my self-destructive behavioral patterns. Questioning and challenging myself are making it possible for me to change these unhealthy patterns.
There is not one experience, event or circumstance that will change old habits forever. Not even the lowest place you’ve been in will make you permanently actively reach higher. It might initially inspire you to take care of yourself better, but you’d still need to do the work. We wake up every day with a different energy, thus to do what you say you are going to do takes a strong willpower and discipline. It takes responsibility and ownership of your life and actions to strive to do better. See your life as an experiment where you are your own object of study and the goal is to find what works for you, your goals and overall happiness.
As I am taking steps to live the life I want for myself, I encourage you to sit with yourself and ask yourself what you’d need to change or do to be a better version of yourself for yourself. What is your best version asking from you? What is it that you need to do next? There is no right or wrong answer here; only what works and what does not work, given who you choose to be in every moment. Remember that there is not a straightforward, one-method-fits-all approach to your Best Self, nor your Most Productive Self. We all have a lifetime of conditions that affect more decisions that we think. Reflect, readjust, redirect. As often as needed.