It sounds dramatic to phrase it like this, but sometimes I sabotage myself. The other night I flipped open my computer at about 10:30, even though minutes before I had been planning to head to bed. As is inevitable, I ended up surfing the internet for over an hour, not really doing anything useful. And once I shut the laptop, I had trouble falling asleep because I’d gotten wound up from my piddling and from the light of the screen. So then once I didn’t sleep well, I didn’t get up to go to the gym the next morning, and I started the day feeling groggy and upset with myself for not exercising. I knew I really needed to go to bed, but I didn’t.

Sometimes making a decision like that makes me feel like an adult. “I’m an adult and I’m going to stay up until midnight watching Veronica Mars because I can and no one can tell me not to!!” And then sometimes it just makes me feel like crap.

I know it’s important to give yourself grace. But I also think it’s important not to give yourself too much. Especially as a type-A personality, I need to have standards for myself. Holding myself to certain standards is, I’d say, a large part of what has made me successful at the things I’ve been successful at in my life. My parents were never super hard on me about grades because they knew I was hard enough on myself, and in fact I made mostly A’s for my entire school career.

I believe that I am capable of a lot and I strive for near-perfection in most things. I am perhaps more disappointed in myself over perceived failures than others because I believe I can be better (even over silly things like giving in to eating a cookie in the kitchen at work). But there’s gotta be a line somewhere between beating myself up and being grumpy over mess-ups while still not sabotaging myself on a Sunday night when I’m lured in by the computer.

How do you handle “keeping yourself in line?” Do you struggle with standards, whether realistic or not?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman