Actual self help

show up 2

Medium is a nice place to spend some of your free time. I found myself signing up to get updates on my favourite topic at the time- Self-Help. It helped at that point; the point where I found myself trying to claw my way out of something I couldn’t really define. I thought I needed posts and books from no-nonsense authors to tell me to get off my lazy ass and do something, to help me find confidence and purpose. The posts helped for two minutes then I’d be back in a mental rut. After some time I got fed up of reading certain things; and it didn’t help that medium started sending me daily newsletters on the kind of self help I’d never even have read if someone put a gun to my head.

‘These are the top ten things successful people do every morning,’ Are you crazy? Where on earth did you get the information? Is there some kind of secret MENSA-type group for ‘successful people’? What are the requirements for getting in?  Plus, did they hold a press conference to divulge their deepest darkest secrets? Were you there? If you were, I’m sure your life should be A+ now.

I’m not anti-self help or external inspiration now, that’s not where this is going. I’m still pro self help but I lean more towards the kind of literature that inspires me but comes from a place of truth and sometimes vulnerability. The kind that lets me know it’s okay to mess up sometimes.  The kind that acknowledges the fact that I’m human and flawed and that’s okay.

At the point in my life when I was at my lowest I developed a mantra of some sorts- show up, although I don’t need it as much anymore because I’m in a much better space mentally than I was before. When you’re in a bad headspace you can lose the will to do a lot of things, going outside or lifting one foot off the bed can be hell. In these kinds of spaces hearing people tell you to just dust things off, get up and stop feeling sorry for yourself does nothing but kill you twice. You end up being sad because, well, you’re sad and then you’re even more sad because you can’t stop being sad. You want to become this fireball of energy and determination like this person in whatever you’re reading. But you can’t even do the smallest things expected of you as a human being.

We’re all different. We should know this but sometimes we forget. Showing up for me means doing the best you can do at that very moment with all the resources you have-mental resources included. Not someone else’s version of your best, yours. If you’re not in a good space mentally there’s a limit to what you can expect from yourself. This doesn’t and shouldn’t apply to everyday life, just those times when you’re feeling low. It means trying, doing what you can and not being too hard on yourself when you can’t live up to other people’s expectations and sometimes even your own.

If your best at that point means taking a break to heal, turning off your phone or sleeping…and you know in your heart that you don’t have the strength to do anything else then please do just that. This varies in different circumstances and life doesn’t give some of us the opportunity to just ‘be’. If you’re feeling low but need to be at work, ‘show up’ to work, the rest of the day will take care of itself. While you’re there, be proud of the fact that though you weren’t feeling up to it, you made it; be proud of yourself for trying.

Hope this made sense.

Author: loladeniyi


6 thoughts on “Actual self help”

  1. I totally agree with your mantra “show up”. For me, I get overwhelmed when I feel like I am not meeting set goals or targets. When that happens, I take a step back (usually try to physically leave the area) to get back into a calm mental space for a few minutes and then come back to face things one at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rightly said! I too dislike all those “10 tips” and “Top 20 things” kind of posts. They make you feel more inadequate about yourself, like you are not doing enough. Gradual motivation would be so much better. P.S.: your writings are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOool. This was totally me! I started following BasedZeus on youtube (don’t judge me when you eventually check him out) and albeit his videos were galvanizing initially- they make you feel like you can bounce off a bullet with your chest – when real actual depression hits, its almost impossible to “JUST DO IT” then you start to think maybe you’re the problem. So far physical pain and exercise in no particular order help me out of those rough patches. But “show up” seems a lot less arduous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao i just checked him out… “7 ways to instantly be more attractive”. I’m judging you just a little bit lool. But i’m really happy you’ve found out what works for you…working out helps me too. Thanks for reading! 🙂


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