A couple of days ago, I was tolking to a lovely young lady (who shall remain nameless) when the topic of discussion ended up becoming my sense that I have been working below my pontential. I realized that a large part of that is my lack of perspective on my achievements.
I've developed this incredibly unhealthy habit of paying attention to my failures instead of my successes and letting them weigh me down. For instance, I'm working on getting myself back into fighting shape (bodyweight exercises, lots of basics and single movement work, standing meditation) and trying to study for my phd qualifiers. Increasingly, whenever I have a hard time getting started, miss a training session or miss a study session its because I'm remembering times when I failed to get things done in the past. I basically psych myself out by assuming that, since i messed up before I will again. This probably ties into the fact that I have never really been secure in my abilities. Why? well I could speculate on the reason but it wouldn't change the fact that I need to get used to the idea of paying attention to the things I do right and using my missteps/failures as learning tools instead of instruments to punish myself with.
In order to get here, I forged ahead and succeeded more times than I fell back and failed. I have worked long hours through serious hardship on my body, my mind and my soul. Somehow, I 've never really appreciated that part of me. That was a huge mistake I must now make an effort to rectify.
This also means that I have to learn how to let go of the fear of seeming arrogant that drives me to false modesty without simultaneously losing track of all I have left to do. True humulity isn't found in lying to everyone, including yourself, about what you are capable of. Instead it is found in being absolutely honest with yourself about all your strengths and weaknesses. Including those you are afraid to admit to yourself or to other people. Since I already know this, I just need to do it. But that discussion is for another post.