Don't Feed Your Monsters

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An amazing supervisor, mentor, and I like to think friend, recently encouraged me to not feed my accomplishment monster.

What she meant by accomplishment monster is that I have an insatiable hunger that wants to perform. The more it's fed, the more it demands!  

While accomplishing can be good and fine--and in many instances required--the accomplishment monster craves for the outcomes and adds extra, unnecessary stress and pressure; thereby, making manageable projects overwhelming and taking much, more effort. It creates a downward spiral.  

Perhaps this obsession with accomplishing originated in elementary school, where I was diagnosed with dyslexia and often felt stupid. Thus, the birth of the accomplishment monster, who insisted, "If I'm not as smart, then I'll try 150% harder and accomplish the world to fit in. If only then, I'll be good enough."

For you see, I learned our monsters get in our closets through times when our natural human needs, such as wanting to fit in, aren't met. Then they like to compare, make us feel not good enough, and provide us with a "fix" that is "if then..." i.e. never attainable; thus, leaving us hostage. They stay in the dark and whisper words of self-doubt and deprecation. We often begin to believe them. How hard it can be to not! They are insistent little buggers.   

The problem for me was for a time my accomplishment monster worked. I was well liked, graduated high school with honors, attended a liberal arts college, graduated with honors, received my masters of science...and, on and, on and, on.... S-n-o-r-e!

Then it didn't work.

The monster exhausted me. Total burnout....And, to top it off, I couldn't even accomplish like I used to. WTF! Therefore, there was nothing to be done, but to go within. The monster asked, "Who are you without accomplishing? Are you worth anything? Are you lovable? Will you be able to survive?"

Your monster might not be an accomplishment monster, but maybe it's a fill in the blank monster. Or maybe, perhaps like me, you have several monsters. Here are some ideas:

-not good enough

-too fat

-not lovable

-porn

-food 

-drug or alcohol 

-fighting

-shame

-run away

-stuck 

-loner 

-people pleasing

-and, on and, on...anything self-defeating...

BUT, like my wise supervisor alluded, it's not if we have a monster ('cause we all do), but what we choose to do with our monsters that counts. I know, right? Kinda cheesy, but it's sooooo true. 

I choose to not feed my monsters and to use all that fuel--or unnecessary, manipulative, and compulsive worry, stress, anxiety, perfectionism, etc-- to actually actualize the accomplishments that matter--dreams...  How much more fuel there will be for dreams!

What are your monsters? How can you not feed them? What dream or life purpose are your monsters costing you? How could you better use that fuel?