Give yourself credit.

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How often are we not surrounded by work that could be done, clothes that should be folded, unread emails in our inboxes, conversations that were left on an unclear note, bodies that might do well to get a workout, books that are half-finished and untidiness in various corners of our lives?

For me, all the time.

It’s been a struggle and I keep saying, “When I get THERE, I’ll feel better.”

But the problem is that I never get there.

What is ‘there’ for me? It’s a place where all my stuff is done, I look how I want, I have the money that I want, everything is tidy, everyone likes me, I feel GREAT, I have loads of time to do whatever I want and my life looks presentable for instagram.

I’ve been struggling with this forever.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a self-improvement mentality. It began innocently enough. I wanted to be better at sports, cooking, crafting, because I liked those things. Not because of anyone else.

But then it changed.

When I realized that people were watching me, commenting on my skills (or lack thereof) I took a precarious turn toward perfectionism. And to this day, it’s still very uncomfortable for me to be ‘seen.’ Because I just never really feel ‘good enough.’

And I began to believe that it was about all the things that are left undone and imperfect in my life.


My thoughts are the only things that cause my feelings.

I will not feel better with more money or more time or more organization.

HOWEVER, more time and more organization can be bi-products of different thinking.

It’s not WHAT my rooms look like once they’re clean and tidy, it’s the fact that I give my mind a break from constantly thinking about it all that leads to feeling better.

When I look around and see all the stuff everywhere, I think a lot of thoughts that aren’t helpful for my happiness.

  • ‘You don’t know how to take care of yourself.”

  • “You’re not grownup.”

  • “You’re failing at life.”

  • “You have too much stuff.”

All of these thoughts cause me to feel TERRIBLE.

What I’ve realized about myself that has begun to set me free.

I love organization. I love seeing things in an orderly setup. I love display and shelving. It causes me to think good thoughts and have good feelings. And so, I’m deciding that I want more good thoughts and good feelings, so I’ve undertaken to organize my life.

It’s ok to want to change things. I don’t want to look around at an un-organized space and think terrible thoughts about myself, but I DO want to aspire to organization. So, I’m learning to reframe things in a grace-filled way.

I’m giving myself credit. Here are a few thoughts I’ve been adopting on my way to self (and space and business and relationships and body and mind) improvement.

  • “Look at all you have done.”

  • “I’m proud of you for listening to yourself.”

  • “You’re taking action toward your larger goals.”

  • “Look at how much you’ve accomplished today.”

My derailing thoughts, that have stopped me for years pursuing things that I know would bring me joy and are still at it trying to sabotage me are:

  • “But you didn’t get it all done.”

  • “Something will come up and you won’t finish.”

  • “You should be doing other, more important things.”

  • “How do you know that something in your life isn’t crashing because you’re focusing on this?”

  • “Your home / hair / body / business / office will NEVER look like _________________ so why are you even trying?”

  • “It’ll cost too much.”

  • “You don’t have what you need to do this.”

And so on.

So, I’m giving myself credit. I’m realizing that not everything has to be perfect in order for me to feel good. I’m really liking the fact that I try hard and listen to my heart, and I’m giving myself time to achieve end results instead of needing it to be done RIGHT NOW.

And you can, too.

Did you see I did a closet makeover with my friend Shira Gill? I mean, she took me through her entire process and the results were magical.

  • So much easier than I thought.

  • So much more fun that I believed it would be.

  • Sustainable (I’ve been doing a great job keeping it in order and only adding to my personal style in ways that make sense)

And now, I’m tackling my dream home office. And I’m using all the techniques above to make sure I am kind to myself during the process!

Stephanie Sheldon