I'm all for breaking a project down into its tiniest steps...and then, oftentimes, even halving (or quartering!) that first step to make it smaller and more doable and a surefire way to experience a quick victory.
This is a superb technique for easing ourselves into some new undertaking. It allows us to get a little bit of traction on our project, and that little bit of traction helps us to see that we don't have to allow overwhelm to take over.
At the same time, not all of us are able to take action all the time.
Many of us, at one point or another, will experience a genetic predisposition to something or a stressful life situation or the untimely loss of a loved one or a traumatic event.
As with our physical health, our mental health can absolutely preclude our ability to take action.
This is never a failure on our part.
We are worth so much more than our productivity.
We aren't machines. We need rest. In some cases, medication. In other cases, therapy or in-patient treatment.
Our mental health dictates the way we move through the world, so caring for it needs to be more than an afterthought.
I'm someone who has coped with an anxiety disorder since early childhood. My brain chemistry is such that, without medication, inexplicable and often unbearable anxiety is my default setting.
And I'm a coach. You know this. I'm a coach who believes in the power of thought. I believe we have the capacity to, as Jamie Smart writes in The Little Book of Clarity, "create literally any perception using the incredible power of THOUGHT, and then experience that perception as real. This is how our experience is created, and we're using this capacity every moment of our lives." I believe this, and—simultaneously—I believe mental illness is an entirely different can of worms. One that can't be fixed by simply deciding to think different thoughts.
Although I feel vulnerable sharing this with you, it's really no different than letting you know I wear contact lenses—because, without them, I see faces as indistinct blurs and street signs are flat-out unreadable.
I have a medical need, a solution is available to me, and I choose to take advantage of that solution because it's what's right for me.
Today is World Mental Health Day.
As your favorite action-oriented life coach, it's important to me that you know this:
It's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.
Nothing is more important than your mental health. So, please, take care of it. Get help if you suspect you need it. You're not alone.
And for the love of all that is holy, set aside your to-do list and your goal-setting, stop berating yourself for not doing or being enough, and go make sure your mind's in good shape.