Feeling guilt for not being productive, but also for doing tasks?
If you were often criticized, shamed, interrogated, ignored and dismissed, or compared with someone while doing some basic tasks (like making food, doing assignments, having fun, resting, procrastinating) it’s likely that you feel guilty of something for doing pretty much anything. You could feel guilty for doing it too late, not doing it good enough, or in a correct way, or feeling like you’re doing something awful no matter what you’re trying to do.
There’s often a sense of “ruining your own life” if you do procrastinate tasks, don’t push yourself to be productive every single moment of your life, take rests, naps, don’t put maximum of your energy and time into chores and assignments, don’t do everything someone asks you to do.
Now this means you’ve been operating on someone’s standards and rules, someone set out for you just how good you have to be, when do you have to do things, how much you’re allowed to rest, how hard you have to try. And for the most part, these standards are impossible, unachievable, and not humane. Person who set these standards for you? They did not have your well being in mind. It could feel like they were set on you in order for you to succeed in life, but this is a lie. You can’t succeed in life while generating massive amounts of guilt for not achieving standards that human being can’t possibly achieve. It’s a way to generate misery, low confidence, always feeling like you’re late with everything, like you’re not good enough. Often capitalism and society will set these standards without you noticing, we’re subtly expected to work constantly, to the point of exhaustion.
If you feel like you set these standards yourself, because you wanted to be successful and do your best, it’s likely that you felt you had to do all you possibly could to make your life situation better, and you ended up creating a system you felt you could follow, but now you found out you can’t, and you feel incredibly disappointed in yourself.
So what now? It’s time to redefine success and make some new rules! I am going to describe rules I made for myself, but these don’t have to be anything like rules you make for you! You know yourself the best and what will work for you, my only advice would be to make them humane and possible for you.
Definition of a success? A person who is able to enjoy life. The idea that you need to be successful in professional world, achieve glory or get rich in order to be a successful person is bullshit. You’re going to feel good if people around you appreciate and value you, if you’re able to use your abilities to contribute to society and have that acknowledged. Do you need to be the absolute best at something and insanely successful in order to have this? No. You need some decent people who appreciate you as you are. You can be the best and still feel like shit.
Rules for life: Feeling great about what I’m doing as long as I’m not hurting anyone. Spending entire day in bed? Didn’t even get a chance to hurt someone. Procrastinating? Literally no harm done to anyone, not even me, because imma get that shit done in last second. Not doing a task the way it’s supposed to be done / the correct way? Who cares! I’ve done it. It is done. I took three times as long for a task that should be done quickly? Who cares! No harm done. Taking 8 hour long nap? I likely needed it and did a favour to myself! No harm done. Refused to do a favour to someone? I need my time and energy for myself and I stopped them from messing up my recovery. There could have been harm if I’ve gotten out of my way to do it and then had to recover from that for days! So again, no harm done. I made a thing but it’s shitty? I practiced in order to achieve greatness! No harm done. Cried for hours? It’s healthy for me! Good thing done. Didn’t achieve expected milestone like job, marriage, car, housing in the expected point in life? What’s the hurry! You’re not hurting anyone by taking your time and keeping your own pace. And you don’t even have to do those, you can literally be self employed forever, never marry, travel however you feel like, and live wherever you feel good.
So rules are, do whatever the hell you want, when you want, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, nobody is allowed to give you shit or to pressure you into changing your rules and system. Of course people will try to, they always do. Keep in mind they do not do that for your well being, or out of honest concern, they’re messing with your values and your personal happiness and they need to be shown out. Someone making you feel bad for procrastinating/ resting/ crying/ not doing them a favour/ not having a job? They’re a piece of shit. It’s an attempt of controlling you and how you feel about your own life and it is not acceptable, no matter what they say their intentions are. You have the absolute right to decide your own values and standards, and as long as you’re not actively hurting someone, nobody has the right to give you shit for how you live your own life.