Overcoming Discouragement when Faced With a Huge Project
Those that know me personally know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. Ok, maybe a bit is too small of a word. I have always been both a perfectionist and a people pleaser. As a result, I am very familiar with the feeling of feeling so overwhelmed by not knowing how to do a job/task perfectly that I quit before I even start. There have been so many times that I looked at something that I want to do or that inspired me but I got so discouraged that I wont be able to do it perfectly that I didn’t even try.
This past week has been Zero Waste Week 2020 and there has been SO much good content shared! Tips, resources and advocacy. Stuff meant to inspire you to bring in some changes into your life and home.
But, I know many people will have looked at that content and felt so overwhelmed by the idea of “Zero” Waste – that they felt discouraged this week.
I want to say that I see you. I hear you. And I know what you are feeling.
But, I also want to say that I believe that change in this world is made by people who take action no matter how small that action or result is. They KNOW that sustainable change sticks. And that their small actions encourage others to take small actions – and the ripple spreads.
What I do advocate for is making small sustainable changes and integrating them into your day, your life and your habits. 1 swap at a time. 1 habit at a time. 1 purchase at a time. Integrating those choices into your life little by little means that when life throws us a curveball and forces us to adjust our time, priorities or commitments; we can still hold onto those changes that we have made. If you go all out and do it all at once but then a huge time commitment is put on your plate – you will probably find you end up having to drop some of those swaps.
Plus – I think it is really important to be aware that the most sustainable items we can have in our home are the ones that we already have! So, rather than running out and trying to swap everything over to ‘eco friendly’ items; just work on finding 1 better alternative at a time as something runs out or is broken. (The exception to that though is if you are no longer comfortable using a product after finding out what it is made of. If you are not going to use the window cleaner in your cupboard because you don’t want it around your kids – its ok to pass it on to someone else and find a better alternative now.)
We don’t need to do anything perfectly. The reality is we are all human and we are all working life out together. I still sometimes wonder if I’m actually an adult now as surely someone else is ‘Adultier’ than me. None of us really have life perfected. So give yourself permission to start small. Just do one thing at a time. Get started and watch those small changes slowly add up.
Its ok to look at a big task and feel a little scared of the enormity of the job. But you don’t need to do it all today. No more giving up before you start in fear of not being able to do a job perfectly ok? One step at a time – we will see the ripples grow!
I don’t actually advocate for “Zero” Waste. I honestly don’t even expect our family will ever be 100% Zero Waste. Why? Because we are a young family with 2 businesses, 2 homeschooled children and multiple food intolerances in our family living in modern suburbia in 2020. And I also know my own limitations and energy output – I know that giving myself some grace is essential to my wellbeing.
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