You are not the only one who feels they are stuck in a constant loop of an anxious mind. I've figured out a solution. I'm sure it'll help you figure out your own.
There will be plateaus like I had when I was playing guitar. It can be a few months and more likely a year or two before you will be able to play guitar good enough depending upon the kind of music that you want to play badly, doesn't matter. I love classical and blues music, and both of them require not just knowledge about guitar, but also about the music theory to be able to express yourself. Sometimes in cooking also, when I'm facing a plateau, I fall back to cooking dishes I already know and just try to improve them a little bit, rather than learning to cook new dishes.
Short term is long gone
Everything for me is long term. I don't care about the end goal anymore. I just want to progress every day of the year. I'm not talking about hustling everyday. Resting is a big part of it. It is ok to not play guitar, or cook, instead order food online on a weekend. John Mayer, Gordan Ramsey, or Elon Musk didn't know that they will become who they are when they were showing up every day and putting in the effort. I don't HAVE to become any of those three. Maybe in future on Mars, dining out and listening to a guy playing guitar isn't cool for Gen-Gamma. Hahaha! I'm a software developer, and I've put in effort for more than 7 years, including college education and at this point I get so many great opportunities every day in that field which I can't even accept because I just won't be able to. And I've never been obsessed with software development. It is always an interesting puzzle every day which I like to solve, so I show up. If some opportunity shows up or I can create whether it is in the world of cooking, music, golf, fitness or some combination of them, then awesome. I might think about it, but I'm not waiting for any such thing to happen. In my opinion, a software developer who is in shape, plays golf on weekend, can play guitar, cook restaurant quality food, and is knowledgable because of plethora of books he reads, is an absolutely wild thing to think about. I didn't want to dream about it, so, I started introducing them one by one.
Don't quit your diet
Yeah, don't quit them. I went for intermittent fasting. Even though I had to quit it during COVID, I went back to it. First of all if you want to get in shape, dieting doesn't work. Make changes in your daily eating habits rather than changing everything according to the list of food that your nutritionist suggested.
Anyway, food is the primary need of any living being. And hunger can make you do nasty stuff. If you can manage your hunger or are able to stay away from certain foods then you can be sure that you've ability to abstain from or stick to a disciplined regime in any aspect of life. Doing sugar detox and caffiene detox for a month in 2017 were the most powerful activites that I did till that time. It made me aware not only of my eating habits but, also gave me the confidence, that "Oh! If I have to try anything, I can try it for a month rather than just a day or few."
I started becoming inconsistent with my daily journaling which not only made to start overthinking again, but also now that I was out of touch from my daily writing and thoughts, it started to get harder for me to write weekly blogs as well. Let it go on for long enough time period and your mind will start making stories around it to convince you that it is a right decision. I'm going to start becoming consistent with daily journals from tonight itself.
Start taking it slow and start from the smallest amount that you can do. I would highly suggest you to do any activity at least 5 times a week because more than the time spent in a day, is how many days you spend in a year. But again, do the smallest amount that you can do. 5 mins of guitar? Sure, do 5 mins of guitar. Increase from there. Want to learn to make pappardelle with marinara sauce and meatballs? Well, start from store bought pasta and cook the easiest marinara sauce. Will take you less than 20 mins of active effort. Try making meatballs on a weekend and then freeze them to be used with your pasta. Soon enough all the elements will start to feel easy to make. But start sticking to the activity for 3-6 months even if you "don't feel like doing it" because most of the times it is just a plateau, or the difficulty of learning curve, which make you feel like that. Expectations are also a big part of it but I'll talk about that in the next blog post.
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
Stay healthy, Stay safe!
Journaling is your superpower. It's Free!
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