When we’re depressed, usually we feel we aren’t accomplishing much. We may be making an effort, but we have a tendency to give up easily. Unfortunately, after a time we start to doubt we can count on ourselves to do what we say, or we may become reluctant to agree to meet with anyone or promise to do anything because we don’t know how we’ll feel when the time comes. This usually spirals downward because the more often we break a promise or avoid one, the more that seems to prove to us that we aren’t reliable.
So how can we change this? How can we become reliable again, not just to others, but more importantly, prove to ourselves we will do what we intend? Because if we can’t count on ourselves even to go to an appointment, how can we believe we can accomplish our dreams? We can’t. And that would depress anyone. But if instead you practice making promises to yourself and keeping them, you can gradually rebuild confidence in yourself.
For a moment, think of yourself as a juggler, and the things you want to do in a day as the balls you balance. You may not be a very good juggler at the moment, but with practice, you can get better. So let’s say at present you are a two ball juggler. This means in the night or week before you can say, “what two things am I going to do on that day?” and be 90% sure you will get them done. And this would be great because you would know you can count on yourself to do two specific things. You can get anywhere with that. Knowing you can count on yourself is actually more valuable than the things you do or how many of them you can get done. It is the reliability that helps you restore your confidence and dependability and lets you move forward in the direction you wish to go. Even if you can only do a couple of things a day, but you can count on yourself to do them, you can accomplish much!
So wherever you are at the moment, start seeing if you can make a commitment to what you will do tomorrow, and the next day, and each day this week. Begin small, maybe planning one or two things a day, and accomplish those things for certain. Your goal is to do 90% or better of what you set out to do. Anything else you get done is extra. That’s wonderful. But don’t neglect those two things. You want to know if you say you’ll call two people, for instance, that you’ll do that. You’ll get it done. Once you have established that you can count on yourself to do two planned things a day, you can try for three a day. But the main thing is if you can count on yourself to do what you set out to do, you can make progress at anything in life. You can prioritize what is important to you, and say no before you take on too much.