Sometimes our own self-reflections can turn into rumination: going over and over the same thoughts and self criticisms. Our minds become like magnifying mirrors, emphasizing every flaw, every hair out of place. The gap between who we are and who we wish we were seems insurmountable, or worse indefensible. We tell ourselves we should try harder, work more efficiently, be more organized, be thinner or smarter or more stable. We should have gotten farther in our lives by now. And on and on.
We are doing our best with our messy lives. We have our days of strength and accomplishment and our days of discouragement and stagnation. We have dreams as well as doubts. We get caught up in fears and we become self-serving. We rise above ourselves and take care of other people. And we sink into petty jealousy and hurt feelings. We have the full smorgasbord of emotions and responses.
Basically we have to interfere with the endless stream of self criticism and remind ourselves we are doing our best. No one can ask more of you than your best. And that best is in the context of the fact that you are human and life is complicated. There is a context for what you do and feel. We try to be better and do better, but we also have to acknowledge what are doing well, what our ideals pull us toward, and the efforts we are making. We are doing our best and no one can demand more than our best, even we ourselves cannot expect more than that.