I heard something this week that connected some dots for me. I was listening to some old episodes of Dear Sugar Podcast and Steve Almond, co-host along with Cheryl Strayed, was advising a listener and said “…doing good work and being ambitious is steeped in self-worth.”

I paused the podcast. I grabbed my pen and I wrote that down. Thought about it a bit.

I thought about the times in my life where I simply couldn’t fathom putting a word on a page. When I avoided sitting still. When I time and again avoided writing anything for years. I just plain didn’t feel good.

Sure, I may have written to get it out of me, and down on paper. But I didn’t create. Anything.

It’s not just creativity that suffers, good work and ambition effects most things in our lives. Working out, eating right, or even cooking a thoughtful meal in the kitchen. It’s all about how you feel.

I don’t know about you but I’ve procrastinated the shit out of things. Even creative, exciting things simply because I didn’t feel like I was worth it. The absence of worth then cascades into a tidal wave of bullshit impacting every facet of life.

Why bother washing my face today, who cares? I’m not going to get dressed and the idea of shaving my legs is as likely to happen as a pig flying out of my ass. Forget it.

The point is, I get it. We all do. There are times you may not feel powerful, badassy, or whatever current term currently trending on Instagram. Eyeroll.

But here’s the thing. You’re the only YOU I know. And I’m the only me out there. And that’s pretty fucking cool. What if instead of focusing on bullshit terms like “hustle” or scrolling through social media getting short of breath with WTF am I doing, we get real clear on how neat we are.

Neat. What a Peter Brady term. But it’s true, take things one step at a time. Cut yourself some slack. Start doing those small things to take care of yourself. Invest in you.

Cook yourself breakfast. Sit down and answer those emails you’ve been avoiding. Start outlining your new work assignment or your latest project. Go out for coffee with your most inspiring friend that lives her life exactly how she pleases.

Take some steps forward, all the while remembering how neat you are, and this life we get to live.