“You have to tire yourself out each day or you’ve got too much spare anxiety left over to sleep well.”

Jenny said this to me over breakfast last week.

She’s right. For years, she’s always compared me to one of those dogs that the dog whisperer works with on that TV show. He shows up at the house, finds a boxer that is bored and fixes the situation by giving him a job. He has the dog wear a vest where he carries water bottles for the family on walks. He gets him a better exercise program. He gives him tasks. And the dog stops freaking out when he sees a leaf fall outside the window.

Though it’s not a straight comparison, I never eat shoes, it’s pretty close.

There are mornings I wake up at 5:15AM not because I’m some sort of amazing hustler, but rather because I am some sort of amazing worrier.

Unless I work.

Unless I go to bed empty.

Unless I feel like I’ve given my all that particular day. Not just to work, but to relationships, to my family, to my friends, and to exercise.

I think this is a fine approach, it works for now, but there is a rumbling doubt inside that I might just be addressing the symptom, not the real problem.

A counselor once told me, “It will be a great day Jon when you accomplish nothing and still believe you’re worth something.”

I think he was right.

I think it’s a balance. It’s a tension.

Working hard. Giving back all you were given. Worrying less, but realizing your work is not your worth. Success or failure is an outcome not an identity.

Have you ever had a hard time sleeping or doubting that you accomplished “enough” that day?