“Nearly all the women I know are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren’t doing enough with their lives. Which is crazy — absolutely flat-out bananas — because the women I know do a lot, and they do it well.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Have you ever taken a moment out of your day to really inventory your life? Do you pay attention to all the different roles you play in your life and the responsibilities attached to each role? Unless you are an independently wealthy hermit, I’m guessing what you do in a day is a lot. An awful lot!
We are daughters, aunts, mothers, wife, partner, business owner, employee, friend, PTA member, and the list goes on. There are days the pull in each of these directions feel endless and daunting.
We do so much so how is it that we always feel like so much is never enough?
Many of us are caught in a cycle of over functioning.
- Do you compare and distress when you see someone else accomplishing different things…or looking more organized, more beautiful…more of anything?
- Are your meals scattered, sporadic or consists of several fast food options a day?
- Do you feel behind?
- Are you lacking creative solutions to life’s little problems?
- Do you have difficulty reading or focusing
- Do you turn to work in times of stress?
- Do you spend too much time on social media instead of more pressing and important tasks?
- Does your to-do list grow during the day?
- Are you exhausted and depleted?
- Does everything feel like an urgent priority?
It is a tricky thing we do. We clutter up our life with unattainable expectations.
How can we possibly break these habits or cycles we find ourselves mired in?
I love the ideas of Emily P. Freeman who does a podcast called, “The Next Right Thing”. She has some really great ideas that could help break the chains that tie us to over functioning.
- What are the essential things that must continue…Feeding the kids, showing up for work…not baking cupcakes for the 1st grade party at school. Last I checked, the grocery wasn’t running low on cupcakes.
- What can you pause? Perhaps you made commitments that could now be held for a different season or delegated to someone else.
- What do you need to say ‘No’ to? You don’t have to say ‘No’ forever, but maybe for now.
- Where can I ask for help? If you don’t have a network of like minded friends or family you can trust, this may be a worthwhile undertaking. We all need our ‘tribe’ however large or small to help us stay afloat when life gets extra messy.
Of course, these are just small things you can do to change your situation but a more lasting project would be to get to the root of the over functioning. The hardest question you can ask yourself is, “What am I scared of?”
This question may take you to dark places but until we are able to admit what we are running from…and yes, over functioning is a sign we are running from something, our feelings, insecurities, fears , we won’t be able to make changes that stick. What is it for you, that keeps you doing more than is necessary?
It’s the perfect time to start working on this. Holiday season is upon us and it’s the perfect time for all of our little over-achieving selves to shine? Maybe, stepping back is the right thing to do in order to preserve our physical and mental health.
What are some ways you are able to take control of your life and reprioritize what is important?