woman on top of the world

In peeling back my layers, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that I have a chronic need to accomplish.
“Accomplish what?” you may ask.
I’m not always certain, but accomplishing something is a persistent gnaw at my soul, and it keeps me in constant overdrive.

I don’t know how to relax or how to take it easy
Maybe I was born with it.
Maybe it was a seed somehow planted that I continue to cultivate.
If I’m not going 100 miles an hour, managing all the tasks at hand, with a long list of To Do’s,
I feel lost. Seems backwards doesn’t it?!?
When I sit still, I have an uncomfortable dis-ease that surfaces.
I feel lazy and unproductive, as though some secret abyss is going to come suck me up if
I don’t get moving.

During my darker days, it was a coping mechanism I used for distraction.
Even now, after the darkness has subsided, I can’t shake the habit.
The incessant drive gives me a sense of esteem, purpose, value, and worth.
The Accomplisher 🦸‍♀️ in me has allowed me to write two books 📚, do a podcast 🎙️, see clients full time, run Life Coaching groups, and maintain a household 🏡 with remodeling projects, nurture a friendship circle, and workout 💪, and…and… and…
Dang… that’s a lot!

I’ve existed in a chronic state of busyness, using every moment, and barely sleeping a wink.
It’s a continuous drive to go, do, run, and somehow occupy myself, constantly.
It has worked well for me.
But lately, I’ve noticed I’m tired. 💤

Like no fuel in the tank… I got nothing, kind of tired.
I’m not as present as I want to be and my energy level is drained.

“Rest,” you might suggest.

“Take it easy,” some have offered.

“Chill out” could be a viable option for some.

A dear friend told me, “If you never do another thing in your life, you’ve already helped so many people.”

That touched a part of me I didn’t know needed to be seen.

girl reading

It sounds so easy, so simple.
And yet, I find it nearly impossible.
I do not know how to rest. I do not know how to take it easy.
The Accomplisher 🦸‍♀️ in me is constantly nipping at my heels.
Though the chronic sense of busyness has served me well, it has also kept me just above some of the most profound work I need to do.
My new found attempts at rest and stillness couple with self-awareness have allowed much deeper questions to surface:

What is this self-induced pressure to do so much?
Who am I without constantly needing to accomplish stuff?
What does it mean if I’m not constantly busy?
What might happen if I don’t cross off every time of my never-ending To-Do list?
What needs to surface when I allow myself to sit still?
What if my only priority is to be present, enjoy my day, and take my time?
Why am I constantly feeling the need to be 10 steps ahead?
Ahead of what??

I know I’m not alone in this.
We’re all trying to keep up.
We’re all looking for some type of balance in life.
We’re all trying to make sense of who we are and what defines happiness and success.
The pressures of doing, efforting, and accomplishing leave many of us feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and even feel like a failure.
We all fall prey to these traps.
I talk with clients every week about the pressure they feel to Perfect, Perform, Prove, and Please. Comparison, competition, FOMO (fear of missing out), and social media fuel the need for busyness, accomplishing, and doing. They steal your joy and leave you feeling less-than.

We’re afraid to admit that we’re struggling, that we’re tired, and that adulting is overwhelming.
The admission feels like a sign of weakness or failure.
We don’t talk about it or allow ourselves to be seen that way.
We feel ashamed, embarrassed, and less-than for feeling this way.
Enough already!!

Let me offer you some tools I’ve been practicing.

    1. Self – Awareness – this is always your starting place.

      Pay attention to what’s going on inside.
      What’s going on inside?
      How are you feeling?
      Why the incessant drive?
      Why the chronic need to busy yourself?
      What do you need? (If you don’t know the answer to this, no one else will either!)
      What are you avoiding, distracting yourself from, or trying to prove?

    2. Self – Compassion – a little goes a very long way.

      Be gentle with yourself. Be mindful of how you’re speaking and referring to yourself.
      If this were a small child or a good friend, what would you say to them?
      Give yourself a break and sit through the discomfort of change.
      The badge of busyness isn’t heroic; it’s exhausting. Most things that are
      urgent, aren’t really that important. Focus on what’s truly important.

    3. Self – Define – one perk of being an adult is that you get to decide what self-care
      looks like!

      Take a look at your understanding of self-care and rest.
      How much of your old behaviors result from childhood training or expectations of
      others? Rewrite your definition to suit your needs.
      Schedule a consistent routine for self care and rest. Put it on the calendar and treat it
      like an appointment.
      Be willing to spend time exploring the deeper parts of you. Getting your nails done or
      going to a workout class may be great ways to nurture yourself, but maybe you
      need to dig a little deeper. Schedule a consistent for self-reflection. Journal. Go
      for a walk and be present. Sit still and see what surfaces.

    4. Self – Permission – what do you need to write yourself a permission slip for?

      If life were totally up to you (it is by the way, even thought it doesn’t feel that
      way), what would you start doing? Stop doing?
      What do you want to say “Yes” to?
      What are you ready to say “No” to?
      What’s stopping you? Fear, self-doubt, obligation, guilt???
      Start with one step, one opportunity to seize a better life.

    5. Self – Responsibility – this is your life, and the quality of it is up to you, no one else.

      There’s no hero waiting to rescue you.
      The quality of your life is up to you.
      The martyrdom and self-sacrifice of Accomplishing wears thin.
      You’re not doing anyone any favors by depleting yourself.
      No one else is going to write you that permission ticket to rest, enjoy, and recoup.
      It’s up to you and you alone.
      Sit with yourself and pay attention to what surfaces when you’re not always busy.
      What really needs your attention?
      Yes, it may be challenging, but it’s up to you to decide.

So, there you have it.
Using these tools and creating a life with a little more balance is possible!
I’m right there with you!
How can I support you?
Share with me your successes and struggles.
We don’t have to do this work alone.
And I’ll offer the same kind words my friend shared with me: “If you don’t do another thing, you’ve already accomplished so much.”
I’m so proud of you, now go rest!

  • I injured myself recently. I wish I had a more heroic story, but I don’t.

  • His discomfort was evident the moment he walked in the door. He walked in anyway. He fumbled with his mat, strap, and blocks. He continued anyway. He didn’t seem to know what to do or how to orient himself. He found his way anyway. His body carried an extra 200+ pounds. He found his way into the room anyway. He was disheveled and distressed. He carried on anyway.

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