Are You an Overachiever? If So, You’re Not Alone
Have you ever noticed that in our society we’re expected to constantly produce? This has been something I’ve wrestled with in my intention to slow down, have more self-care, and generally do less. It’s quite a practice for a Type A overachiever like myself! Do you ever have challenges with this?
I never thought that doing less would require so much effort. I mean, it’s kind of counter-intuitive, right?
Several people have asked what I’ve been up to and how my relaxing summer has gone. Funny, there has actually been less relaxing than I’d hoped (though at times I have definitely been able to get some in). There’s been lots of doing and thinking about doing. Some habits are hard to break.
I realize that when we’re in the midst of creating, externally, it doesn’t look like much. And if there is something visible, sometimes, it looks messy, chaotic, and naturally, incomplete. This is the time when we often go within and get more quiet. It’s only when we emerge ready with something to show, that it feels appropriate to start talking.
Still in the midst of creating, I can tell you that I don’t have a lot to show for my time. This is how internal work happens. What I can share is that I’ve been traveling, spending time with my family, continuing my meditation practice (even when away from home, yay!), sharing time with close friends, being with our cats and dog, and even having glimpses of moments to simply sit still and look out the window.
The robust voice inside my head that urges me to produce and accomplish astonishes me at times. Thankfully, my life/business coach and friend, Julia Carol, has listened deeply to my heart’s song and continually reminds me to “do the math; tell the truth.” In other words, we must first take an honest look at the sustainability of what fills our proverbial plates and then remove the excess to create space.
“Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
~ Flight Attendant Script
The way I’m doing this is by deciding how many hours I’m “available” during the day. Then, I’m filling in my schedule first with self-care (remember the adage from flight attendants?). And then, I see how much time I need for family life, my husband, and time to manage our household. In the modern world, there’s already a lot on our plates, especially if we want to live fulfilled and healthy lives. On top of that, I need time for developing my coaching practice, prepping for my Nia classes, and other exciting projects in incubation.
You see, there’s so much more that’s going on under the surface, and I know this is the case with everyone. Rather than apologizing for not doing something or exclaiming that we were too busy and didn’t have time, let’s admit the truth: we simply prioritized something else… and that’s okay. Exercise your power in the places where you do have choice.
Life is a series of choices and events that when strung together make the whole. We can’t do it all at once any more than we can eat an entire plate of food all at once. And let’s be honest, who would want to?
What is one important thing you could do today that's just for you—that would improve your life? Do that one thing.