Are our unrealistic expectations of ourselves and over-functioning behaviors the very catalyst for maintaining our “not enough” self-states? I’m sure many of you are familiar with the saying, “Put on your own oxygen mask first.” It is one of those sayings that we say to each other when offering unsolicited advice about someone else’s over functioning, people pleasing, or self-sacrificing behaviors. Although in practice, many of us do not adhere to this sound advice. It makes since considering we wear “busy” as a badge of honor, so the more you have going on and the more people counting on you, theoretically, the more important you are.
Brené Brown says, “We are so busy that the truth about our lives can’t catch up.” In a lot of ways “busy-aholism” is a very effective, yet maladaptive coping strategy. If we are too busy to slowdown and pay attention to our intuition, bodies, emotions, things our environment is communicating to us, and the impact of our unavailability, is it even real? If I am too busy to acknowledge how not fine I am, aren’t I fine? No, it’s real, and will rear its head in indirect, painful, sabotaging ways.
Bottom line: The glorification of busy is not a sustainable model! Turns out, there is a limited supply of psychic, physical, mental, spiritual, and relational energy. Our energy is our most valuable asset, we must support each other in prioritizing alignment of our inner and outer worlds because even if we don’t subscribe to this belief, the objective truth is THEY ARE THE SAME WORLDS.
People: Do whatever you got to do to protect your energy, it’s sacred and in limited supply. We have been talking a lot over the last week about burnout and feeling tapped out trying desperately to fit it “all” in, and noticing increased vulnerabilities surrounding our tendency to just push harder. Here’s the equation:
We all have 100% energy to expend each day, unless you are a parent, or a caretaker, or a human, so likely none of us are starting each day with 100%. Everything is connected so if you are operating in the model described above you are running on fumes the latter half of your day which impacts your energy the following day. Notice your give-get ratio, the things on your calendar that you want to do vs. the things you feel you “should” do. If you have a lot more shoulds than wants you are heading down the road to burnout.
Once the energy is gone, it is gone. What most of us do is carry on anyway with the rest of our obligations by “pushing” through, which leads to burnout, emotion minded behaviors and feeling not enough, never enough. We can re-up and recharge with self-care practices, however ironically self-care is usually the first thing to go when we can’t “fit” it all in.
Prioritizing Return on Investments:
If I have 20% energy left where so I want to spend it? If we start operating with the belief that once the energy is tapped out it is gone, our decision making may be more aligned with things we value.
Originally published at www.meghanbreen.com