The Surprising Reason Why We Overwork

One simple hack to work less and have more fun

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We are living in a society where overworking is a badge of honour.

We know we should take more time off and spend time with our family, but we fail to. We blame social media, the culture of working remotely or always being switched on. These reasons are simply excuses that mask the real root of the issue.

It’s simply because we don’t believe we’re good enough. 

Why We’re Like This

Our mind is archaic. It’s rooted in tribalism, because centuries ago, our ancestors lived in tribes. And the only way to survive was to stick to the rules of our tribe and never venture out. If we did it meant death. 

Nowadays, we are more isolated, so we all create stories in our minds to keep us safe. These stories come from childhood programming where we were taught to ‘work hard if you want to be successful.’ ‘All work and no play.’ ‘I’ll sleep when I die.’ ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to work for it.’

And then we create a belief from it such as, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m not worthy of success.’ We overwork to disprove our outdated beliefs.

Sadly, still most of us are walking around not feeling good enough. We’re in jobs we hate. We feel depressed and unworthy. Or we’re working overtime and not spending enough time with loved ones. 

And when we work from this place of ‘I’m not good enough’ it creates this self-fulfilling prophecy of – ‘whatever I do is never enough.’

This is why people overwork, especially entrepreneurs who are naturally high achievers. 

That’s why we work 80 hours a week to help compensate for that internal void and the voices telling us we’re not enough.

The thought of taking time off for self-care and self-maintenance can trigger feelings of being lazy and unworthy. 

Unfortunately having this mentality stops us from thriving in life. It keeps us in victim mode, always burning out and never feeling fulfilled.

How We Overcome It

One way to overcome this need to overwork is to repeat these affirmations:

  • It’s safe for me to take a break
  • It’s safe to put myself first because I matter
  • It’s safe to not be in control all the time
  • It’s safe to have fun

The last affirmation is one of the main reasons why we overwork. Because as a child, we were taught in schools to sit still, repeat and memorize.

Why are affirmations so effective? Because the word safehelps our mind and our nervous system relax. It helps us to switch off the urge to fight or the need to run. 

Words are powerful. Our mind responds to words and images. 

We as humans have a need to create and be creative. To have fun and enjoy life. When we’re not having fun, we’re stuck in fight or flight mode, trying to escape that void within, and filling it with more work and achievements.

Once we tell ourselves it’s safe to slow down and relax, our mind starts releasing the outdated behaviour of overworking and starts looking for ways to relax.

Remember, it is safe for you to take a break. It is safe, and you matter.

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