It's been said; "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
Once upon a time, not so long ago... this phrase was meant to motivate dreamers into action.
These days anyone on a mission to create value can tell you doubt and procrastination is not the only devilment.
Busy and driven people everywhere are looking for new ways to cope with overwhelming demands on their time and energy. We all want to be on-point and more effective. We also want more time and energy for the people and activities we love.
For added pressure, since most people are overwhelmed these days, we usually find ourselves surrounded by others who are also struggling. Escalating costs, shifting economics and the speed of change are adding an edge to daily existence that is affecting everyone. Growing numbers of people are feeling frustrated, helpless and looking outward on high alert. Looking outward to protect themselves or for something or someone to change things.
Unfortunately, staying outwardly focused to find our place in the world brings the opposite result. It disconnects us from our center, throws us off balance and is more disempowering than any threat from outside.
Since I see so many of us struggling to find solution but making matters worse, I decided to list 3 common mistakes to avoid. These are the biggest mistakes that I regularly see with busy people - that make the situation WORSE:
1. Habitual Rushing:
Habitually racing to beat the clock, not taking breaks, or gobbling your food. This sets up the mental conditioning of never having “enough. Whether it's never having enough money, time or energy to complete your projects, or for the people and activities you love. Like a snake eating its tail... getting no-where fast other than short of breath and eventually sick!
This is an exhausting pattern and damaging to our internal organs.To make things worse, the low self-esteem and hunger this sets up in our neural networks eventually ingrains, becoming insatiable and prophetic.
2. Scattering or Leaking Your Energy:
Stemming from mindlessness, this involves depleting your energy by being at the beck and call of others... or helplessly absorbing the energy and information of others (or whatever information you are exposed to).
Another mindless temptation when we are too stressed and lack energy is developing the habit of "zoning out" every available free moment. Key problem here is when the focus is outward such as the TV, computer, alcohol or drugs. You feel relaxed, but it is artificially induced and you are still in reaction mode. Lacking rest and time to regroup or plan, enjoy recreation or learn and grow.
If you have this tendency to scatter your energy, you will feel tired and drained. You might start feeling a “deadening of your inner light" or "numb" inside. You may also feel a lack of self-connection or start losing your zest for life.
3. Telling Yourself & Others You Are Too Busy:
If you notice that you are continually convincing yourself and everyone you meet that you are "too busy", my advice is; don't! A good clue this merits investigation can be when you bump into an acquaintance and they greet you with this; "How are you... busy?"
Whether in you say it to yourself in silence, or are describing everything you are dealing with to another, you need to watch you are not making it your identity or worse, equating busy-ness with success or self-importance. It can be tricky, but find other words to use if you are declining tasks and invitations. Take a bit of time to re-frame your information to align more with setting your priorities and being less overwhelmed. Refrain from asking others if they are "busy" too.
I recall when I realized the topic of busy-ness had become the main conversation starter in my world. No coincidence, as I had taken on a big project that was super exciting and somewhat overwhelming. It seemed I was always short of time, rushing and protecting myself from time consuming distractions. There was a period of time when it seemed everyone, whether I knew them or not, was asking me that question; "How are you... Busy? I'd typically respond OH YES!... and then they'd want me to elaborate. Eventually I realized what I was saying and doing, which was a speedy shortcut to getting tired of hearing myself.
I didn't want to sound rude or arrogant but realized I needed to turn it around. I started to gently reply: "I try not to think of it that way" and turned the topic to something lighter than recanting my list would have been. Within weeks, the energy around that topic dissipated and it seems I'm rarely asked that anymore.
If you repetitively feed yourself information, your brain accepts it as fact and the universe complies. So, if you feel trapped and keep telling yourself it can't get any worse, it does. In fact it soon becomes a lifestyle habit that hardens into physical pain, frustration and undermines your sense of passion for your goal.
Yin & Yang: How To Restore Sanity
Everything that exists in nature seeks balance, and everything balances from its center. When an energy is expressive it is represented as Yang (Sun or Fire Energy which is bright, hot and reflective) and when an energy is contracting or returning it is represented as Yin (Earth or Water Energy which is dark, cool and absorbing).
As day turns to night we turn inward to rest and restore. So, in the physical world we have day and night, which supports and balances our energy in life. But, in the perspective of the universe there is no day or night. It doesn't exist other than our physical experience of being on earth and facing toward or away from the sun.
I am describing 2 totally different views of reality here. There is Universal law, which is the original essence, our source and ultimate reality. It is from where we come and to where we'll return. The other is the law of nature represented by Yin & Yang which governs life.
High performance is grounded in an understanding of both. Answering the questions: Who Am I? What is Life? and What do I want?... Bring us back to this basic reconciliation and give us a wisdom and sense of purpose that is rejuvenating because it is awakens from our essence.
Yin & Yang represents balance but is also subjective because of its polarity, which can lock you in place. If someone is bi-polar they have wide polarities, such as the mistakes I describe above. This mean the balance is there but it is locked in at such extreme polarities, it is unhealthy.
In this case the true solution is to develop daily rituals that connect you to your center. The benefit of this approach is it connects you to your essence and gathers vital energy in your core. This is the Yin and Yang of looking inwards as much as outward as well as your portal to being connected to your essence and the "bigger picture".
With the right methods, you will immediately feel a flow to your day, notice you're more efficient and have more time and energy for the people and activities you love.
For a perfect opportunity to cut through overwhelm join me for my 4 part online masterclass: "3 Morning Rituals To Win The Day". It's complimentary, I'm inviting you as my guest. It's a unique workshop where I will guide you through practices and principles step by step to develop your own high performance success habits.