I was at the end of my rope, emotionally, mentally and physically. I realized I couldn’t do it anymore.
How often do you push and push yourself, only to end up in an extremely unhealthy place? I think I should have the clean house and the kids that are bathed each night. I should have the energy to work out each day, work full time, work on my business, write, and focus on the people that matter to me. For those with dreams and plans, a lot of time and effort goes into accomplishing goals that are outside normal, everyday responsibilities.
So I push.
Until I am at a breaking point.
Doing it All
I like to think I can do it all, all the time. The reality is that one can only take so much emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Emotionally, one can only take so much. The car breaking down. The air conditioner breaking. A child having surgery. A loved one passing away. Job interviews for jobs that meant a major family move. We have had one occurrence after another this summer. When I thought we were done with one situation, another presented itself.
Emotions play into our physical and mental well-being. When we are struggling emotionally, we struggle physically and mentally. The inverse of that is true as well. Physically, I was pushing myself to write a blog post a week, continue with coaching clients, and work as an adjunct professor. This was on top of my full time job, a husband, kids, and a house to manage.
Three weeks ago, I decided I couldn’t do it all.
The drive to do certain things comes from my “achiever” strength. I set goals for myself and I find fulfillment in achieving those goals. I create to-do lists so I can mark the items off of my list. I will even add something on to my to-do list after I have done it so I can cross it off (weird, right?). Yet I know this about myself which is extremely helpful. Does this resonate with anyone else?
A month ago I decided to let everything go that wasn’t a top priority and to simplify my time. I had to go to work and I committed to adjunct; those couldn’t be put aside. What I could put aside was the pressure to write every night, to edit my book, to put that perfect graphic on the blog post, and to have my house spotless.
I had to give myself permission to have a messy house and to not give the baby a bath every night.
I gave myself permission to be a wife. I gave myself permission to be a mom, to play games with my big girl and giggle with my baby. I gave myself permission to just sit. I never just sit. Oh how this was so good for my soul. I also gave myself permission to be spontaneous and head out of town with my family for the day.
Give yourself permission to let go of the things that are not important. The things that take your time from what truly matters to you. When you know your priorities, you can begin to say no or put aside the items on the to-do list that do not matter.
Learning to say “no” is one step closer to creating healthy boundaries. Creating boundaries that help you focus on what truly matters. When you recognize your boundaries and how time limits what you can accomplish, you begin to live a prioritized, purposeful life.
The Right Action at the Right Time
I realized the amount of information I was consuming a day was not helpful either. Everyone is trying to sell something these days. 8 days to a more beautiful you. 6 steps to make $300k a year. How to double your Instagram followers. We are told by big names, celebrities, that to be a success you have to do x, y, z.
The internet makes everything look so easy. The reality is, it takes hard work and networking to become successful. There is no magic formula. Being bombarded with these messages is not helpful nor healthy.
Limiting how much time I spent online and with the tv on took a burden off of me that I did not realize I was carrying.
Life can be extremely stressful. There are stresses that we can’t get rid of and unexpected situations that cause emotional turmoil. Playing with your kids, spending time with your family, these are the things that you can never get back. Once time is gone, it is gone. Give yourself permission to not do that one thing you feel you need to do. Cleaning the house or writing that blog? There will be time for that, but don’t let it consume you like it almost did to me.
Do you put undue pressure on yourself? Share below!
Here’s to the Journey!
Stephanie German is a coach and freelance writer specializing in productivity, intentional living, and leadership. Stephanie desires to help individuals discover and live out their passion. She loves helping women discover what is important to them and to help them live prioritized, purposeful lives one step at a time. She’s married to one awesome man and has two spunky little girls.