Our peach tree is SO heavy with peaches right now that Eric had to put little wooden posts under the branches to provide support. There IS such a thing as too much good fruit, and today we’re applying this to our lives. I’m sitting down today to connect on a heart level with you.
I just want you to take a quick assessment of your life and ask if there’s anywhere that you’re putting unreasonable pressure on yourself—to do more, be more, achieve more than you have the physical and/or mental energy to accomplish.
I am THERE.
For the past several years, Eric and I have been able to handle a lot of projects at LearnDoBecome. We’ve created programs and products, participated in contests and summits, taught live classes, held online organizing parties, gone to lots of conferences, hired coaches…. It’s been a great experience, and we have big plans for the future.
But right now (as I’m writing this), I’m realizing that when big changes happen—in the world, in our families, in our personal lives, with our health, etc., we need to pause and make adjustments.
I just read an email from our school saying that our children will only be attending two days a week (if that…). Eric and I are also heavily involved in our church and community, and there are constant changes being made with the policies there. We’re trying to stay safe/social distanced/sanitized, and that takes a lot of extra effort–for all of us. And we’re still trying to support our oldest daughter, who is living in Ukraine on a church humanitarian mission, and our second daughter, who is starting college this month. (These are just a few of the “external” things we’re managing, plus, like you, we have things going on behind the scenes with our extended family, our teenagers, and our personal lives that we don’t put on social media, but that still need some of our bandwidth.)
I made the mistake in the past of continuously heaping more and more expectations on myself, but I’m not going to do that anymore. It only leads to burnout.
So I’m going to share my plan with you, and I hope it’s helpful as you navigate your own life. 🙂
(1) I’m going through my Current and Next-In-Line Projects and taking as MANY of them off my plate as possible. There’s this awesome thing inside our STEP program called the “Someday” list, and that is where they’re going to be parked. Any that make me sad to let go will get a calendar trigger to remind me of them in the future. And they won’t be lost…they’ll just be parked in the “Someday” category. It’s a nice, safe place.
(2) I’m getting more creative regarding how to effectively meet my goals. We are building our community here at LearnDoBecome, and I think we could 10x our reach with a few strategic efforts. In fact, I’m 100% confident we could do so. But sometimes I think I have to do everything, and I have to do everything the same way I’ve been doing it, which really isn’t the case. Instead, I’m learning that I can make our emails simpler. I can work with our team to limit the number of projects we’re trying to accomplish. I can be open with Eric about what’s stressing me out, and I can invest more time just BEING.
I want to live a calm, purposeful life. I want to be able to snuggle with Eric and enjoy the fact that I’m his. I want to help our daughter pick out the matching lockets she wants to get so we can put our pictures inside. I want to talk with our son about whatever he’s thinking about—so he knows I’m ACTUALLY listening and that I really care.
Too many of us either work ourselves to death or procrastinate it all and go numb to life, and I want that balance. But it’s not going to come by chance. It needs to come by change.
Which leads me to the next point…
(3) I’m taking a deep breath and adjusting my expectations. I promise you—when your daily, weekly, and monthly task lists are super tiny, you feel like you can fly. And you usually end up getting a LOT more done. In my case, I need to become okay with less-than-perfect results. I might make a video when my hair doesn’t look good. Or just shut my teenager’s door instead of getting frustrated that it hasn’t been vacuumed in weeks. I may become okay with a first draft on this post. (Actually, I’m committing to that right now, since I just wrote that down….) And I’m going to acknowledge the fact that I am not in charge of the happiness, success, and prosperity of the whole entire world. I know—totally narcissistic of me, but I often feel like I have to go solve everyone’s problems, and that weighs on me.
I’m sure I could make this post a whole lot more thoughtful and articulate if I did a few more drafts, but for today, I’m going to go ahead and close it up.
I want you to take the pressure off of YOURSELF, too. We do have unique, beautiful purposes in life. We do have the capacity to make a significant impact in the world. We also (I believe) have a responsibility to serve, lift, and make the world better for others.
But when we’re overwhelmed, overburdened, and feeling a little tired of carrying so many expectations, it’s time to step back, reassess, and take some of the pressure off.
I’ve shared my plan above. What are YOU thinking? What advice, encouragement, or ideas do you have for the rest of us? (We’d love for you to share!)
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