Are you working too hard? I just read two excellent articles by Deepak Chopra about how too much effort can become the enemy of your intended results in life. He makes an excellent point!
Granted, some activity is generally required. We all know that you can't just sit in your armchair imagining a lush garden and expect a crop. You've got to get out there and plant some seeds.
Yet... There's another side of it.
I'm talking about overwork. Overwork, if you really stop to think about it, often comes from the fear of your anticipated results from not doing "enough" (whatever that is...) In other words, a person who overworks to the point of futility and exhaustion is generally doing so out of the fear or perception of lack.
Whether it's a perceived lack of money, status, love, or something else, the person who drives him / herself to excessive effort believes, at some deep level, that some catastrophe will surely occur if they stop. That underlying belief is contrary to the stated goal of their effort!
Let's say you set an intention to create a fund of money that will keep you secure in retirement. Believing that you are impoverished, you work extra, extra hard to create some extra income. On the one hand, you are putting in extra hours of work. On the other hand, your conflicting scarcity belief effectively "repels" the result you're trying to produce. Your health fails and you spend any extra repairing the damage, or the new car you just got is a lemon, or that great investment tip from your cousin turns out poorly.
Or you set an intention to build a wonderful life of luxury for your spouse and kids. Believing that you don't deserve such a fabulous family, you work extra, extra hard to create a lifestyle that they will appreciate. On the one hand, you're working really hard. At the same time, your belief of being unlovable effectively "repels" the affections of those you care about the most. Not only that, but you're spending so much time at work that you miss out on the special occasions that could have helped you bond.
By the way, this is an example of the conflicting beliefs we talk about in the little booklet Transform Stress Into Power (available free from the WordCures.com website.)
Ok, so let's say you recognize yourself in one of the examples we've just explored. You are a habitual overworker and you're ready to make some changes.
Great! Over the next several posts, we'll explore that very thing!
The place to start is to learn to observe in the moment those little clues that it's time to take a break, change course, or delegate. A few weeks ago, we took on this very topic in our Wellness Coaching mastermind meeting. Here's a summary of the signals we explored:
Top 10 Red Flag Signals That It's Time for a Break!
1. You notice your temper is unusally short
2. Loss of emotional control (weepiness, anger, sadness, etc.)
3. You feel the presence of destructive energy about you
4. Your problem-solving skills begin to disintegrate
5. You are fatigued or exhausted
6. You feel increased physical pain in your body, such as muscle or joint pain or a headache
7. You feel like a victim -- that you are overburdened or being asked to take on too much
8. Guilt -- as though you can "never" do enough
9. Fear of being judged or seen as selfish for wanting to honor your own needs
10. You notice that you're failing to keep the promises you make to yourself
Watch for these clues. Take note when they show up in your life. They are signals that it's time to re-evaluate your strategy. Stay tuned to the next several posts, because we're about to explore some ways to make the time you do invest in working much more productive!!!
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
Take our free Less Stress; More Time mini-course!