Admit it. We’ve all been there. (Yup, myself included!) When you are asked how you are doing, you’ve responded with
“I’m SUPER busy right now with business/life, but I’m really good!”
I bet you are raising your hand, right?! This is totally YOU! 😉 And let me guess…you say this oftentimes like it’s a badge of courage. Like the busier that you are, the more successful you must be. That in order to be thriving, you must be in “Hustle Mode” 24/7. So basically…if you aren’t spending every last waking moment doing something then you must be lazy or lacking. But what if I told you this is the farthest thing from the truth?
Busy is a state of mind.
Think about it. What exactly is busy? How do you measure busy? Can you measure it? The answer is no because it’s not quantifiable. Busy is a state of mind. What you might define as a “busy day” by your standards, might be a chill day for someone else. Busyness is not related to external circumstances. It’s completely relevant to your thoughts.
An example of this is that two people have the same 10 tasks that they want to accomplish today before 5:00 PM. One person may make this mean that their day is going to be chaotic + hectic, while another person may make it mean – “done deal…I got this!” In both situations, you have the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME in the day to accomplish the same exact tasks, but one person is having thoughts that they won’t be able to get it all done. The busyness is completely reliant on her thoughts and has nothing to do with the tasks or the timeframes themselves.
So why are you equating being busy + hustling with feeling important?
For many of us, we align this “hustle mentality” and keeping busy with being worthy. So this mindset will likely incentivize you to load up your calendar to prove your worthiness. (“She must be doing well for herself…she is completely booked up and is always working!”) You are likely equating being busy with being productive. And when you are productive that makes you feel morally worthy. (“I have to keep hustling to prove that I’m the best at my craft and that I deserve lots of respect + money for all this hard work!”) But actually keeping up with the hustle mentality is more likely to keep you from living your worth. How you may ask? Keep reading.
What happens when you think you are busy?
When you think you busy, how does that make you feel? You are likely to feel overwhelmed. Stressed. Your mind is probably jumping all over the place from one task to the next. You might even feel like you won’t be able to accomplish it all. (“How am I ever going to get this all done?! I might as well just give up and watch Netflix instead.”)
Thinking that you are “busy” can ultimately put you in a victim mentality. You start to think that you are a victim of your to-do list. You begin to tell yourself that you don’t have time to do everything. When you allow yourself to succumb to busyness, you cannot do the deep work that you need to do. The anxiety kicks in and produces procrastination, avoidance, and multitasking. This busyness of the mind ultimately interferes with you getting work done.
So how can you allow yourself to pause + slow down?
When you find yourself saying, “I need to do more” check yourself. Question why you feel like you need to do more. Where does this thought come from? Remember, you don’t need to be doing it all. Determine what things are important to you and your purpose, and learn to let go of the things that likely don’t inspire the drive + excitement within you.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because someone else is doing something (or everything) doesn’t mean you have to do it as well. You don’t have to do something to prove your worthiness because you were already born (and will forever be) worthy.
Schedule time for yourself to relax + for self-care. And make sure you schedule this time on your calendar first (and make no exceptions!) Being intentional about allowing time for rest is so important. This will then allow you to really focus during those times when you are working and you will likely create even better results with your work.
And lastly, remember that you don’t need to be constantly hustling, people-pleasing, and overcommitting to prove your worthiness. You are already worthy. When you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. Figure out what “yes’s” bring you the most joy and learn to say “no” more often to the things that amplify your anxiety. This will help to minimize burnout and allow you to show up better where you truly want to show up.
Big shout out to Kara Loewentheil for sharing your wisdom that helped me put together this blog post!