Expectations—Learning about Less

“All You Need Is Less” is my mantra of the year.

Yup.

All you need is less.

Less Self-Imposed Expectations for starters.

What makes some people take on too much? What makes us believe we have to “do it all”? I mean DO it all? And then, when it’s impossible to get it all done, beat ourselves up for not getting it done?

I’ve been that person most of my life. Go for the gusto, baby!

For me it’s always been two fold. First, there is always just so much that I WANT to do, that I can’t help but try to go after all of it.  Second, once I get into that “do-ing” mode, I literally lose track of where I am with it all, and just keep doing and doing and adding on until I’m in the outer stratosphere of taking on too much-not even realizing that I’ve done it.

Well that’s all come to somewhat of a screeching halt as of August 2016 when I first experienced health issues.  Months of reassessing my world began with working through fear, disappointment, shame, and sadness.  At first, I couldn’t accept the idea of scaling back and not doing everything all the time. Oh, how I felt like a failure. The first time I had to say no I thought I’d die. Oh, how I couldn’t stand holding back and not going a mile a minute.  In the privacy of my own mind, I sent myself on a horrific trip of shame for every little thing I didn’t get done, could have done better, forgot, or didn’t get to at all.

Yet somehow, the world continued on without my endless efforts.

Huh.

You mean, all this time I’ve been knocking myself out everywhere for everyone and everything all the time, just to earn my worth and validation and place on this planet, the only one who really expected it all was me???

Why be this way?

“Less Self-Imposed Expectations” was a hard, hard lesson to learn, but has resulted in a new and positive direction for me that includes being happier, making wiser, healthy choices and actually being far more effective while incorporating “less”.

Sure, we all do have to uphold a certain level of expectation in order to have a productive personal and work life. But so many of us take on too much; whether it’s being a good employee, friend, or family member, running the kids around, social activities, volunteer work, community work,  just plain work, or a combination of it all and a list of other things too.  We don’t seem to put a “cap” on how much we can or should be doing and still maintain some level of quality of life.  I reached out to many other people as I was floundering, asking why they hold themselves up against unrealistic self-imposed expectations.  Here are three interesting responses I got (in no particular order):

 “When I say I’m going to do something, if I said I’d do it, I have to follow through and do it. Period.”

“It’s all stuff that has to be done, and no one else is going to do it, so I have to.”

“It just happens. I don’t know how I get myself so overextended with everything.  I don’t mean to take on so much, but it all piles up and then I struggle with getting anything done at all.”

Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? I pondered them for quite some time and came up with a thoughtful assessment that I’ll share next time.  Why wait?  Well…..because frankly, I’m trying to do “less” these days!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

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