I saw you the other day….
As we spoke I could almost see your mind swirling. You were distracted and I could tell there was a lot going on inside.
You were apologising profusely, thinking you’d let me down somehow. “I’m so sorry I can’t stop. I’ve been just too busy to call. Too busy for anything really.”
“I just can’t keep up,” were your words.
I sensed your overwhelm. And so did you. It shut you down. Not wanting to feel it you retreated, like a turtle diving into the safety of its shell.
“It’ll be okay,” you blurted. “I’ve got to go.”
I was careful not to take up anymore of your time, and yet I desperately wanted to tell you I get it. I’ve been there. I know what its like.
Feeling like the dreaded ‘hamster on a wheel’ when all you want to do is get off. But you don’t.
Work later at night.
Get up early to catch up.
Eat lunch at your desk.
Check emails over dinner.
Skip exercise classes.
Reply to emails in the car, during meetings and even on the toilet.
Buy takeaway again.
Miss the athletics carnival.
Get frustrated when friends ask you out, and then feel sad saying no because you did really want to go.
You want to hang around for a chat, stay for another coffee and snuggle on the couch (without your laptop).
But you can’t do all that and keep up. So you find thousands of reasons why its all justified.
And maybe, if you’re a bit like me, you even take pride in how hard you work.
And if you’re also like me, you have this tiny little voice in your mind that’s asking…
“Can I keep going like this forever?”
“Will it ever slow down?”
And…. “What’s it all for?”
Its’ not easy to stop and make changes when your caught in the cycle of Go – Go – Go. Achieve – Achieve – Achieve
Achievement can be addictive. And like any addiction you need more of it all the time.
Its why you set such high expectations for yourself and despite your exhaustion you keep moving that bar even higher.
You need to achieve GREAT things all the time to feel good. So you have to get it done, get it right and always be at the top of your game… or who are you.
Let me be clear….
You can’t go on like this forever, something will suffer, (if its not already) Your health, relationships, emotional well being.
Nothing will slow down unless you decide to do things differently, to make some changes. There’s no end point to the ‘work’ unless you give yourself one.
What’s it all for? Get real today on this. If you don’t know what all your hard work is pointing toward then stop now and find out.
You must know why you do what you do to be intentional, and use your time, energy and attention to support your overall vision.
You don’t have to give up the achievement addiction, but be clear about what it is and use it wisely.
So let me ask you… Is this the way you want to live? Or are you ready to find a different way?