Why are we so averse to slowing down?

Runner woman running

The busier we are and the more we have on the more we feel like we are getting somewhere. But where are we going? Starting and running your own business or even having a fast paced job, then add family responsibilities (kids/ ageing parents), other responsibilities, friends – things start to get very full very fast. So why do we try to pack so much in?

On reflection on seeing 2 clients recently that are close to burn out (and I am not being dramatic) we discussed the idea of slowing down and taking a break. I then even breached the holy of holies and suggested that is this lifestyle all it is cracked up to be? They both responded, well how else do we live our lives? Running a business is a busy life. I don’t dispute that. However, we need to change the way we see all of this from being a never-ending sprint (which just isn’t sustainable) to the reality of this being a marathon, then we change the paradigm. Part of the issue is that the pace of society around us is fast. From social media to expectations we want everything, yesterday. So how much of our lives are being lived reactively vs. proactively? And why are we so adverse to slowing down?

I will be honest with you that part of this reason that this topic is on my mind is because I am taking the week off next week, yep you heard it…I am checking out, sleeping, resting, meditating, walking, writing and restoring. I can tell that I am running on empty. Previously I would have worn this as a badge of honour. Look how tired I am but I still did a full days work plus kids and life…but who am I trying to impress? I have let all that go and have learnt to listen to myself. And a few weeks ago when I realised just how tired I am, I knew it was time for a well needed break.

Yes I am an alpha type where I push myself to the limits every day and try to be as productive and proactive as possible however I am also learning to know my limits. To give it my all but know when to rest. The focus is not how busy I am, or even how productive I am but rather – looking at the bigger picture to see how many clients I have, am I generating enough revenue – creating meaningful experiences every day with those around me – focusing on the big rocks as Steven Covey would say. It is too easy to fill one’s day with the small stuff, the time fillers that really add little or no value to your life and business.

By saying no to certain things as they really add little value to my business or life is OK…a lesson that has taken me many years to master. And learning the important lesson of saying yes to other things, like taking a break and slowing down. To enjoy the precious time to foster the creativity within me, to allow spontaneity to re-enter my life and have the opportunity to re-energise and restore myself. I am learning to feel worthy of this and know that I am enough – I don’t need to be busy to impress anyone.

Do you live a continuous sprint or recognise the marathon you are in, allowing yourself time to restore and repair?

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