Originally asked by Valerie: I have a question. I recently got stroked by the feeling that I never do enough. I could always do more. The trick is that in my case “doing more” means leaving myself no chance for recovery. The question is how do I go about this thinking? Thanks.
“I am not good enough”
“I am bad”
“I am not pretty”
“I have no skills”
“I think everyone is better than me”
“I am more miserable than others”All of the above have the same root cause – our relationship with ourselves. Why?
Because most of the time, those claims are not factual but are mere reflections of your self-image.
Go ahead, try it. Ask those around you whether your friends and colleagues think that you do enough? I bet that they will conclude that not only do you do enough but that you also do more than most people they know.
Given that you have a feeling that you “do not do enough,” while everyone around you thinks that you are doing miracles – shows one fact – no matter how much you do – you will always have that feeling. That is unless you change your relationship with yourself.
My opinion is that we do this to ourselves because we believe that happiness can be “found” or that you “can work for it,” and as such – we place happiness into the future. We think that the more we “do,” the happier we will be. The more we try to prove to ourselves that “we are good enough,” the closer we will be to that proof.
Then we get to a point, which you describe, where “doing more” is not possible. If you try to do more – there would be no place for a recovery. That is a great point to be at, as that gives you a chance to realize that no matter how much you do – that feeling would not change.
Which begs the question – “What will?” It sounds more straightforward than it is, but it is the ability to feel happy in the present moment, the skill to know that you are enough and have always been enough. That no matter how much or how little it is that you do, you can still be happy and satisfied with your life.
Look at survivors of tragic accidents. Burn victims. People who have been born without limbs. Those are tragic circumstances, but many of them have become speakers, business people or even super-models. They made their weaknesses work for them because they realized that they are enough – no matter what their impediments may be.
So my advice would be to slow down and to do less. Not necessarily to be less efficient, but to do less. Sometimes a single e-mail can generate you 10 000 EUR worth of sales, while a marketing campaign that you spent 50 hours working on – can result in no sales.
Finally, some practical advice for businesses and startups. Very often we equate efficiency and success with the number of tasks done or the number of hours spent at work, but we disregard how our psychological state of mind affects our efficiency.
What is better, an employee that overworks every single day by 5 hours, or one that only works four-day work weeks? In the old days, managers would always pick the overworking fellow. Today more and more would answer: “It Depends.”
What if the one who spends more time on relaxation and personal time, can then net much larger sales results? What if the downtime creates enough headspace to come up with more creative and essential solutions?
Stop trying to do “more,” start trying to do “less” but with personal power behind it. Focus on your “why.”
P.S. If you have a question that you would like to ask or that is bothering you, just ask away here.