Is Your Inner Pusher Running Your Ragged?

Two days ago I spent the whole day racing around cleaning my house, the more I cleaned, the more I saw to clean. I was grumpy as I was cleaning, thinking that everyone else in my house was lazy, and how dare they enjoy themselves all day when I was cleaning after them.

 

Checklists
I messaged them checklists of the jobs each one of them could do to contribute. They each agreed that they would do them, but I knew from past experience when I’m in this mode that they probably wouldn’t even go near that list.

 

So I seethed some more.

 

I cleaned my cutlery drawer, oh and theres grime in that corner on the floor, so I steam mopped the floor and got down with a scourer as well. I even cleaned one son’s laptop which I thought was filthy.

 

I enjoyed the energy that this surge of anger and enthusiasm gave me.

 

I even fasciliated a 2 hour healing session with a friend over skype that evening.

 

And then I couldn’t sleep that night. I was wired.

 

Reality

Yesterday I could barely move. I was like a slug. And I cried all morning.

 

When I was in super woman mode I was avoiding my underlying feelings of shame I felt about a situation, and rather than feel that, I responded by whipping out a lengthy *to do* list.

 

My response to not wanting to feel my feelings and therefore only feeling anxiety, is to get something done. And then something more.

 

And nothing was enough.

 

I went into overachieving mode. I didn’t want to feel the vulnerability of feeling my feelings.

 

Do more, Be more

My inner pusher, along with my inner perfectionist and inner critic was in my ear all day egging me along, if I did more, if I achieved more, then I would feel accomplished.

 

I could feel the way I wanted to feel about myself, albeit a martyr striving in the face of others audacity to have fun while I was slogging away. I got to tell myself that I was in the slip stream of achievement, when really inside I felt incompetent, and I was bracing myself against that feeling of shame underlying that.

 

Breathe

So here I sit, Monday morning, which is usually an anxious time for me. I suspect my inner pusher has taken charge of Monday mornings for as long as I can remember. Up and at em! Get things done. New work week. Get it done. Mark it off the check list. And then I can feel satisfied that I’ve met my standards.

 

Not so.

 

That time never comes. theres always more to do, get done.

 

Brene Brown, the famous speaker at TED, whose talk went viral, has perhaps the most powerful audio series I’ve heard about vulnerability, at Amazon – The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
and at Book Depository – The Power of Vulnerability, says that calm people use their breath before they respond to situations.

 

So I tried that this morning, I used my breath. I breathed into this moment, I brought myself back to the now, I realised there will always be a checklist, but my approach can be one of gratitude for the peace in this moment.

 

And in that peace I created for myself, I felt I wanted to write this article. Not from my “to do” list, but from a space of organic expression.

 

Are you pushing yourself to overachieve and running yourself ragged?