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Are You Feeling Stretched Too Far This Summer?

July 27, 2022

You are cracking open the computer after dinner and squeezing work into the weekend after putting in a full week. How did this happen? You were going to enjoy this summer. Is it that you didn’t get your work done during the day because of the church’s bake sale, or the cheer team’s fundraiser? What is certain is you are busy, tired, and irritable. You haven’t had a chance to recharge this summer.

It's not so much about all the things you must do, it’s just you are not feeling the joy you once did from being busy.

Running around with your hair on fire used to be exciting, now its stressful and tiring. The trend is your irritation is rising with each new activity. These are clear signs of an unsustainable life. Your reserves are running low. Anxiety and stress are building. Productivity is no longer the objective; survival is the focus.

Back to the point, how did you get here?

You are probably a Perpetual People Pleaser with a dollop of perfectionist which draws you into taking on projects or looking to help others while rarely asking for help.

I will wager one of your keys to success is being overused.

Keys to Success are those tools you rely on when you find yourself in a pinch and need to deliver. These are mechanisms you learned or adopted in your early years. You used them in the classroom, in your social groups, or in your after-school jobs. You have relied upon these tools because you experienced good results when they were used. As a result, they can be one of your blind spots. You won’t notice those times when they won’t be enough.

As a Perpetual People Pleaser, you are effective when prioritizing others.

It gives you pleasure and contributes to your place in the office and in your social groups. Being a People Pleaser makes it hard to say No or to prioritize yourself. As a result, you may give away your personal time, which is what you need to recharge your own batteries, and no form of thank you or bonus will make up the difference.

Instead, you internally harbor bitterness and outwardly show no obvious sign of expecting to be congratulated for being the glue that holds everything together. Even if you get that acknowledgment, it is not enough to erase the bitter taste in your mouth. Those hours you gave away to complete a task for someone else robbed you from being fully present for your daughter’s recital.

There are times when the Perpetual People Pleaser should say No.

If only this could be seen and included as one of the ways of prioritizing others. Having that option allows you to maintain control over your enjoyment and your life. On our own, we risk relying on our Keys to Success too much, leading to failing at things we could do in our sleep but just can’t do when we feel overwhelmed.

When you become aware of being frustrated and burdened by your responsibility load, consider the following:

  1. Review your self-care, such as, eating, sleeping, your mental and physical well-being. Are you compromising any of these areas for the job?
  2. Review your experience of each task, is it giving you energy or feelings of being a burden. What could you adjust for those tasks which are taking energy from you?
  3. When was the last time you gave yourself a treat? Anything simple, like reading a favorite magazine, swinging in the hammock, or having someone do something for you?

You may be the glue, but you also have limits.

To be your best and serve others well, you need to reserve some of your time and energy to recharge yourself.

It also helps to talk through your concerns with a trusted friend, coach, or confidant who will help you focus on what is best for you.