Have you ever felt like a round peg in a square hole and to compensate, you work harder to fit in so you can convince everyone around you, and yourself, that you are up to the task?
I have found in my own personal experience and, working with 100s of leaders, that ‘just’ working harder leads to a cycle of ‘busyness’ that can become addictive. Like me, you probably know that you are not being productive in fact, you probably feel stressed out and unhappy but, when people ask you how you are doing? You reply, ‘oh I’m busy but good…’ as if this ‘busyness’ were a badge of honour.
But what are we losing out on when we get stuck in this ‘Busy Addiction’ trap?
If we look to the statistics around Australian workers; around 1/3 feel a high amount of stress and only 43% report working at their peak productivity most of the time, (Source: 2016 Snapshop of the Australian Workplace Dr. Lindsay McMillan OAM).
So, how productive are we really when we are in this busy ‘stressed’ mode? And, have you ever noticed, that it often feels easier to maintain the same routine of busyness versus stopping to think, is there a smarter way to do this?
I notice this in myself. In my first career as an HR Organisational Development Specialist, I realized I had become a fully-fledged ‘Busy Addict’. I was that round peg in a square hole. Working harder to prove that I was capable and worthy of being there. I was taking on the next project before I completed the current one, like swinging on monkey bars. Can you relate?
Let me explain a little more….
I grew up in the kind of place people pay good money to escape to. In the lush tropical rainforests of far north Queensland, with a bunch of alternative pioneers, I call family. Wellness and meditation are not buzz terms for me, it’s a way of being. I was the kid at school with sprouts on her sandwich, who believed carob was chocolate and knew that carrots could help you see in the dark.
Like most young people, I was driven by the desire to experience more and ‘make it’ in the big city. I moved to Melbourne and for fifteen years I worked in the corporate world as an HR Organisational Development Specialist. But, given my upbringing, I always felt like a round peg trying to fit in to a square office block, so I worked hard, really hard; I never stopped. And for a long time, this is something that I prided myself on…
Until one day I realized that I had become a successful ‘Busy Addict’. Using stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol as my ‘drugs’ of choice. Borrowing energy from tomorrow, I started to notice that I didn’t bounce back as quickly as I use to and was feeling dissatisfied with my life. Until one day the …a health crisis stopped me in my tracks.
I found myself lying in bed for weeks (which can feel like years to a busy addict!), trying to heal. I had a lot of time to reflect, contemplate and dream.
Then it hit me. BAM!
I had been speeding forward without being clear on where I wanted to get to. I became aware that I had been pushing rather than allowing. I was completely distracted from my inner wisdom and had been measuring myself in a foreign currency.
When you realize you can’t go back
I sat in this uncomfortable space of knowing something needed to change, I was clear on what I didn’t want, but I didn’t know what I wanted to create instead. Perhaps if you are still reading my story you too, have felt like this?
At this point, I realised I had to start taking some new actions if I were to activate change and create a fulfilling life on all levels. With years of corporate coaching under my belt I had noticed a pattern, people that had a clear vision of how they wanted things to be, were actually the happiest and successful.
The 3 steps I took to start creating my vision
- I started to journal to reflect on everything that I was and had been experiencing
- I revived my meditation practice to quite my mind and start tuning back into my inner wisdom
- And I worked with an amazing coach to create a clear vision for how I really wanted my life to be and explore what seemed to like polarized aspects of myself, the successful corporate busy addict and the playful and creative rainforest kid.
If you just take one learning from my story
My biggest learning was, by remaining busy all the time, this is an effective way of ignoring that nagging sense that things don’t feel quite right. It often feels easier to fill our lives up and stay busy rather than slow down to ask ourselves the bigger questions.
Whether you have no idea how you might answer those questions or, feel scared about what the answer might be… I get it I really do. Being on the other side of asking those questions, I can honestly say, doing the inner work is the secret to busting that busy addiction and, led me to the pathway I’m on today with CLARETY.
At CLARETY, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to start living their lives and, succeeding in business, in a way that feels right.
So, for the rest of April, we are offering our:
20-min BUST THE BUSY ADDICTION Coaching Session absolutely FREE!
So if feel like you too could be a ‘Busy Addict’ and you would like to break free of this cycle…we’d like to help you.
Click on the button below and use your EXCLUSIVE CODE ‘BUST20’ to access your FREE coaching session.
And don’t worry, never tried coaching before and you are feeling a little apprehensive? This session is the perfect introduction or ‘taster’ to the coaching process. Who knows, it may just be the ‘different action’ that you have been waiting to take.
Look forward to seeing you on the other side of the busy addiction.
To your health and happiness,
Emma and the CLARETY Team