Do you overload yourself as a habitual pattern? Do you find yourself often feeling you don’t have enough time?
How often do you wish you hadn’t taken on so much?
When we continually overload ourselves, it puts us at risk of overwhelm , stress , and burnout. There is literally not enough time to comfortably fit everything in. Something has to give, and often that is you or your key relationships!
When we overload ourselves with commitments, the flow on effects usually touch every part of our lives. Nothing happens in isolation.
People who take on too many commitments often sacrifice good quality self care. Health begins to suffer. Quality of life and enjoyment of life are greatly reduced. The well being of key relationships is put at risk. There isn’t enough time and energy to give them the nurturing they need to flourish. Distance can grow with both children and partners. Friendships can suffer.
Feelings like resentment and hurt find fertile ground. Frustration and angry outbursts typically reflect the stress of trying to fit too much into too little time. This can then leave you feeling guilty and ‘bad’ about yourself. Some people withdraw. Others use alcohol or other substances to cope. Some people over eat. Many people develop health issues. Often sexual intimacy falls away because you don’t have anything left to give.
8 Reasons People Overload
People often over commit because of fears, or poor decision making. The most common reasons include:
- Impulsiveness in the moment.
- Not fully considering what is involved and the potential costs.
- Fears – of failure; fear of ‘what people will think’; fear of conflict.
- Needing to please others or prove yourself in some way.
- Feeling anxious to say no/ lack of assertiveness skills.
- Pressure from others.
- Feeling guilty or responsible for others.
- Unrealistic expectations of yourself.
Increasingly, the bar is being set higher and higher. Expectations of ourselves are far greater than for our grandparents. We feel pressure to go to the gym. Be the best parent. Manage a brilliant career. Virtually everything involves complex organisation. Most people feel under financial pressure. Advertising and sales pressure is relentless. Our children are exposed to phenomenal pressures. Employers expect more in response to the pressures they are under. The internet and mobile phones have created a world that never switches off. It’s a perfect storm for over committing ourselves.
When we frequently overload ourselves it sets us up for constant time pressure. Always rushing. Always stressed. Often feeling daily life is getting out of control. Take notice of the warning signs and plan how you can slow down.
Happily, all of the reasons for overloading yourself can be resolved. Developing confidence in backing yourself usually is involved. Especially when you have a hard time saying ‘no.’ Specific skills are vital ingredients. Key skills for example, are assertiveness and making wise, best fit decisions.
Counselling offers many great tools, techniques and strategies to help. This companion post gives some strategies to avoid taking on too much.