Really, you’re not. How do I know that? Because I used to be too busy and one day, I chose a different thought and I haven’t been too busy since. True story.
It’s been several months since I’ve stopped being “too busy” and my life is significantly different. Calmer. Clearer. Less frantic. Why? Did I get rid of my three kids? My job? My house and responsibilities? Nope. But I did get rid of using “busy” as an excuse. I changed the way I looked and thought about things.
I decided I was sick and tired of feeling stressed and overwhelmed. As a thought coach, I know my feeling stressed or overwhelmed comes from my thoughts. I discovered the thought that was creating my stress was the thought: “I’m too busy”, “I don’t have enough time”, or “I have too much to do”.
At the time, this was not a shock for me to discover as I truly believed that I was too busy, that I did have too much to do and that I didn’t have enough time. After all, I had spent my entire life filling my days full and fuller. There were lots of good reasons for my busy-ness but none of them served me. As a teenager, I had the perfectionist thing going on – the busier I was, the more I got done, the closer I was to being that perfect daughter for my parents. The more perfect I was, the more they’d love and support me. Well, you know how that turned out, BIG chuckle. I went from my that quest into early adulthood, thinking that if I worked hard enough, I’d be happy. If I got married, got the house, had the kids, then I’d be happy. Nope! My busy-ness at that point served several purposes: to distract me from a failing marriage and to look for external validation that I was a good mom (I mean, if I was making their lunches, signing them up for the correct sports, and tri-folding their clothes, I was a good mom, right?). After my divorce, I still filled my days full. Why? Partly because that’s what I had always done and partly because of a long-held belief that in order to “make it” I had to be busy, busy, busy. Yet, how was I defining “making it”? What did success look like for me? Externally I was there: I was healthy, had removed my kids and myself from an unhealthy situation, and loved my work. However, internally I was was consistently feeling stressed and overwhelmed. What was going on?
“The thinking that got you to where you are is not the thinking that will get you out; it got you there in the in the first place.” Garret J White
“We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein
I stepped back to realize that my thoughts of being too busy were not serving me. In March I drew a line in the sand, committed to my mental health, and said that from that day forward instead of saying “I’m too busy” I would say “I have more than enough time to get done what I need to get done.” I started consistently scheduling my days and consciously choosing how I would fill them. I changed my mindset from “I’m too busy for that” to “I have more than enough time”. I knew a scarcity mindset would not produce an abundant life and an abundant life is what I was creating.
The energy we put out in the world comes back to us. If I’m rushed, frantic, and overwhelmed, I attract that to me and into my life. If I’m calm, relaxed, and deliberate, I attract that into my world.
Are my days any less full? No. But, in changing my mindset and using tools discussed in last week’s blog, I’ve structured my life so that my days are easier. Easier on my nervous system but also easier on me, my partner, and my kids. The only choice I had to make was to choose to create something new in my life. Next week I’ll write more of how we can’t create a future based on our past. For this week, ask yourself where you’re on autopilot in your life? Where are you allowing old thoughts and old beliefs run (or ruin) your days?