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The Consequences of Trying to do It All

It's easy to get in to the mindset of checking off the to do lists. Moving from one to the next and always looking in to the future. If you just get this one thing done then maybe you'll be satisfied. But no. There's always more and there will always be more.
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Mother holding baby, talking on telephone and cooking
Mother holding baby, talking on telephone and cooking

I've always been a go getter. I know what I want and I make it happen in all areas of my life. I started my first successful business when I was 13 and never looked back. I thrive off of the feeling of productivity. Trying to do it all is like a game to me. How much can I take on before I break? This has always been my twisted mentality until recently when reality hit me big time.

The truth is up until about 8 months ago I could push myself to the max without any real consequences. I'm young and what's a few skipped meals and sleepless nights here and there.

Convincing myself that if I just go a little longer and try a little harder it will be enough. I was waiting to reach that point where I was satisfied. The point where I could confidently say "no, I'm too busy to do that" or "no, I'm going to pass that doesn't sound like something I would enjoy" but it never came. I was always a yes. Trying to do it all until I literally couldn't do it anymore.

4 months after I had my now 9 month old son I hit a breaking point. I was trying to do it all and take care of a helpless human being at the same time and I couldn't do it. At that point I was 110 pounds at 5'10", clearly underweight and unhealthy.

I often was the last on my priority list but this time I was nurturing another human and my body just couldn't handle it anymore. Reality began to creep in when I would find myself starving at 3pm and realize I had eaten nothing all day. My baby was fed, my emails were answered and my house was cleaned but I was starving.

At this point some of you may be thinking well that's a quick fix, just start eating and you'll solve the problem. But it's deeper then that. The problem is the mentality and expectation that we can do it all.

Putting everything and everyone in front of yourself will manifest in many ways, neglecting to eat is only one example. I had to completely re train the way I think and I'm still consciously working on it every day. It was time to make myself a priority, something I had never done before.

Our society today praises being busy, being productive and being successful. We admire the honors students, the CEO's and the people who can 'do it all' but what we don't admire and glorify are the people who know how to quit and the people who know how to unplug and be present. To me that takes effort and I admire people who can have success in their life and know when enough is enough.

I am somebody who understands the push. The push to have more and be more. That push is what has gotten me to my professional success today and I resonate with all of you who feel this as well. But I know that deep down you are exhausted. Your body is hurting for a break and you're not listening.

It wasn't that I wasn't trying. I knew I needed to change and I would always try to implement a new plan each week. "This week I am going to eat better, I am going to plan my meals. This week I'll change." It worked for a few days but I would quickly fall back in to old habits. My life didn't truly change until I shifted my perspective rather than my actions.

I started asking myself one simple question, "does this bring me joy?" in everything I did. If the answer was no, I made a change.

I fired a client who was stressing me out.
I said no to social gatherings that I felt obligated to go to but didn't want to.
I forgave myself for wanting to leave my baby and be gone for 3 hours at the spa.
I quit trying to change myself in to somebody who cooked and I found other ways to meal prep and have food ready.
I asked for help and hired team members to support me.
I learned to say no.

At the end of the day, if your job isn't making you happy, what's the point?

If your relationship is not bringing you joy, what's the point?

If you don't feel good because you're not taking care of yourself, what's. the. point?

It's easy to get in to the mindset of checking off the to do lists. Moving from one to the next and always looking in to the future. If you just get this one thing done then maybe you'll be satisfied. But no. There's always more and there will always be more.

I used to stress about everything, I stressed about being stressed. I wanted to find balance, that perfect balance people talk about where I could do it all in this perfect rhythm I had created in my head. The perfect wife, mom, business owner AND have time for me. To this day that perfect, flawless rhythm has never happened. and what I have discovered is balance is bullsh*t.

There is no such thing as a perfectly balanced life because your life is unique. Balance to me may mean something totally different to you. Rather than a perfectly balanced life, begin to strive for a life that leaves you happy and healthy at the end of the day.

If that means you sleep in every morning and workout late. That's fine.

If that means you start work at 11am. That's fine.

If that means you don't clean your house and you hire somebody else to do it. That's fine.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, pulled in a million directions or like you just never do enough no matter how hard you try, I want you to stop today and ask yourself, are you happy? Are you loving everything you manifest in your life, your job, your partner, your friends, your health? If one of those are lacking, make a change. Ask for help. Create a life that supports your strengths and encourages you to ask for help in the areas you struggle. I promise you that if you begin to make decisions based on what makes you happy, you're life will change dramatically. Your time is precious, don't waste it doing things that bring you down and out of your power zone.