“I looked like I was being powerful but actually I was being destructive”

“I looked like I was being powerful but actually I was being destructive”

Whilst listening to a podcast this morning, I heard this line. It really challenged me, and I think it’s something that will resonate with a lot of my readers.

We live in a world these days that doesn’t sleep. We work around the clock and put so much pressure on ourselves to do so. However, this way of working isn’t sustainable, not really. How often have you found yourselves working extremely hard, and then you stop for Christmas, or for a weekend, or holiday, and find that you’re exhausted and run down?

Whilst working around the clock looks as though it is a powerful move, with people admiring your work ethic, and ability to fit so much into your time, you may as well be pressing the self-destruct button. By not giving yourself a break, you are wearing yourself down. Not only this, but you also will not be producing your best work, as you are permanently exhausted but just keep pushing through and see it as a powerful thing to do so. You feel like some kind of crazy superhero, as if you can just keep working crazy hours and way too hard but it will never catch up with you, but it always does in the end.

You see, working too hard, although in the short term provides a sense of satisfaction and even of self-worth, is destructive. You wear yourself down, tire yourself out, and for what? You find that when you do stop, any worries you have had come bubbling to the surface, and any negativity that you have hidden away comes creeping out. Because actually, just keeping going doesn’t deal with these feelings, it just pushes them to the side to be dealt with another day, and we all know that when worries etc are left, they grow.

So, my challenge for you, and for myself, is to be more present. Spend some time in your day stopping and reflecting. It is to understand that to work around the clock is not powerful, but destructive, and there is no shame in taking an hour (or even half an hour) out of your day to be present, focused on you, and relaxed.

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