Why You Keep Overcommitting


I used to be a lot sweeter.  I used to say yes most of the time.  I used to jam pack my days into nights with everything from coffee/lunch meetings to work (obvi) to school to long phone conversations with friends in need to shows and dinners and…you get it—contained chaos.  

I worked so hard, yet simultaneously complained about feeling overwhelmed with little to show for it.  “What gives?”  I’d wonder this to myself more days than not.

Around age 34, I woke up to a cold, hard realization. It wasn’t pretty either.  I realized I was overcommitting to others out of fear and obligation and in the process, underserving myself.  I was playing small in my life due to one of two possible self-diagnoses (or probably both):

1) FOMO (fear of missing out) 

2) FOBA (fear of being alone)

Basically, fear and scarcity were running the show, which is really about self-worth, not time-management.  

I would drop everything to help others actualize their dreams, but when it came to pushing mine forward, I was the one missing in action.  I’d rather procrastinate the deep work of creating my vision in order to pick up the pieces for others around me.  It was an immediate, (if not false) hit of belonging straight to the old ego.  

I also found I wasn’t as sweet as I’d been letting on.  Behind the saccharine-laced veil, I was cynical and resentful, constantly comparing myself to others and critical of my inability to make something happen.    

So, I started making some changes.  I got more honest…less sweet.  I started taking forensic inventory as to what I wanted and shifted my priorities around to facilitate those things.  You know what I wanted? To be seen, heard, and to affect change in the world.  Baby step after baby step, I started waking up to these desires—and honoring them.  After all, no one else could ever do this for me.  Sure, I could put support in place, but I had to do the work.  And this “work" actually smelled like joy. 

Bumpy at best, I’m still on the journey, yet I’ve found greater congruence and confidence in this new way.  I’ve also found tons more time to appropriate to the meaningful relationships that matter most to me.  

Oh, but there’s something else you should know.  A reckoning of sorts took place.  That hit I mentioned earlier? Well, at the core of all my “overwhelm” that kept me spinning out of control was a gaping hole I was desperately trying to fill: my needs for love, acceptance, and belonging. 

I woke up to the unflattering reality that I was spread so thin in an effort to get these core needs met, and in the process, abandoned myself and my desires altogether leaving a bad aftertaste of resentment and utter discouragement.  

If you find yourself constantly overcommitting and overwhelmed, I’ve got good news for you: You can step off the treadmill at any time.  You can choose something different—something resonant and true for you.  But,  in order to see your dreams become reality, you must be willing to let go of some extra baggage:

1) The belief that other people need you more than you need you

2) Saying yes to too many social obligations to be nice and fit in

3) Staying busy to avoid your needs and desires

4) Toxic relationships that breed self-doubt 

5) Any reason that convinces you you don’t have what it takes (aka fear)

6) Comparison with others (Is all that screen time really necessary?)

7) Playing the victim when setbacks arise (and they will)

My hunch is, you want to be seen too.  I sure hope so—it's your birthright! You weren’t created to hide behind the agendas of other people.  You weren’t created to be nice.  You weren’t even created to be liked.  Let’s face it, you’re not for everyone.  You were created to be the most beautiful, bold, and true YOU imaginable.  Oh, she’s in there, alright.  And she’s a force of nature.  Yes, we need to see her.… 

Love & Gratitude,