Thursday, June 23, 2011

I have overcommit-itis!

Overcommit-itis is also known as overpromising and underdelivering...trying to be superwoman and not achieving it...doing things by halves...spreading myself too thin...

And unfortunately, I've realised that I've been doing this in every aspect of my life.

So how did I realise this?

Well funnily enough, it was while I was at my yoga class tonight that I suddenly came to me.

In actual fact, it was one of the biggest kerplunks I've had for a while!

I love that about yoga - for me it's a case of the stillness speaks. (Aka my mind stops, so there's room for answers and guidance to come in!!)

That and I'm becoming more attuned to my body, so when I have some sort of pain or tension, I tap into it and unravel the sensation, emotion and then thoughts (and thank you Dr Susan Bernstein for teaching me this great trick!)

But more on that later.

As I was saying - I realised that I do currently suffer from overcommitting, in every sense of the word.

In no particular order, I overcommit my:
  • Time
  • Resources
  • Money
  • Time
  • Body
  • Mind
  • And did I mention time!
So how have I realised this?

Well in the last week and today in particular, I've had a few really healthy reality checks about how I am overcommitting.
  • I've realised with a shock that my budget hasn't been complete or accurate enough to achieve everything we want to do - hello overcommitting and spreading ourselves too thin!
  • I've realised that another symptom has been getting to work late...which has all stemmed from overcommitting my time in the morning to try and fit in yoga, making lunch, getting ready...and all when I'm struggling to get out of bed by 6.10 to leave at 7...yep, you do the maths!
  • I've realised that at work I'm not setting realistic enough expectations for how much I can do in a day or week, so deadlines go by.
  • I've realised that while my heart's in the right place, I've overcommitted the amount of time and resources I can allot to helping out in my community service roles.
  • And you know what, I think more the I think about this, the more I'm going to go...oooohhh, there's another way I overcommit!
I don't do any of this with an intention to mislead, or with any kind of malice, in fact whenever I commit to something, I really think I can achieve it.

What I'm learning though is - I'm great at coming up with ideas, great at making plans (and making them look pretty!), but my problem is that in general I either don't make the deadlines realistic enough, or I just put too much on my plate at once because I...yep you guessed it, overestimate my abilities to achieve it all!

And while I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't do things by halves, I've been giving myself no other option than to do just that.

Perhaps it is just what I was writing the last blog about - needing to learn how to say no to things? 

Meanwhile, apologies if this sounds like cryptic, but it makes sense to me!

The best part of this realisation is how neatly it flows on from my last blog about releasing the need to be superwoman, because I think this kind of answers part of the how to do it.

So now what?

Well I think I'm going to spend the next week or so identifying everywhere that I am overcommitting, and putting my hand up to say 'sorry, I know I said I could do this, but it turns out I was wrong. I'll just need to change/stop...'

Because that's another symptom of my overcommit-itis, I tend to keep it all to myself until I have gotten very close to or over the deadline...and then say eek or try and be superwoman!

And you know what, I think people will be pretty receptive to this kind of honesty.

Then from there, I need to work out strategies on how I can change the way I approach my life.

But at least I've got the hardest bit done now - identifying what the problem is!

Phew - told you this was a big kerplunk!!!

PS I was going to make my own version the above image with it saying kerplunk...but realised this would be overcommitting my time tonight as it's after 10 and I need to go to bed so I can get up on time tomorrow morning...he he, look at me go!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I've got one word for you...






So there you go - I am good at saying no, I can say it normally, in slang, elongate it and I can even say it in different languages!

But apparently I'm not great at saying it in life.

Well at least that's how it appears looking from the outside in.

In the last 4 weeks I've literally had 4 people in separate conversations say to me 'soooo, you just need to learn how to say no then' response to me explaining how my life looks currently.

No prompting, they've all come out with it of their own accord, much to my surprise and bemusement!

I've quickly replied 'But...I can! In fact I'm heaps better now then I used to be!!'

But upon closer inspection, perhaps that's not the whole truth and nothing but.

Yes I've definitely got a lot better with saying no to different outings, even with my closest friends I can say 'you know what, I might pass on that'.

But then when it comes to new opportunities...particularly with something I've wanted to do for a while or will give me a new experience, I tend to say sure, add it to the mix.

I'm such an Aussie - the 'she'll be right' attitude is alive and well in me!

Oh and did I mention helping others? Because I'm a sucker for that. If it's something that will help another person, add it on!

Clearly it's not a bad thing to help others - I really enjoy it - but when it's at the expense of your own self, probably not so great.

So as my lovely and wise friend Ali said to me the other night...

Perhaps it's not about saying no as much as saying 'I'd love to but I can't right now, my schedule won't allow it', or words to that effect.

This is a concept I've struggled with lately - it's not so much that I'm a sadist and want to cram my schedule.

I just think I've been showing my Gen Y'ness by wanting it all now...rather than taking a step back to say ok I'll do that now, then I can do that later this year, next year etc etc.

Actually, more to the point is that I haven't had any sort of long range plan and flying by the seat of my pants isn't the best way for me to do things.

The other thing I need to do is let go of the need to be superwoman for everyone else and remember to make time to feed my soul!

As I heard the Dalai Lama himself say just last week - you need to make sure you take care of yourself first so then you're able to help others.

And yes, I know there's been quite a few of you saying this to me lately - it's definitely a lesson for me at the moment!

The question I find myself asking is why do I have to be superwoman anyway?

And since when did I become the person who can't stop or take time for myself?

I'm not quite sure really, but I'd like to let both go because neither is doing much for me.

So now my mission...and yes I choose to to take the cape off and put my undies back on the inside!