Separating our Self-worth and Productivity | Lynne McLean Brown Life Coaching
I think most of us feel good about getting things done. Maybe, it is satisfying to tick something off that to-do list. Alternatively, it might be the joy of letting that finished task slip from your busy mind. For many of us though, we link that feeling of doing to feeling successful. Our super productivity obsessed culture values and praises the hustle and the grind. It is easy to see where we have linked our self-worth and productivity together. As Brené Brown puts it our exhaustion often becomes a “badge of honour”, evidence of our doing, creating and accomplishing. We praise ourselves when we are busy, hustling and accomplish. On the other hand, we react negatively to not being productive. Even when we are tired, ill or overwhelmed we find ourselves feeling the push to “get back to work”.
If you are someone like me who finds that their default setting is busy then you might want to bring some awareness to your daily hustle. How do you treat yourself when you are tired when you aren’t getting things done or behind with a task. How comfortable do you feel about rest and play? These are some signs that you are being busy to feel worthy and productive rather than working towards something you really want.
Not Feeling Enough
That feeling that nothing you do is good enough and that there are never enough hours in the day is overwhelming. Ultimately as humans, we all have a limit. There is no creating extra hours or working to the point of being enough. At some point, a task becomes the job of more than one person. You cannot turn yourself into two people. No matter what is expected of you or what you feel like you need to do there is a limit to what you are capable of before you break. It is that task that is not enough rather than you. What you are tackling is most likely more than one person can tackle alone.
Do you find yourself doubting that everything you do is not enough? Are you asking yourself to be more than is physically possible? Are you looking for worth being able to do everything laid in front of you? You will never find worth here because there will always be another task. You will never find enough tasks to feed your insecurity.
Feeling Guilty About Things That You Haven’t Gotten Around to
When our self-worth and our productivity are tightly woven together we feel uncomfortable and negative about not doing. Rest and play become guilty pleasures. All those tasks awaiting your attention become a sign that you are not good enough. You feel that pressure to do things so that you can feel enough again.
The guilt builds up around those tasks that are unfinished or waiting. You start to feel bad about falling asleep on the sofa when there are tasks are awaiting your attention. Do you feel as guilty about neglecting your play, your body or rest? If not is it because productivity is where you feel valuable and worthy? It is worth asking yourself why you feel guilty about the things you haven’t done? Are you judging yourself too harshly?
Saying Yes When You Mean No
When you know you are overstretched and you really don’t need another thing to have to deal with but the word yes leaves your mouth before you even realise it. Are you keeping busy, for that badge of honour? Sometimes we use that busyness and striving as proof of how good, hardworking and valuable we are. As most of us know, saying yes to extra responsibilities when we really want to say no is about others. Its often about wanting to please other people, being seen as helpful or kind by them. You are more than how much you do and how much you give to others. Honouring your own needs is self-love and knowing your own value.
Productivity and Self-Worth
Knowing your worth is respecting your boundaries, it is loving yourself enough to allow rest and play. It is caring about what you need. It also means not feeling guilty about what isn’t done. Ultimately it is about knowing that not being productive doesn’t make you lazy or selfish.
Your worth is not measured by how tired you are or how many things are ticked off your to-do list. it doesn’t come from how much you helped the kids, how clean the house is or how happy your boss is. it comes from having faith that you are worthy simply because you exist. Your self-worth and productivity are not linked. How much you can do does not make you a better person. you were worthy, to begin with.
Originally published at https://www.lynnemcleanbrown.com on June 19, 2020.