We live in a culture that rewards action.
Hustle. Grind. Go-Getter. Beast Mode. Hard Core.
The hashtags are all over Instagram as a symbol of being a hard worker. Go-Go-Go. Do-Do-Do. Make it happen. Keep moving. Get ‘er done.
We are well-oiled machines cranking out ideas, making connections, building deals and executing awesomeness.
But, what I’m seeing is the backlash of The Hustle – exhaustion and burnout. The focus gets set on accomplishing goals. “I’ll feel better when I get this done.” “I’ll be able to relax when this event is over.” “Just one more project before I can wrap it up.”
Our goal-accomplishment, or lack there of, is directly tied into our self-worth. “I’m good enough because I worked out.” “I’m worthy of respect because I spent 12 hours in the office.” This then translates into self-judgment, self-criticism and self-hatred when our goals aren’t met. What also happens is the goal chase. It becomes an endorphin high that stress our minds and bodies to achieve the impossible, only to feel the drop off when our expected reward is never as large or long-term as we hoped.
It becomes a Hustle Hamster Wheel.
When I work with clients who are clearly in this cycle, I ask them how much time they spend in silence. They usually look at me like I’m nuts and start shaking their head. “Never.” My first homework assignment for them is to spend 5 minutes in silence a day and capture what came up. There is no music or activity distraction allowed.
The first week is the hardest. Their internal judgment sparks. “You’re wasting time.” “What else could you be doing?” “Where should you be?” “Who do you need to talk to?” The internal to do list mounts.
After the 5 minutes are up, clients capture everything that comes up including how they feel at the end. Each client has reported the challenge of silence, but also the amazing benefits including feeling clear, organized, calm, less stressed, and happier.
Each week I add a minute to their silence time frame.
When you can give yourself time, focus, and attention to recharge, you are better positioned to serve those around you more composed, effective, and creatively.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!