Last week I was going through notes I’ve made on calls with my coach. Here’s what jumped out at me:
“Hurrying is based on fear, and fear is ultimately destructive.”
I remember clearly when I wrote that sentence down. I was feeling like I was hurrying through all the things I wanted to get done in a day, and then feeling frustrated because I felt the results I wanted weren’t doing me the favor of hurrying along. It felt gross—all angsty and busy-bee-ish and “What am I doing wrong?”-ish. But I didn’t exactly know how to move past it. And so I brought it up with my coach. (Man do I love working with a coach! Have I mentioned that here before? I really really do.)
I believe that the same content can have different messages with different impacts on you at different times. I remember when I initially wrote that sentence down, I was thinking something along the lines of, “Right, hurrying is bad, I shouldn’t hurry.”
Notice the word “should” in that line of thinking. Here’s a little hint: Any time you hear yourself saying “should” or “shouldn’t”, you are NOT hearing and trusting your inner wisdom. You are hearing and trusting your inner a-hole. (Click to Tweet!)
What I heard this second time I read it was “You think you’re helping by trying to hurry, but really you’re just hurting yourself. It’s OK to try something different.”
(I wrote about the beginning of the process that’s helped me get to this current point in this post: One Question That Can Make You a Time Millionaire.)
Since then, I’ve made a conscious effort to slow the heck down, and here’s the thing: I am still getting plenty done. And, I have a lot more space in my mind and body to think, to relax, to be present, to be real.
I mean, listen, I’ve got decades of practice in moving as quickly as possible, mostly in the name of packing a lot of things in. As a Girl Scout, I earned so many badges my Mom resorted to stapling them on my sash. In high school, there wasn’t an extracurricular activity I didn’t try, from Scholar’s Bowl to soccer and softball to beauty pageants. My first go in the working world was working two jobs, one part-time in the early mornings and one full-time, 9 to 5. I earned a master’s degree in two years while working full time. You could say the achievements I’ve racked up are worth the hurry, and certainly sometimes hustle is just what the doctor ordered.
But hustle and hurry are not sustainable. They have costs.
All that rushing takes a big toll, on your body, your health, your ability to think, your mental health, your relationships, your kids. (How do you think it feels to be constantly told to hurry up?)
And perhaps the biggest cost that I’m only seeing now is this: The fear that fuels the drive to hurry is that there’s not enough time. And that fear kills your momentum before you even start.
Meaning, when you hurry, you actually sabotage your desire to get more, and more meaningful, things done.
Why? Because that fear convinces you that lack is the true nature of things—there’s not enough for you. Or, if there’s enough for you, there won’t be enough for someone else. It makes you scared, and when you’re scared, you’re not listening to that inner wisdom that always guides you toward exactly what you want. Again, you’re listening to the inner a-hole who’s telling you things will never work out or you’ll never be good enough.
If you’re ready to stop mindlessly rushing, simply because it’s what you’ve always done, or because you think it’s the only way to take care of all the things you want and need to take care of, here’s what you have to give up:
- Squeezing in one more thing
- Getting angry about traffic, or construction, or slowpoke drivers
- Having all your chores done before you do the important stuff
- The idea that there is only one right way to do things (you could put all the dishes in the sink and simply wipe the counters instead of laboring until the kitchen is spotless after every meal, for example)
- The adrenaline rush of always feeling like you’re behind
- Feeling sorry for yourself because your time is not your own
How much do you notice yourself doing any of the things in the list above? What other sneaky ways does your hurrying addiction show up in your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.