The Busyness Trap and How to Get Out of It
“How are you doing?”
Everyone I know:
This exchange is about as played out as the Macarena at your cousin’s wedding.
We are addicted to busyness.
Because our society is obsessed with rugged individualism. We glorify being busy because what’s underneath is a belief that as long as we’re working hard, we are valuable. Like, if we’re not busy, we must be lazy and unworthy. And as women, we have to work even harder to prove that we’re worthy.
We’re just as addicted to staying busy as we are to telling people just how busy we are. It’s a trap.
I don’t want to make being busy the enemy here. It’s not. Let’s face it, we really are busy a lot of the time. It can be genuinely satisfying when we’re hustling on something we care about. The trap is when we default to busyness as a way to measure our own worth. Busyness is a circumstance, it’s not who you are or what makes you awesome.
The good news is, there are TWO things you can do immediately to step outside of the busyness trap:
When people ask how you are, pick a word, any word other than “busy.” That way, you’re not perpetuating the over-glorification of the b-word. Bonus points if you pick a word that points to the truth of your inner-world - words like overwhelmed, inspired, happy, loved, excited. These kinds of responses are where vulnerability and connection live. So much more satisfying.
Ask for help! This is a biggie and a challenge for many of us (eh hem, remember that rugged individualism thing we talked about earlier?). What are you NOT doing because you feel too busy? If you didn't have to do it alone, what would change? Whether it’s asking your manager or a co-worker to help with a project or asking a friend to plan a weekend outing. It is SO much more fun to include others in your journey - bounce ideas off of them, celebrate wins with them. The best part is, when you ask people for help you give them a confidence hit knowing that they are valuable to you - which is what we’re all chasing in the first place.
Think about the last time someone asked you for help. How did it feel to lend a hand?
Alicia talks about how she’s benefited from the reciprocal value of asking for and receiving help - and how we often have to de-program our thinking to stay open to it.
Here are some quick examples of people I’ve asked for help that made a BIG difference in my success and sanity:
A friend who is a financial planner about how not to go broke in my first year of business
My brother, a serial entrepreneur, about business structure and scaling
My fiancé for his help walking the dog in the mornings so I can use that time to write
Alicia & Gina
A Call for Reflection
In the realm of work, family, romantic partnership, personal development, or finances - where is just one place that would make a difference in your success or sanity if you asked another person for help?