Archive for January 2017 | Monthly archive page
Article first published on www.steelheels.com.au on 31/01/2017
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a driving force in the lives of too many of us.
We overload our lives with unnecessary activity because we’re focused on finding the ‘golden nugget’ that is going to catapult us to success and we’re worried that we’ll miss out on the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives.
In our late teenage years we’re expected to seriously assess our future and we’re asked to pick the direction our lives will take. With the changes in the education system, we now face a significant expense to cover the cost of a university degree, or any other form of post schooling education and unless we’re lucky enough to have someone who can afford to pay these education expenses for us, or we win a scholarship, the first step of our ‘career’ is weighed down by the shadow of debt.
Despite bringing fresh energy and excitement to our very first job, we also step out into the workforce feeling pressure to rise in our career – and quickly. Over time this pressure morphs into an underlying fear that we might not amount to much if we haven’t already made it.
Before we know it we’ve adopted a lifestyle that accepts being tired and stressed as normal. In fact, most people now hold a belief that if you’re not these things then you’re not working hard enough.
We find ourselves unable to say ‘No’ to a networking event, professional or personal development session and we’re left with our heads spinning trying to fit everything in. Our sleep is the first thing that goes – we don’t get anywhere near enough and the quality of the sleep depreciates over time.
When asked about the pressures in everyday lives, the number one recurring theme from women is that they are overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted because they’re busy living a life others expect of them.
FOMO is now the major factor driving us as a society to increased stress, ill health and untimely physical and psychological breakdowns.
Safe Work Australia reports that stress, burnout and fatigue impacts an increasing number of Australians each year, with 6% of all workers’ compensation claims for mental health disorders.
Safe Work Australia 2015, Work-Related Mental Disorders Profile Report claims that “Mental stress is the main cause of compensated work-related mental disorders, with 90% of mental disorder claims attributed to mental stress”
The report also found women workers were more likely to suffer and make a claim for compensation with the number of claims per million hours worked 2.3 times higher than those recorded for men.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Our societal belief that we have to wait for a traumatic event in our lives to have permission to change the way we live is one of the biggest furphies of the modern life. Getting ahead and achieving success is not about being busy – it’s about filling our lives with things that give us more energy than it takes to do them.
Each of us is a unique human being, and as such we need different things to support us in our everyday activities.
There are simple and easy things that we can do every day to help us make sure our energy is focused in the most productive way for us as individuals:
• Understand where you get your energy from: Make a list of all the things that give you energy – these are the things that make you happy, make you smile, make you laugh. They can be related to people, places or activities. • Understand how your energy is drained: Make a list of all the things that drain your energy – things that make you tired just thinking about them, people who steal your energy when you see them, work tasks that aren’t challenging or inspiring. • Reduce negativity: Make an effort to stay away from activities or people who drain your energy and replace them with things from the list that gives you energy.
It’s time to buck the trend. It’s time to start thinking and living differently. It’s time to open our eyes to the cost of living our lives in the shadow of stress and exhaustion.
It’s time to put FOMO in it’s place!
Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time! Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicty Expert and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist‘. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Article first published on www.dynamicbusinesswomen.com.au on 16/01/2016
Make Changes…. It’s Your Choice
We’re taught from a very early age that change is something to be feared.
In fact, over time this message has been reinforced so strongly that we now fear change more than we fear death.
As we grow up we’re conditioned by the people and places around us. We’re shaped and moulded into a version of ourselves that we believe is acceptable and we step obediently into the drive to success – just like everyone else.
We grow up, and leave school and we continue to make sure we have the ‘right’ qualifications, buy the ‘right’ car’, have the ‘right’ friends, have the ‘right’ career’, buy the ‘right house (in the ‘right’ suburb) and create the perfect life.
More shaping, moulding and conditioning.
In an effort to keep up – and hopefully get ahead – we push ourselves beyond our boundaries. We place ourselves under the weight of heavy expectations and we carry the burden of ‘success’ in every decision we make. We ignore the voice in our head that tells us we need to slow down, take some time and care for ourselves …. after all, that’s for people who are less busy than we are – we simply don’t have time.
We punish ourselves until we meet every expectation and demand that is placed on us … until we reach that point where we’re running on empty and we have nothing left to give. And then we find a way to give more.
We take a deep breath and just keep going – everything will be all right if we just keep going. We’re stressed and exhausted but that’s normal, right? Aren’t they the key components of being successful?
The blinkers on our eyes keep us looking straight ahead. They keep us from understanding that we’re actually living a life that someone else has programmed us to live.
While ever we continue to live our lives this way, we are guaranteeing ourselves a one-way all expenses ignored ticket to a traumatic event of our own.
After all, we believe that traumatic events – such as a breakdown or cancer – are things that only happen to other people … until they don’t.
The human body is an amazing construct that is designed to provide us with warning signals when it needs us to take notice of something that’s not quite right. When we put on the blinkers and shut down the warning voice, we push ourselves harder than we were ever designed to go.
We have a remarkable ability to see the effects of stress and exhaustion in those around us – whilst completely ignoring the fact that we are suffering from the very same symptoms. We have boundless empathy for our friends, family and colleagues – but rarely do we allow ourselves a bit of self-compassion.
We give everyone around us our permission to take a break and give themselves a bit of self-care … but we’ve been programmed to believe that offering the same care to ourselves is just selfish.
So how do we step up and give ourselves permission to make some changes … and still get ahead?
Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of our lifetime is that introducing change is quite simple. Once you understand that breaking something down into small, simple and manageable steps means that change will never be difficult again, you’ll easily and willingly step away from the life someone else has given you and start living the life that was meant to be yours.
Life will become much easier and will be more likely to be full of the things that you love, and you’ll be less likely to become stuck in the things that drain your energy.
We need to acknowledge that being stressed and exhausted is NOT normal. Bluntly, being stressed and exhausted is slowing killing us.
Everything in life comes down to our choices. In every moment and with every decision, we can choose the path we take. The reality is that making change in simple, small steps is so much easier to handle than trying to climb back up after a total breakdown.
It is only when we choose to stop waiting for permission to change, that our lives can be lived very differently.
About Your Guest Blogger: Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com