I went to book an appointment with a colleague through her online calendar and noticed that she had no openings available for the next 10 days. Even though I don’t know anything about her personal schedule – she might be taking vacation days for all I know, this brought up feelings of inadequacy for me as I am not “that” busy.

I don’t know about you, but when I have down time, especially since I am self-employed, I begin to feel very uncomfortable. Even when on vacation I feel compelled to do some ‘work-related’ reading or writing, keep in touch by email or even make calls. The idea of not being busy is very uncomfortable. Why?

For me it feels like I am not “doing enough”, I don’t “deserve” time off or I might be left behind. Feeling unproductive or unaccomplished can bring up fear and angst. I wonder if you feel that way too.

In her book, Daring GreatlyBrené Brown discusses how we “shield” ourselves from feeling inadequate and anxious. We might suppress these feelings through food, alcohol, exercise, etc., however, one of the most universal numbing strategies is what we have come to accept is being “crazy-busy”.   It’s not enough to be busy, one must now be crazy-busy.

What might crazy-busy “buy” you? You might feel important, productive and purposeful, that who I am matters.   When you are not busy, feelings of “not enough”, shame, failure, grief or isolation may surface, and who wants to feel those?  Being super busy has become “normal” in our culture and if you are not busy, you can find ways to be – through your work, phone or computer.

If you would like to take more time to just “be” – read a book, go for a walk, spend relaxing time with friends and experience real peace, you can use Emotional Freedom Techniques to manage the uncomfortable emotions that would normally drive you back into action and distraction.

 

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