“Ain’t no mountain high enough” (…but what if there was?) [Panjwani, A|2018 | Albert Ellis Institute]

Pleasing Others / Taking on Too Much

  • Have you said yes to a project, a person, or event lately even when your plate was overflowing?
  • Do you feel like you HAVE to do it all?
    • That just by thinking positively, you’ll get it all done…right?
    • All the songs, proverbs and age-old adages seem to suggest that if you work hard enough, you can do it all.
      • Sometimes, thinking this way helps us take on different challenges and can be helpful.
      • Other times, that mountain-top keeps getting higher and higher and our breathing becomes increasingly strained.
      • Rather than taking even a brief respite and acknowledging our limits, often we keep pushing until we’re almost out of oxygen.
      • Whenever that happens, the belief, “I must do it all” is usually nefariously lurking somewhere in our psyche.
  • Why must we do it all?
  • What does it mean when we can’t do it all?
  • Is it alright if we can’t do it all?
    • If we are being truly honest with ourselves, sometimes the answer to this question is: Well, if I can’t do it all, then that must mean I am a failure. The demands we place on ourselves and, at times, on others, are mind-boggling, aren’t they?
  • But even though we would prefer to have engines that never run out of steam, it does not mean we MUST or SHOULD.
  • And, it certainly does not imply anything about our worth as human beings.
  • Easier said than done, right? I know it is for me. So, let’s try a more tactical approach. What if rather than “I must do it all”, the next time we took on several more responsibilities than we had room for, we thought, I’d really, really like to do this too, but there is no reason I must. If I don’t say yes to this task or person right now, it doesn’t mean that I am a failure or worthless, but rather that I am human and, as such, fallible and with limits.
  • What if recognizing this allowed us to be more efficient in scaling the mountain-top we were already reaching for? What if thinking this way helped us stop for a second when we did reach a particular summit, allowing us to appreciate the gorgeous scenery before us and the arduous climb behind us? Perhaps that would be motivating in a way we do not readily anticipate…maybe it would even help us prioritize which mountain-top to climb next.
  • Such a change will not happen overnight, so it might help to practice in little ways at first. Here’s an experiment to try: The next time you are swamped with work or in your social life, instead of saying yes to that one extra “ask” someone made of you, try to politely decline. Instead, focus on the goals already in your purview, recognizing your hard work in bringing those goals to fruition.

 

 

Source: full article via FB here @ http://albertellis.org/aint-no-mountain-high-enough-but-what-if-there-was/

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