Connect with us

Life

Overextended and Tired of It? Here Are 3 Ways to Get Your Life Back

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to stop overextending yourself so you can get your life back, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Tired of feeling like the whole world depends on you? If one more person asks you to help organize a fundraiser, build their website, or solve a family crisis (for the millionth time), will you snap like that IKEA bookshelf jammed into your way-too-small closet?

You are not alone. Many people are overextending themselves during this pandemic, trying to help as many other people as possible. But they are hitting their mental and physical limits.

If you have decided the cost of being everything to everyone is finally too much (in other words, you’re losing sleep, always resentful, and you nearly throttled the jerk who nabbed the last bag of flour right as you reached for it – how could he?!), then here are three ways to get your life back:

1. Celebrate what you are capable of

If you are on everyone’s speed dial, it means you are a trustworthy person who can be relied upon. We all have that one friend we wouldn’t trust to pick up our drycleaning, and – rejoice! — you are clearly not that person. You are capable. And that is a reason to celebrate.

Recently, my friend Alex broke down while on the phone with me. She just couldn’t handle it anymore. As the uber-rational and grounded middle child in a family of intense personalities, Alex was inundated with constant demands, many of which were time-consuming and costly. And it meant her phone rang 24/7 with SOS calls.

She was completely over always being the person in her family to figure things out, pick up the pieces, and clean up the messes. And she was angry – rightfully so.

But as Alex was fighting back tears on our call, I had to ask, “Would you rather be the one totally capable of handling things or would you rather be the one who is not at all capable of handling things, like your siblings?”

There was a pause, but not a long one.

“I would rather be the one who can handle things.”

“Ok then,” I said. “At least you prefer to be the person you are, even if your situation sucks right now.”

“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” – Jack Canfield

2. Check your martyrdom at the door

Deep down, do you actually like being run ragged? Do you get off on telling your friends at dinner parties (remember those?) how you’re so exhausted from dealing with other people’s stuff?

There’s often a huge emotional payoff for being overworked and underappreciated. Overdoing it is the lifeblood of the martyr. They need to be the community’s superhero and the savior against all odds (who else can fix the Zoom call that keeps cutting in and out?). Being constantly in demand makes them feel valued, useful, and on purpose.

Of course, it is completely normal to want to feel those things. But a challenge arises when we define our self-worth by how others see us. The constant need for external validation leaves you running on a treadmill, unable to hit the stop button. In fact, you’ve become so used to putting yourself last, that you accept your mental and physical suffering as “normal.”

If this resonates, I’d encourage you to ask yourself, “Who am I really trying to please or impress?” Often we’re desperately trying to show our value to a parent or a loved one, even if that person is no longer in our lives.

3. Be willing to set new boundaries

Notice how I said “willing?” You’ve run yourself ragged tending to everyone else’s needs, and shutting down your familiar operation overnight will only add to your stress. Instead, be open to the fact that yes, you can do things differently. And then consider what it would be like to set some new boundaries.

My friend Alex certainly has a fear of disappointing people. What will her family say if she says “no” more often? Is it worth the potential fallout and drama, not to mention the guilt?

The next time her brother asks (yet again!) for her to care for his cranky cat, could she simply say, “That is not something I want to take on right now?”

It is much easier for Alex to resort back to her usual, “Sure, ok, I can do that,” followed by a deep sigh. But inevitably, each time Alex says “yes” to something she doesn’t want to do, she feels angry and resentful.

If Alex has really reached her breaking point and wants to be in control of her life again (and she has), that means saying carefully considered nos.

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brené Brown 

A gentle reminder: for the most part, you get to decide what you want to do and what you do not want to do. You are in charge of your calendar. Yes, there are times when you’re genuinely burdened by commitments (I’m looking at you with love, Sandwich Generation), but is everything you do truly mandatory?

A simple exercise to get perspective is writing all of your to-dos down on a piece of paper. The truth will start to reveal itself. Showing this list to a BFF can also be helpful. Often they will be more than happy to point out which of your “have-tos” are really just your overachiever mode kicking in.

Do your shoulders feel lighter yet? Can you imagine a reprieve from the deadweight you have accepted as your responsibility?

I hope so. It’s not all or nothing – you have the ability to lighten your load and still be of service to others. And I have this feeling that even if you do just half of what you normally do, you will still shine bright in the lives of many lucky people. You will still feel valued and appreciated, and enjoy it all the more now that you’ve had a full night’s sleep.

What resonated most with you from the article? Share your thoughts with us below!

Alana Ruoso is a Success Coach for Designers and Creatives who know deep down that they can do better, but keep falling short of where they want to go. With humor and honesty, Alana shows them how to ditch the struggle, own their value, and move their career from vanilla success to spectacular triumph. In addition to 20 years of experience as a Graphic Designer, Art Director, and Brand Strategist, Alana is a Life & Executive Coach and is a Mentor with Young Women in Business and the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). To work with Alana, visit www.alanaruoso.com/coaching, or dig into her success tips over at www.alanaruoso.com/dig.

Life

The Best Advice I Have to Give: Be Intentional With the Tension

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

It is the best business advice I have to give these days. It is the best advice I have to give, PERIOD! “What would it be like to cut yourself some slack?” This isn’t about “self-care” habits. This is about the long haul. It is about you coming out of the other end of a marathon type season of life, work, relationships, and everything else.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

To All Young People, Now is the Best Time to Change Your World

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

I was sixteen years old when I first felt the pure exhilaration and profound sense of purpose through political activism. I was a junior in high school, elected as a student member of our district’s school board in Rock Island, Illinois. At my very first meeting, I was faced with a disturbing agenda item: budget cuts. Our economy was in the tank, revenues were down and the school board had no choice but to cut sports, music, arts programs and lay-off teachers.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Here’s How You Can Immediately Stop That Inner Critic in Its Tracks

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you’d like to learn how to stop your inner critic so you can become the best version of yourself, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


I grew up with a Yiddish grandmother, so I know that everything is on the table for commentary. Imagine that person that is always around the next corner ready to comment on what you say. It definitely felt like a cat and mouse game, so I’ve learned to scurry around grabbing tiny morsels of sustenance, ever watchful as to not fall into her trap.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

5 Ways to Avoid Being Just an Average Joe

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

We live in a world where we are faced with comparisons every minute and every second. As soon as we check our phones first thing in the morning, the feeling of not being enough or extraordinary kicks in even before coffee. While it is good to be your own critic so you don’t get lazy and stay determined, it is unfair to keep comparing yourself to others. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending