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

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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.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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