A few years back, as an experiment, I wrote down everything I expected me to do over the course of a week, whether it was with regards to work, home, family, time for myself. I also noted my mood, particularly my sources of frustration, and I was in for a bit of a shock: just in terms of work alone, I typically expected me to do the equivalent of 3-4 weeks work in one week.
Now think about that for a moment: If I’m maxed out by 3-4 times my capacity before I even think about anything else, including trying to be The Perfect Mother TM or Wonder Woman, I am running on empty.
I, Natalie Lue, am a recovering people pleaser and recovering perfectionist. These are habits that I don’t have to be vigilant about daily but that I have trained myself to notice the signs of when I’ve deviated from what I know is right and true for me.
Some of my personal signs:
- Trying to be in control of stuff that I’m not in control of
- Spending far too long on something
- Tweaking and tweaking and tweaking again
- Not keeping it simple
- A spate of forgetfulness
- Cranky because I’m not voicing where I feel frustrated or out of control somewhere else
- Feeling as if I’m doing a trillion things at once
- More than a handful of key things to do for the day
- Not feeling energised and lit up by what I’m doing
- A frenetic energy
- Wanting things yesterday so that I don’t have to feel anxious about whether something will go well or badly
- Feeling that I am not a success
If you’re a people pleaser and perfectionist, you will have your own signs and the more awareness you have of them, is the less they take you over because you can respond to these and take you in a different direction.