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    Do you push yourself too hard?

    challenge posed by Brenda Cobb 131 days 6 hours 11 minutes ago

    Category: Entertainment
    Challenge Forum

    Do you push yourself too hard?

    Do you have so much to do that you feel that you are always behind the eight ball? Is your “To Do” list so long that it is almost impossible to get to everything you need to do? Do you stop and take a break when you get tired or do you just push yourself even harder? Do you permit yourself to take a break, go for a walk, take a swim, or read a book or do you just keep going at a frantic pace to get more things done? When was the last time you took time to listen to the birds singing or the trees rustling in the breeze? Do you try to force things to happen or do you let your life unfold at will? Can you back off a little and stop pushing yourself quite so hard? I used to always pride myself in saying “I’m a hard worker. I’m willing to work hard for what I have.” Then one day it dawned on me that I was making things much harder than they really needed to be just by continuing to claim that I was a “hard worker.” I decided to try something different and I changed my way of thinking to “Everything I do I do with ease, happiness and joy.” I noticed almost immediately how things began to fall into place much easier and I didn’t feel tired all the time. I came to the conclusion that relaxation helped lower my stress and I was able to accomplish more in less time when I didn’t push myself so hard. When I changed my own attitude about “hard work” things didn’t seem nearly as hard as they once had. Are you ready for more peace and tranquility in your life? What do you think you can do to lighten your load and stop pushing yourself quite so hard?

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Great discussion forum!

    Everyone can benefit from looking at their life through this perspective lens, myself included. I really try to be in tune with my stress levels, because in my experience, the more stressed I am, the less clear my objectives and goals become, and less productive I become over all.

    I do take time to give myself mental breaks, through meditations, reading, walking or even taking time to cook a full nutritious meal. That said, there are times when I feel overwhelmed regardless of these breaks and this is when I lose clarity and productivity.

    I am ready for more peace and tranquility, and to let my life unfold in a way that is natural and true to my inner compass. In times of stress and change I hold on to the belief that I am right where I am supposed to be, nothing is going to happen any faster or slower than it is meant to, and I am only mean to tackle challenges as they arise—not before.

    To lighten my load and stop pushing myself so hard, I can allow myself to take my time and not feel so urgent to make my dreams come true this very instant; everything takes time! As long as I am diligent in overcoming daily challenges, wake up as my best self every day, and only take on as much as I can do with “ease, happiness and joy,” I will get closer to my goals and live a happier life while doing it.

    Thanks for the forum and thank you for reading!


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    In high school I pushed myself too hard. I went to the extreme of focusing so much of my energy and time to school, to getting to the best college. My parents had minimum wage jobs and we all shared a one bedroom. Right after college, my brother went to the military to support my family. I remember taking a four hour nap after school and doing homework from midnight until four in the morning and then taking a short nap before going back to school again. There was always a need to push myself hard because I would be the first to go to college and the second to provide for my family.

    I eventually went to a good college, but I was no longer the big fish in a small pond. I struggled in school. My college's grading system is one of the toughest in the nation because it's on a curve, ie not everyone in the class can get an A or a B. It's designed to weed out the best students and get struggling students to change their majors. College has really humbled me to define what success and hard work looks like. One can be standing in line and there's always someone in front of you and there's someone in the back of you. One doesn't know how hard the person in front and the back of worked. There's society that decides and judges how hard someone has worked but there's the truth. The truth is beautiful. I see it in the eyes of my family and friends during graduation and I've seen it in many strangers' eyes for their loved ones' graduation.

    Now that I've completed college, I try not to have a deadline of what age I should accomplish something because society says I says that's when I should have that done. I go by what feels right. I'm a lot less harder on myself. I also have a more balanced approach to things where I aim to succeed in other areas besides funneling everything to one bucket like before. Pushing myself to a better me now looks like building a strong foundation of friendship, building my physical strength, working on my hobbies, and exploring other challenges that speaks to my soul.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hey Brenda,

    A couple of years ago, I quit a toxic corporate job. I, too, had always prided myself in being a hard worker. I finally realized, it didn't really matter. People at my work were getting rewarded for doing less, inadequate work, and making poor decisions. It was frustrating, but one of the hardest lessons that I've ever learned is that hard work doesn't always pay off. It's totally dependent on your situation.

    After I quit, I knew I had to get serious about my mindset if I truly wanted to make big life changes. I hired a coach, but one that had a background in spirituality, meditation, and focused on taking care of your mindset first above all else. I worked with her for several months. My initial goal was to start my own business, but what ended up happening was a complete surrender of my own thoughts and ideas, and I fell in to a life that I could have never imagined on my own. I fell into God's (the universe's) plan for my life. I released many of my old beliefs, traveled, met my soul mate, and now I've been married for a year and a half and have a four month old beautiful daughter!

    When I let go of pushing myself too hard toward my own personal goals, and surrendered my ego, my life changed in an amazing way!

    I think slowing down is the best thing that anyone can ever do for themselves (from experience!)

    Thanks for a great post!


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hey Brenda,
    This is a great topic. I also pride myself as a "hard worker." I am currently a full-time employee, graduate student, wife and mom to two kids ages 2 and 1. My husband works a different shift so I am often stuck doing everything on my own. I also work in a male dominated industry, so being the only female on the team, it can be a hard balance to keep up with my work roles but still maintain being the best mom I can be.

    That being said, I am so happy with my life right now and the challenges I am facing, should hopefully pay off soon. I hope my daughters understand the value of believing in themselves and that taking on extra responsibilities is not always a bad thing.

    When I really need to unwind, I get up at 4AM and take my dog out for a walk. No music, just us and the sound of birds chirping. It's really a beautiful time to unwind and reflect on life. This helps me recharge (and exercise too).


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hey Brenda,
    I think this is a good topic to discuss. During the school year, I have had many moments of thinking I am not working hard enough but I actually was. During the school year, I always felt behind and I always had something that was due. I would always stay up late to finish my homework and then the next day I would be super tired.

    After pushing myself for so long I started to realize that I am adding stress to myself that I did not need. So I would tell myself that when I was studying I would need to take breaks in order to be able to focus better. This started to work out for me because I was not as stressed all of the time.

    I almost do the same thing as Morgan when I really need time to myself or need to unwind I wake up at 5 AM and workout before school. Working out before school would make me feel better and a little bit more relaxed.


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    As much as I'm proud to have a good work ethic I wish it came with less anxiety. Everyone in my family has had to work hard to make a niche for themselves and would tease me for "having it easy" since I'm the youngest and yes, there are ways that my upbringing was easier than there's. I think that always plays in the back of my mind and makes me feel like I don't deserve my success because it was handed to me.

    I eventually take breaks but not until I'm worn out or caught up. I've definitely taken mental health days just to laze about and recover from the constant stress I place upon myself. I feel that I'm beginning to manage it better but every time I start a new job I get the same urge to prove that I'm a machine that doesn't require unnecessary meal and restroom breaks.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    I feel like I do push myself too hard because I'm my own worst critic. Once I standards set so high and don't meet them then I become disappointed with myself. I also like I have to because I'm a single mom and have to set the bar for my daughters because they look up to me.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hi Brenda,

    This reminds me of the "Tortoise and the Hare" story. Work really hard, take a long break, and lose the race. Work slow but steady and win the race.

    I procrastinate on just about everything, which makes me so stressed trying to do everything last minute. I wish I was more like the hare in the story, LOL!

    This is a good question that probably resonates with everyone here.


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Good morning Brenda

    Like many of my fellow responders, I consider myself to be a hard worker and am proud of my work ethic! And like them, I too push myself too hard!

    I have been more cognizant of this dilemma for about the past five years. The realization that I can do it all, but that I suffer when I do really hit me hard after an especially trying year in my job as a second grade teacher. I work with children that are emotionally distressed and often suffer from unresolved trauma. While I love that role and my ability to be a caretaker to them in addition to being their teacher, it can be very draining. After that particular year, their trauma transferred over to me even when I left the school. I knew I had to find a healthier way to deal with my job related stress!

    I have really focused on the thought that "you can't pour from an empty cup". Taking time for myself and being more in tune with my emotional well being has made a huge difference. I now get up a bit earlier during the work week so that I can enjoy my coffee and spend some time in prayer, reflection and gratitude. Starting my day in that way as opposed to jumping up and flying around like I'd been shot out of a cannon has made such a difference in my day! I also make sure I take a lunch break and take some time to visit with my colleagues during the day. Additionally, I now take time for a walk or workout several times after work during the week.

    Being more mindful of my emotions, physical health and well being has truly helped. For the most part, I am now able to step away from my job when I step out of the car at the end of my work day! I have found that being a healthier me has also helped me in my other roles; that of a wife, friend, and as a teacher!

    Thanks for reading and here's to more happiness and joy,


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    There have been times where I pushed myself too hard in the past, and I found that it wasn't good for me physically or mentally. It's one thing for me to work hard, but I know my limits and when I need to take a break. I actually took a self-care class recently (I could fit it in with my elective requirements for my degree, so that's a bonus!), and I know a lot of techniques about how to better take care of myself, manage my schedule better, and know when to take a break, and that it's okay if I do. Sometimes I need to force myself to make things happen. I need to lose a few pounds, and I can't get that done if I'm not working out or eating properly.

    I find that I can lighten my load and make things less stressful by cutting things up into little bits. Instead of writing a big paper, I'll take it in sections. First I'll do the research, then I might write a section or two, and then finish it up when I know what to put down. Positive thinking can have a really good impact on things, so good for you that you found how much easier things were when you changed your thinking! Have a good day!

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?


    No not as much as i should. I am a big time procrastinator lol. I have been trying to push myself but end up loosing focus.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hi Brenda,

    This forum definitely made me take a step back for a second and reflect on myself. I pretty much spend all of my free time thinking about how I need to work harder, which makes me feel worse about myself. And, when I actually am working hard, I think about how much effort I put in and how someone else could achieve the same result with less effort. Or, I often feel anxious that the task I am working hard on is not worth the effort and that my time would be better spent on something even more productive.

    I definitely agree that I should ease my mindset, though it is so tough to do so when everyone around me is continuing to achieve things that I am not achieving. Personally, I feel that I should keep the same workload, but I should focus on improving myself rather than achieving as much as the person beside me. I should keep this in mind especially throughout this next year as I start college and meet others who are pushing themselves too hard. I also really, really need to think about this as I write essays so that I will not get stuck on something that I feel someone could have said in a better way.

    Thanks for the forum, and for prompting me to change the way I approach tasks.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Sometimes I do push myself too hard. I don't always feel confident about myself and part of my motivation is to prove myself. And I don't follow the words of Mr Rogers, "You don't ever have to do anything essential in order to love and be loved."

    When I was in middle/high school, I felt inadequate, and fell into the trap of feeling that I needed to be good/great in order to be worthy. I tried to achieve the right grade or do the right thing to make myself feel better. I didn't have a sense that I am lovable just the way I am.

    I am working on that now, I try to restore my self-esteem and sense of self by working on defining myself outside of my accomplishments or even behavior. Even on my bad days, I am a worthwhile person. Even on days when I haven't done very much work, I am a worthwhile person. When I haven't done much to benefit others, I am still a worthwhile person.

    Another thing Dr Rogers said that resonated with me: "I don't think anyone can grow unless he is loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be." My best relationships are those that do not feel conditional.

    Right now, I feel anxious and not quite well in my body, and I think it has to do with a struggle for self-love. This is my effort to remind myslef of the importance to love myself, even with my limitations.

    Thank you for your time and for letting me make some self-disclosures and round up some great Mr Rogers quotes.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hi Brenda,

    phew. this is a great post to discuss and reflect within all of us.

    I currently have two jobs that I am juggling while I still am on the lookout for a third one. I basically have a third one because I am starting a summer ahead of time planning for my campus' events through student government as the vice president. I like being busy, but with tons of tasks comes lots of stress, which is something that should be handled probably by taking mental breaks and reflection.

    This "hard work" all comes from immense pressure from my surroundings: financial pressure and pressure to make sure that what my parents had sacrificed for me, had been completely worth it. I guess that's what puts me into overdrive and I start overworking myself, or really, expecting more from myself everyday. I definitely have learned that it is okay to take a day off for myself, but what worries me most is whether or not I am content with how I feel about myself and whether or not my efforts will pay off in the long run.

    The truth is, no matter how successful or wealthy a person gets, if all the hard-work isn't backed up with good intentions, self love and validation OUTSIDE of everyone else, and passion, then that person will never be completely fulfilled. Everyday, we just need a reminder that we are all going through our own individual struggles, doubts, and insecurities, and that's why having a good support system is a key proponent on balancing life. It's okay to confide in others and enjoy the ride for a little while. We should all stop to smell the roses.

    Thanks for this forum,

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hey Brenda,

    Maybe I'm the oddball out on this one, but I feel like I'm at a really good pace right now. In school, it was always go-go-go. But having a steady job has helped me get into a routine. I do find myself occasionally pushing myself to fill my empty schedule, but I've realized it and consciously have to slow down my mind and not try to push myself for the sake of pushing.

    I have started a few sales side hustles that are extremely rewarding. I'm focused on collegenet, health and fitness and overall enjoyment of life. I'll be volunteering soon, and I think this all leads to a great work-life balance.

    We could all benefit from slowing down in daily life tasks. Driving, cooking, eating, spending time with each other, talking, social media-ing. To do these things with intentionality brings me the greatest joy - but it is hard in a culture that says do more, work harder, etc.

    Thanks for reading,

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hi Brenda,

    This is a very interesting topic and it makes me stop and take a look at myself and my life. I have never thought that I pushed myself to hard, I have always looked at it like I expect a lot out of myself. I am not sure where this comes from except that I find I always wanted to please everyone and not make anyone unhappy or offend anyone. This can be exhausting and nerve wracking because at times I would sacrifice my own happiness.

    The older I get the more I try to focus on the bigger picture and what life is really all about. For me, it is not about how much money you make or how big your house is, it is about people and relationships . I have let go of relationships with people that I feel are not good for me or bring me down or make me feel bad about myself. I have found inner peace in not getting caught up in " keeping up " with everyone. My life may not be perfect, but it is close enough to perfect for me. I do not push myself or expect so much or need to be what everyone else thinks I should be. I am okay with me and who I have become, and continue to grow to be.

    My inner peace comes from God and God alone, and I am thankful above all else for the relationship I have with Him!

    Thanks for a great topic!!

    Thanks for the forum

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    I am the type of person that pushes my self too hard because I like to be the best at what I do. If I know I am capable of doing something I push myself to do it. I don't like to wait last minute to do things. I also push myself to be positive everyday and to have a positive mindset.

    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hey Brenda!

    I push myself way too hard. Especially recently.

    A girl in my class dies a few weeks ago. She was in a drunk driving accident and died instantly. She was only 21 years old. What was so crazy about it was that I saw a picture she posted only hours before. It made me realize how mortal I am.

    As a young 20-year-old, I have this perception that I am invincible. When that girl died, I realized how false that is. I feel like I am running out of time. There are so many things I want to do before I die. I have been pushing myself to be more, accomplish more. I want to live a different life every day. It is amazing, but it is exhausting.

    "I will take that extra shift, I will practice again, I will get it all done today..." I have thought those things dozens of times in the past few days. I am so scarred of dying with regret. I don't want to be ordinary.

    It is a big goal. I feel like I need to be taking a step forward every moment or I won't accomplish it. I am putting too much pressure on myself. I just have higher standards for myself. I want to be the best at everything I do. I want to be more than happy. It causes me to push myself too hard. I am feeling burnt out.

    When you said, "Everything I do I do with ease, happiness, and joy" that really hit me. I am tackling my goal all wrong. I need to take every moment for what it is. I need to remember how to appreciate the little things again. A life spent fearing death is not a life I want to live. I am so young, and I have so much time. I will enjoy my journey to the end so much more if I just accept that.

    I am sure I will get a lot more done too. I will be happier and more willing. And most importantly, I will enjoy every minute of it instead of stressing over what it could be. '

    Thanks for reading!


    Re: Do you push yourself too hard?

    Hi Brenda,

    I agree with what you learned, that when you take your time and stay relaxed it helps you stay focused on one task at a time and you end up getting more things done in a more efficient manner.

    I am usually not too hard on myself if I do not get something done, I just put it on my list for the next day, however if it is something important like paperwork to get turned in, it reduces stress to just get it turned in right away, it is about knowing how to manage time and knowing how to prioritize from most important to least important. I think if we have a plan on what we need to do and how to do it, it reduces stress and we can get things done more quickly.

    What it boils down to is balance. Yes we need to push ourselves a bit to continually grow and get better at what we do so we don't get stagnant, however we need to stop and smell the roses along the way. I can really say I am the kind of person that does take the time to take in the world around me, slow down a bit and smell the roses.

    Thank you for reading,