View profile

Try to do it all? Please read this.

I was the kind of person who tried to do everything. I wanted to be that person. I needed to be that
Try to do it all? Please read this.
I was the kind of person who tried to do everything.
I wanted to be that person.
I needed to be that person in others’ eyes.
Until, one day, I realized I was killing myself in the process.
It’s tempting to try to do it all.
But there are serious consequences for your mental and physical health..
And there’s another way to be, as you will soon find out.

Let's Talk About Old Me "Doing It All"
How I feel when I try to do it all.
How I feel when I try to do it all.
When I was younger, in college and through much of my twenties, I thought I needed to do it all.
Before we really dig into my shortcomings, let’s define what that means first.
For my foolish, younger self, it meant that I needed to say yes to everything that people asked me to do.
It meant that, to say no, was to let other people down.
Surely, if someone felt I was responsible enough to handle a task, I should say yes and complete the task without complaining, right?
There’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you step forward as the always-capable one:
People shove more stuff your way.
You see, it’s easy to follow the path of least resistance, and most people want to do that. In a perfect world, we’d all balance our tasks and no one would have too much work. But this is not a perfect world, and the reality of responsibility-sharing is a bit more grim.
The one who tries to do it all will not earn respect and happiness. The person who tries to do it all will earn the opportunity to do even more.
This can go on for a time, but after a while, well…something has got to give.
And that was what happened in my case.
I tried to balance thirty spinning plates on wobbly sticks.
One day, I was a person with thirty sticks and most of my plates resting, broken and bruised, on the ground.

What Happens When You Try To Do It All
At one point in my life in my early and mid-twenties I was:
  1. Managing my job tasks and taking on more responsibility
  2. Volunteering 12 weeks in a row teaching a 3-hour mental health class
  3. Volunteering for nonprofits
  4. Trying to have a social life
  5. Trying to be a good boyfriend
  6. Trying to be a good son / brother
  7. Trying to be everything at work and life
Sounds heroic? When I think about it these days, it sounds stupid.
On paper it looks great. But in reality? It was way too much.
And it led to sleepless nights and nervous breakdowns.
There’s a Better Way to “Do It All”
But I think I had to go through that to realize I wasn’t earning anyone’s respect by trying to balance the world on my shoulders.
I had to walk through the fire to know that I was literally on fire with responsibilities.
And now I know that what earns respect from others is this:
  1. Having a life that is in control
  2. Not spreading yourself too thin
  3. Doing one or two things extremely well (Obsessing is not necessarily bad, you just can’t obsess over everything)
To Be More, Do Less
How I feel when I focus on one thing at a time.
How I feel when I focus on one thing at a time.
If you want to earn respect from others and sleep better in the process, follow these general guidelines.
1 - Pick one or two things to do really well:
You can’t do it all, but you can choose what you want to get really good at.
Do you want to be a writer? Do you want to become a master of public speaking? Or maybe you want to be the best caregiver you can possibly be?
It’s much easier to study a topic at length (and then put it into practice) when you only have one or two topics to worry about.
2 - Arrange your life around the things that matter most:
Once you have intentionally chosen what you want to focus on, the next step is to structure your life around what matters most.
This isn’t always so obvious right from the start. It takes time to learn which activities and relationships give you energy and nurture you in your downtime.
But it’s worth learning–because you’re only as strong as the foundation you rest on.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll develop a one-two punch of newfound effectiveness.
Follow these guidelines, and then create your own next steps.
I can’t tell you exactly what to do because I’m not living your life.
But I can tell you to do less.
Because no one person can do it all.
And as soon as you realize that, that’s where your story truly begins.

What do you think? Can you try this? If not, why not? Who can support you with this? If it’s me, reach out and ask for help.

Have a great week,

P.S. Forward this to one friend or family member and give them some encouragement. You just might make their day.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $10 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's three weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and articles. And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

So I decided to come up with something I wanted to read.

This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

"Encouragement from someone who has “been there” when it comes to mental health struggles. Comes in the form of stories and simple, actionable tips for reframing and working with - and through - your issues. One of the few newsletters that has survived my ruthless inbox decluttering sprees. Highly recommended!" - Kelila

"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

I take my no-spam policy very seriously. I consider it a mental health obligation to not abuse your trust.

Newsletter articles sent on Monday and Wednesday.

Members receive detailed information from those articles on Tuesday and Thursday AND an exclusive Friday email as well.

You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT