Ever feel like you’re giving 110%, succeeding wildly and yet your heart, mind, or spirit are left empty and unfulfilled? If so, you’re not alone. And like many people you’re probably searching and wondering why you can’t savor all you’ve accomplished.
Our society is set up to reward those who love to compete and achieve. And competing and achieving in and of themselves are not bad things. But problems crop up when all you focus on is that next competition and looking at what you’ve achieved through a lens of bullet points and checklists instead of how you really feel about what you’re doing with your time and energy.
This disease of speed costs you mentally, physically, and emotionally and though you may be ultra -productive, you often times wind up cut off from your true self because you aren’t taking the time to balance your “feeling” and “doing”. Here are four ways to help you better balance the two.
Reflect on Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
The first step in feeling satisfaction with anything is to reflect on why you’re doing it. If you’re in a job that asks you to do too many things that are out of line with your values, at some point you’re going to feel discouraged, frustrated, and isolated regardless of how well you perform those tasks. Slowing down and taking the time to reflect on why you’re spending time and energy doing something can help you figure out whether it’s something that truly brings you happiness or subconsciously causes you pain.
Acknowledge the Good and the Bad and Feel Them Both
Feeling angry, resentful, discouraged, in despair, or betrayed hurts. And because those feelings hurt you’ll probably try and spend as little time as possible staying with those feelings. The irony here is that by avoiding these feelings chances are they’ll stay with you. The next time one of these emotions hits you, stay with it. Instead of acting out or staying mired in a negative place, notice the feeling as a non-judgmental observer. What is this feeling trying to tell you beyond the immediate and obvious? Yes, you may be frustrated, but why? If you’re resentful, where is that coming from?
Over time, staying with feelings can help you learn to process them in healthy ways so they don’t stay blocked in your mind, body, and spirit. By the same token, when you’re feeling elated, happy, or content, stay with those feelings and ask yourself why, specifically, you feel so rewarded.
Reflect on What You’ve Learned
If you’ve been going at breakneck pace, especially for a long time, chances are you’ve not taken the time to look up and assess what you’ve learned from all your efforts. This is because we’re not encouraged to question the value of what we’ve done, we’re only encouraged to do more.
Lack of reflection keeps us in the cycle of doing at the expense of feeling and is a main cause of disconnect within ourselves.
In order to balance doing and feeling, you must step off the hamster wheel, even for only a few minutes a day, and get in touch with how you feel. Learning from doing is an ongoing process because you don’t only learn rote knowledge, you also learn life lessons and also more about yourself in the process.
If you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, ask yourself why. By the same token, if you’re frustrated or discouraged, ask yourself why that might be as well. Learning from your actions is as important, if not more important, than the actions themselves so set time aside on your calendar regularly to check in with how you feel about what you’re doing.
Ask Yourself If You Want More of Less of Your Experiences
Balancing feeling and doing boils down to stepping back and viewing all of your achieving and accomplishing as experiences. By viewing your actions as experiences and linking those experiences to feelings, you can get specific about which experiences you’d like to have more of and which you’d rather avoid.
Sadly, this doesn’t mean you get to cut out all the experiences you don’t like, but it can provide insight into where you’re working for little to no reward. This, in turn, gives you the power to make different choices and start spending your time and energy on experiences that leave you feeling successful, satisfied, and energized.
There’s nothing wrong with a little competition and wanting to be a high achiever. Just make sure that all your accomplishments don’t feel hollow because they’ve exhausted you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take time out to balance doing and feeling and let that balance be your guide to true and long lasting success.