Do you have an overbearing inner voice constantly driving you to do more?
I hope not, but productivity remains the ethos of modern culture. Even though there’s a counter-movement towards simplifying one’s life and working less, chances are the demand to be productive has permeated your core.
Although I’m a champion of living with ease, I’ve recently discovered my “driver”, whose enthusiastically trying to trip up my year with less pressure. She’s the one that’s always pushing me to do more, entwining her messages with the implication that I might not be good enough.
Listen to the Driver So You Can Say No
Do you have a driver, too? If you do, it might be good to listen and consciously hear what she’s telling you. Because, until you really know, it’s impossible to say, “No.” Here are some suggestions she may be regularly planting in your head:
- There’s too much to do, you must keep going.
- Don’t stop now, you can do a little more.
- I have a wonderful new idea for you! It won’t take that much time.
- Why isn’t your blog growing faster? (Even if you care more about people than numbers, the driver just wants more.)
- You must post on your blog once a day, three times a week, or whatever the blog tyrants currently dictate.
- If you don’t spend more time on social media, you’ll definitely lose out.
What’s your driver telling you?
You may be so blended with your driver that you automatically obey her messages without a second thought. Then eventually you find yourself fretting, fussing, and frustrated because you now feel like Sisyphus from Greek Mythology, pushing an enormous rock up a hill that always rolls back down so you must begin again.
The Driver Feeds On Stress, Frustration and More
The driver just wants you to keep going no matter what. So when you listen to the driver, chances are you may:
- Feel pressured and stressed most of the time
- Never satisfied
- Living in your head rather than your heart
- Too busy to listen to your intuition
- Confused about what you really want
- Find your pure motivation tainted by the lure of more
- Sometimes engage in actions that aren’t aligned with your core values
That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. There’s just a part of you that started to firmly believe – probably many years ago – that your value depends on your productivity and more is always better than less. Now you’re entangled in the driven life and any attempt to let go feels unsettling and even threatening to your perfect status quo.
Release Yourself from the Driven Life
But, I no longer want to live the driven life! The consequences are neither healthy or fun, and certainly not in line with my most cherished values.
I know the driver developed to protect me in some way. Perhaps she keeps me busy so I won’t see a harsh truth. But, I’m ready to face and heal what’s hiding in those folds of my unconsciousness.
So I won’t be unkind and just kick her out the door. Instead, I’ll befriend her and get to know when she’s trying to amp up the game. When those messages come, I can reassure her, “Thanks, but don’t worry. It’s fine, we’ve done well. We’ve done enough and it’s time for a lovely break.”
Do you have an inner driver that won’t let you alone? How do you manage to quiet her down?
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Image: Surrealist lover