If I could summarise a message many of my clients end up learning at some point in their journey in two words it would be this: Don’t Over-Function.
Is this a message for you too? Do you over-function?
This can be the “dark side” of being a high achiever, and defaulting to working too hard.
Faced with a challenging situation, you step up. And then step up some more.
Faced with dysfunctional behaviour, you compensate. And then compensate some more.
Faced with someone else’s mistakes, failings or poor decisions, you rescue. And then rescue some more.
Faced with an excessive work-load, you push. And then push some more.
Faced with someone else under-performing or under-functioning, you over-function. And then over-function some more.
Do you do this?
When you over-function as a default pattern or response to challenging situations, it can come at a huge cost, to you.
This is how you can end up:
- Burnt out
- Sustaining impossible work or business-related situations (at your own expense)
- Living with a dysfunctional or even abusive relationship, including a relationship with someone with the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Putting everyone else’s needs first and resenting it
- Obsessively looking for things to fix within yourself to make a difficult situation work
- Creating adrenal fatigue
Can you relate?
If you have to over-function to make a situation or relationship work? It is NOT WORKING.
Continuing to over-function to sustain the situation or relationship will probably enable dysfunction and will more than likely end up coming at a cost to YOU.
You are worth more than that.
Do not attach your worth to your ability to navigate and solve All The Problems.
There comes a time when you have to stop finding fault in yourself, stop perfecting, stop going within to see what more you can do.
Functioning at 100% of your capacity (or even 80%, but let’s not go too crazy) is more than enough.
Might that be ok?
Just giving 100%?
If you have to over-function to make something work, STOP.
Identify and address the real problem.
The real problem might be things like:
- Unsustainable financial stress, such as relying on a new business to fully support you financially
- Ongoing poor decisions by a partner which impact on you
- Risky financial behaviour by a partner
- Staying in a workplace with a toxic culture
- Accommodating poor treatment from a partner, family members or friends
- Not dealing with a debt issue
- Excessive investment in your business through coaching or courses without implementation
- Not having a business model that is working for you
Can you relate to any of these? If you do over-function, what is the source of the issue?
Taking a step back to identify the real problem can be really scary.
Very often we might over-function out of fear of what will happen if we don’t. The truth is, things really might fall apart. If they’re only holding together because we’re harming ourselves to keep them going, they probably need to.
Kinesiology can be an amazing tool to help you be deeply honest with yourself and identify the real issue, your own patterns and connect to a greater sense of your own worth and value so that you don’t feel like you have to over-function as a default response to pain or challenge.
Whatever you do: STOP OVER-FUNCTIONING.
I’ve been there too.
Faced with impossibly challenging situations in my personal life a few years ago, I found more and more ways to support myself through them. I became more and more resourceful; more and more resilient. I lowered my expectations of others as I continued to increase my expectations of myself. I thought I was being responsible.
However I wasn’t being truly responsible to myself. I wasn’t taking a step back and evaluating the situations I was being placed in and taking a stand for myself. I was just over-functioning. It was exhausting and damaging, to me.
Finally, life intervened.
For me, I learnt these lessons in retrospect, but I have learnt them well.
I don’t over-function anymore. It’s just not worth it. Instead, I pay attention to life as it is. If I find I have to start pushing or stressing myself out to make something work, or if I find I’m feeling really pressured, I pull back and evaluate. Sometimes new choices are needed. I might be too focused on a goal; it’s not worth it. I aim to create the right conditions and allow things to unfold; no pushing.
It’s an ongoing thing. We might find ourselves accidentally over-functioning to make things work at times, or put ourselves under excess pressure for a reason that seemed valid, but we can always evaluate, and make new choices moving forwards.
Value yourself and your own wellbeing over achieving specific outcomes, or trying to protect or save others.
Life is better on the other side.