Solutions for Retention and Transfer of Knowledge

Walking the Fine Line Between Pushing Yourself And Driving Yourself Nuts

For sure I’m not alone in this: I often push myself to achieve things I believe in. I have many goals (some are big ones) that I believe are worth the effort. I’m sure you do, too, or else you would not be reading these Brilliance Nuggets.

Yet, sometimes one can get oneself into a situation where the pressure mounts. At some point, it feels like it’s a bit much. Then we tell ourselves, “I cannot quit now”. We keep pushing.

At what point do we step on the brake a little and give ourselves some grace? Maybe something could be done later? Or maybe something could be done just a little less “perfectly”? Or someone else could lend a hand?

Writing Brilliance Nuggets Has Made Me Into an “Uber-sponge”

I have been writing Brilliance Nuggets every day now for 85 days. 85. What an adventure! And what a challenge. I want each of the Brilliance Nuggets to be of real value to you. I put a fair amount of thought into each one of them. I gather ideas for Brilliance Nuggets almost the entire time that I am awake. An idea comes to me. I pull out my phone, open my Notion app and I write a quick note to myself. I always have been a “sponge.” Writing these nuggets has made me into an “Uber-sponge.” Or is it a “Super-sponge”?

When it comes time to write I look at these ideas. Which one do I feel like writing today? But I want to do a good job of it. Okay, I admit it I want to do a GREAT job of it. I want these nuggets to be worth your time. The idea of “imperfect” Brilliance Nuggets has faded…

But there are other things that need my attention, too. I have clients. I have launched my Brilliance Mine Course. It is going well! I’m so happy we were able to launch despite the holiday season being here now.

I’m volunteering. Rotary. Toastmasters. Speaker’s bureau. There is a great leadership course I’m participating in. Dear friends come to visit – what a great time! I passed my blue belt test in martial arts. Yeah! (and holy moly, black belt is next!). All kinds of family activities. Holiday preparations. House improvements. The list goes on. All is fun – and how does it all fit onto my plate?

I’m sure you can map what I’m saying here onto your own life.

As a dear friend reminded me: Sometimes you have to give yourself grace.

Yes, that applies to me, too. She said, “If you give yourself grace then you give others permission to give themselves grace, too.” True.

At times, there is a fine line between pushing yourself and driving yourself nuts.

“Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.”

Jordan Peterson in his book “12 Rules for Life”

Jordon Peterson points out that people will go to great lengths to take care of their pets. They will bring it to the vet when necessary. They will administer any treatment and medication as prescribed. But ironically, they will not take care of themselves nearly as well. If you’re smiling to yourself right now that’s because you know it is true. I know it is true for me at times (that is all I’m willing to admit right now, LOL).

If you are pushing yourself so hard that it causes you anxiety it is too much. Anxiety causes toxic stress. That is not good for you or anyone.

We can uphold the pursuit of our goals, live in integrity, AND have compassion for ourselves. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping! Amen to that.

I’m Curious

  • How do you strike the balance between pushing yourself to achieve goals you believe in and keeping yourself healthy?
  • How do you know when it is time to be compassionate with yourself versus making excuses because you’re procrastinating about something?

By the way: I am tempted to read and re-read this nugget five to ten more times to make sure it is “perfect.” I will head my own message and give myself grace. If you see something I could have said better let me know. Thank you!

Dr. Stephie

P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this Brilliance Nugget with others. Thank you!

Stephie Althouse