In the pursuit of growth, we must stretch ourselves.
The prevailing belief is that stretching ourselves means we take on more responsibility: we step up to lead, we give more, we do more.
Sometimes it does mean that. And other times it means doing less.
For some people doing more is the natural instinct. They thrive in a crisis. Give them a problem and they will navigate to a solution. They give to the point of over giving. That’s not healthy.
For over givers, doing less is the stretch. How do you sit still when there’s work to be done?
How can you leave someone on the table without healing every part of them that’s in pain?
How do you leave issues open and unresolved?
Human beings like to complete things. This is why the productivity trick of “just start it” is effective for many people.
If we just start, we will want to finish. It’s more than a want. We feel compelled to finish.
If someone is in pain, we want to heal them. When someone doesn’t know an answer, we want to give it to them.
We like closures and happy endings.
Doing less might feel lazy. Leaving something unfinished might feel irresponsible.
If you’re an over giver or even someone whose tendency is to push to do more, perhaps it’s worth considering that your growth opportunity is in the realm of doing less.
If you struggle with this, here’s a reframe on how to view this:
We often serve our clients at a higher level by doing and giving less. When we give too much at once we create overwhelm for the people we serve. They can’t process it all at once.
When we try to take on too much we aren’t as effective in what we do. Then we don’t serve as effectively.
If you’re driven to take on more, consider that your stretch may be in holding back. You might find that by giving and doing less you actually give and do more.
Uncomfortable? You bet.
I’m right there with you.