Ever Feel Like You Can’t Afford to Take a Break?
Sometimes I feel forced to run a race I’d rather not run.
When everyone else around me is doing more, working harder, and achieving greater, I tend to feel pressured to do the same.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I don’t WANT to “do all the things.”
In fact, the fast-moving, always striving, never-ceasing pace of our culture tends to push me into that “get me out of here!” place of stress, overwhelm, and chaos.
I can still find myself running my race at an uncomfortable and unsustainable pace at times.
Well, because I (mistakenly) believe that I HAVE to.
My Inner Critic argues, “You CAN’T stop. Not unless everyone else does, too!”
You see, she (my Critic) is terrified of falling behind, missing the mark, or being seen as “less than” in any capacity. She has exceptionally high standards anddemands I exceed expectations. At all times. In all areas of life.
So, if everyone else is out there ceaselessly striving after that ever-rising bar of excellence?
Well, my Critic expects me to follow suit.
Even when I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, she refuses to back down or demand less. Instead, she attempts to keep my productivity wheels turning, fueled by lies of scarcity, such as:
- You can’t slow down, you’re already so far behind!
- You can’t do less, everyone else is already doing so much more!
- You can’t settle for good enough, it must be excellent!
- You have to keep going, it’s all up to you!
Sound familiar, Friend?
Challenge Your Inner Critic’s “Can’t Take a Break” Logic
Friend, I don’t know if you can relate, but sometimes it feels like there’s a Drill Sergeant in my head, demanding I do more, be better, and strive harder.
Especially when everyone else appears to be doing the same.
Well, if your Critic demands excellence like mine, you’ll likely hear this line of reasoning from time-to-time: “You can’t afford a break! You’re so behind! Everyone else is doing so much more than you!”
Friend, don’t buy this bogus argument. Challenge this logic!
Rather than accepting you don’t deserve to rest or giving in to the unreasonable demands for more and more and more and more and more…
Fight back with this truth instead:
You’re Free to Run Your Race at Your Pace
Friend, here’s the deal: God has a very unique calling for each of us.
My path is different from your path is different from her path. Which means my journey will look differently from your journey will look differently from her journey.
Now, I know it can sometimes feel like others are blowing right past us and coming out ahead at this thing called life. Especially if those people are chasing down (and stepping into) dreams that look an awful lot like our own.
But the truth is, others can’t lap us in our own stories.
They can’t get ahead of where we’re going because God has us headed somewhere different. The truth is, no one else can tell the story God intended for you to tell. No one else can play the unique role God intended for you to play.
SO YOU (WE) CAN RELAX.
It may feel like you’re behind and that others are ahead. But the truth is, God’s got you right where He wants you. And He intends to use you (both where you are now and where you’re going). By no means will God leave you out of your own story or calling.
So then, Friend, the pressures off.
- You GET to rest, even if others choose to keep on running.
- You GET to run your own race at your own pace, no matter what everyone else around you is doing.
- You GET to trust God will lead you where He wants you to go in just the right way at just the right timing.
A More Sustainable Rhythm: Rest, Run, Repeat
Friend, my guess is (like me) you’re probably pretty good at the whole running thing.
But how’s that whole rest thing going for you?
If you’re like me, you could probably stand to work on a more sustainable rhythm. One that looks more like REST, run, repeat (instead of running, running, always running).
So this week, let’s remember to tap out of the race for a bit and leave some room for REST.
Intent on running our OWN race. And letting God set the pace.