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How To Detach Your Self-Worth From Productivity

How to detach your self worth from productivity
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Today, I wanted to have a lil’ chat about a topic I feel isn’t spoken about enough: attaching our self-worth to how productive or hardworking we are, and how we can stop doing this.

We’re born as a blank canvas basically, and as we grow older, we start learning, imitating, and adopting traits, opinions, thoughts, behaviors, and belief systems.

This special cocktail of all these things that we’ve experienced and seen throughout our lives, makes us the unique individuals that we are today.

However, that doesn’t mean that all these behaviors and beliefs that we learn from our parents and peers are serving us.

It’s up to us to figure out what beliefs we have adopted are holding us back from being genuinely happy.

I grew up in a family with very demanding parents who believe that to succeed in life, we have to achieve a lot. And even though they had the best intentions and wanted the best for me, somehow subconsciously, it also led me to believe I “had to achieve” to earn their love.

Both of my parents are extremely hardworking, always busy, and have the pattern of always taking on way too many things on their plate.

I remember always having extremely busy weekends, rushing from one place to another. To be honest, lazy Sundays weren’t a thing in our family.

I also have a brother (who I love dearly) who was diagnosed with ADHD at a very young age. As a kid, he was kinda out of control. And to provide an environment where he could function properly, he needed a lot of structure and discipline in his life. So, when he wasn’t behaving well, there were clear sanctions, and when he was a good boy, he got rewards.

However, even though I didn’t have ADHD and I was such a good girl, I was still exposed to a super strict environment and all these rules also applied to me.

As a kid, this is traumatizing. And these experiences created an ego inside of me, that was extremely demanding and super harsh on me.

This ingrained in my behavior, thought patterns, and beliefs. It also affected the way how I see myself and how deeply I wanted the world to see me. I always wanted to be the most productive one, the always busy one, the highest achieving one.

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detach your self worth from productivity
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How To Detach Your Self-Worth From Productivity

And I always thought that this was the universal truth rather than a limiting belief because I received so much approval and admiration (it’s just validation!) from the people around me.

Because it isn’t only my parents who believe this, right? Unfortunately, we live in this world of hustle culture and hyper-masculine work ethic with the constant fear of getting left behind if we don’t work hard enough.

Because of all this, we are made to believe the following:

  • We’ve got to shine in order to be “loved”.
  • The more we achieve, the more others will admire us, so the “worthier” we are.
  • People who aren’t functioning to their utmost potential or are just being lazy, are considered “less” than those who do. We also feel like they’re beneath us.
  • You need to get things done, regardless of the way you feel physically and mentally.
  • You don’t get to relax and take a break unless you have truly accomplished your goals or to-dos of the day.
  • Anything that doesn’t have any productive value isn’t worth your time to pursue and should be limited to the absolute minimum.

We go through all of these mental gymnastics just to get by every day because we feel like we’re supposed to.

But why though?

Why do we idolize people who work 55+ hour weeks? Why do we think that constantly being productive and neglecting sleep and self-care is what it takes for living a good life later on?

Because in reality, this isn’t sustainable…

Burn-outs aren’t a myth, it’s real and it’s horrible, and many people only realize this when it’s too late.

As Carrie states “Being busy isn’t a badge of honor.” She further adds “Hustling can be a way to feel ‘good enough’ while struggling with low self-esteem, low confidence, and low self-worth.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

I get it, you know. I’ve been there too (and I’m sometimes still struggling with this).

To Detach your self-worth from productivity is super hard and won’t be easy to let go of, especially when you have tied your identity with it, and you feel like overcoming this limiting belief is like washing away your identity.

You just have to be you, your authentic, free, whole you, that is enough just because of who you ARE as a person, not because of what you DO.

Do all of the above sound relatable? Are you struggling with feeling enough, unconditionally if you have worked hard that day or not? Then, you’re in the right place, my friend.

Because today I finally feel ready to open up about this, share some helpful tips that I learned throughout this journey, and stop this vicious cycle of hustling.

Wherever you are in your journey, it’s not too late to turn it all around and finally become your authentic self, and do whatever YOU feel inspired to do, without having to listen to this “you should” voice.

Here are my tips on how to detach your self-worth from productivity:

1. Identify Your Negative Thought

Notice any patterns of limiting beliefs whenever they pop up and ask yourself questions like:

“Is this the truth?”

“Am I actually benefitting from these thoughts?”

“Do these thoughts actually resonate with me or is it just something from my past?”

If such kind of thoughts is not serving you positively, squash them!

2. Introspect Between Moments

Before doing an activity on autopilot, pause for a moment and ask “what is it that I am genuinely inspired to do?” instead of listening to your head because “you should”.

In the beginning, you might not know, because for the very first time in a really long time you’re giving yourself a chance to be your authentic self. You get to re-discover who you truly are.

3. Journaling

Note down the exact events you remember that are causing you to have these limiting beliefs and where they might originate from.

4. Mindfulness

Be present and let go! Stop overwhelming yourself with trying to achieve everything. It’s so tempting to be in your head all the time thinking about your to-dos and problems that need attention. Ground yourself, meditate with intention, and be more present in the moment.

5. Coping With Burnouts

As an overachiever, it’s easy to neglect your physical and mental well-being. And just because you feel there are “better things to do”, you easily become a victim of burnout. When I was starting my business I took others’ advice as Gospel but always looked in the wrong places. So I kept applying them which made me feel heading nowhere. Moving forward to now, I am able to filter out the noise and know what’s right and when to stop. So please, please, dear lord please…stop and give your body and mind whatever it needs.

6. Complete Shutdown

A proper sleep routine is something we highly don’t appreciate. It isn’t a luxury thing that you have only when you have ticked all those boxes in your to-dos. SLEEP is crucial and an absolute necessity and should be prioritized above everything else.

I pray that you find peace if you’re constantly struggling with being always productive as a means to make yourself and others validated.

Know that life is short and putting “productivity” on a pedestal is not where you want to be. Hope the tips that I shared will help you in some way come to a realization.

Phew…I had a let it all out in today’s post. You do not need to be where I had been in the past and I hope my life’s story becomes a wake-up call for you guys.

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Lets’s Chat!

Have you managed to create a work/life balance, I’d love to know your tips. Do share them down below!

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