Escape The “Do More Yet Be Less” Trap

My client Melanie was trapped in the “do more yet be less” cycle. Maybe you’ve been there. In a competitive workplace, she wanted to do more than others to demonstrate her value. At home, wanting to be a great mom, she felt she had to do more with her kids, but didn’t have the time or energy. At the gym, everyone seemed more fit, so she struggled to do more in her limited fitness time. Melanie was pushing herself to do more, yet feeling unsuccessful and incompetent. As a result, she was often overwhelmed and frustrated with herself. Which made her think she had to do even more.

Paradoxically, the answer for Melanie was to be more, yet do less. For example, being a great mom was more about being present with her kids, more playful and spontaneous. When mothering was only about doing, Melanie could never do enough to meet her high standards. At work, being her best meant Melanie was clear about her commitments, focused on her important outcomes, and seeking to use her strengths and her relationships to get results. She traded in the frantic efforts to do more in exchange for being the person others wanted on their team. Melanie even gave up trying to compete at the gym. She found a workout class that left her feeling fantastic, and with enough energy to enjoy the evening with her family.

If you find yourself caught up in the hamster wheel of doing more, take Melanie’s advice and choose to be more. Focus on being the best version of you that you can be today, show up fully, and celebrate that. Let me know what happens.

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