It’s Hard to Relax When You’re a Superstar
Here at Growing Self our therapy and life coaching clients are generally successful, high-achieving people on a path of personal growth. Because of this, I have a soft spot for the superstars, and I know that being a go-getting, productive, conscientious, high-achieving, intelligent, successful person has many, many benefits. You get things done, you’re on top of it, and you are probably extremely successful in many areas of life.
And… it’s probably hard for you to relax.
How to Relax When You’re an Over-Achiever
Because you are so conscientious and successful you probably do everything you’re supposed to. You take vacations, you exercise, you have a healthy diet, and you practice self-care. But it still might feel hard to let yourself truly relax. Even when you’re having fun you are thinking about the next thing, and doing “nothing” (as in the Dutch practice of Niksen) feels like a waste of time compared to all the important or goal-directed things you could (probably feel like you should) be doing.
Believe it or not, learning how to relax is a very important life-skill. Just like learning how to manage your emotions, making it a priority to exercise and sleep, managing your finances, having satisfying relationships, practicing good self care, and eating healthy foods, learning how to relax — how to truly relax — is a skill set that is acquired through education and practice.
Real relaxation, the kind that restores you and allows you to be more productive, more creative, more resilient, and happier, is much more than about taking a bath once in a while. Real relaxation requires a high degree of self awareness and commitment, as well as the development of specific internal skills. (Ha! You can always recognize a fellow Type-A over-achiever when they describe relaxation skills as a project — hello my friend.)
Yes, I know from both professional experience in working with extremely successful, high-achieving people as well as from my own personal experience, that being a Type-A superstar has a very real dark side including exhaustion, agitation, anxiety and overwork. Burnout is an experience that many hard working and conscientious people can succumb to if not careful. Without vital relaxation skills, you can start to experience a lack of motivation, tiredness, emotional numbness, and loss of joy and creativity in your day to day life. FYI, “Burnout” is real: It’s finally gotten recognized as an occupational phenomenon by the ICD!
The Keys to Authentic Relaxation
Today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is just for you, my high-achieving compadre. We’ll be discussing:
- The mind-body connection that makes you feel stressed out even when you’re relaxing
- New ideas to help you prioritize your self-care and relaxation
- The real source of stress (it’s not what you think… except when it is)
- Why “relaxing” behaviors (massages, hot baths, vacations) won’t help you truly de-stress
- How to combat the stressful thinking styles that will interfere with true relaxation
- The skills and strategies that will actually help you reduce stress, relax, and restore your mind, body and soul.
I hope this discussion helps you achieve the rest and relaxation that you deserve, and that it helps you (paradoxically) become even more productive, creative, forward-thinking and successful as a result!
From me to you,
Listen to the Podcast
How to Relax (When You're a Type-A Stress-Case)
Music Credits: Damian Jurado and Richard Swift, “Hello Sunshine”
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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.