You Don’t Have to Work So Hard for Everything to Work Out

Say it with me now:

“I don’t have to work so hard for everything to work out.”

I know this can be a hard one to believe and trust, but it really can be true.

For too long, I took for granted that hard work was the only way to work.

Endless tasks, intense pace, long hours, pouring out energy and effort, pushing hard, high physical and mental demands, insufficient rest and leisure.

I never considered that I had other options. Hard work is so embedded in our culture as an unquestioned and default belief: we must work hard to succeed, to be okay, to have a good life.

We don’t even see it as a conscious choice.

We get swept up into a lifetime of hustling and burning the midnight oil. And that constant hard work is unsustainable. It results in chronic stress, mental illness, and burnout.

I want you to know that you have so many options besides hard work.

Working hard is just one possibility to choose from when you work (and yes, occasionally, hard work is called for). But it shouldn’t be an automatic, constant, daily way of working.

Choose a different approach and a different kind of work identity you can be proud to hang your hat on and that will create a healthy, thriving life for you.

Instead of being someone who works hard, you could be someone who…

  • Works essential. Be choosier about what must be done. Be a work minimalist.
  • Works energized. Take 3-4 renewal breaks every workday. Keep your energy high by stepping away instead of pushing yourself to power through.
  • Works focused. Identify your daily energy peak and do your most demanding work then. Align toughest tasks to peak energy and remove distractions to complete work faster.
  • Works collaborative. Ask someone how they’d approach the task in a way that requires less time or effort. Or ask them to help carry the load.
  • Works engaged. Choose roles and projects that align with what’s most energizing and easy for you. Let go of what feels like pushing a boulder uphill.
  • Works surrendered. Trust that you can create a beautiful life and meet your needs without constant efforting. Trust that other things are at work for you that don’t require your active involvement. Recall times things worked out for you and you didn’t have to do anything at all.

Practice looking for the ease over the effort. Start collecting evidence that you are safe and well without constant hard work. Your life is going to feel so much better.

Say it once more with me; let it be your daily affirmation:

“I don’t have to work so hard for everything to work out.”

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