What's your response when you meet a friend or colleague and they ask, “How are you?” or “How’s work?”
Is your automatic response “I’m good” or “busy”?
Like so many other people, I used to be stuck in the pattern of unconsciously responding “I’m good" or "I've been busy”. There was little thought in my response. It just slipped out of my mouth.
The problem with a comeback such as this is, over time, it loses its value in conversations, and increases the potency on our subconscious. Saying you’re stressed or busy can actually make you feel more pressured, worried, and busy. It deepens any feelings of overwhelm, making us more anxious and embedding the fact we are struggling (even if we aren't!).
The more we tell ourselves something, the more we believe it.
Our society places a high focus and value on hustling and getting things done. It’s like there’s a badge of honour when we reflect on how we spend our time. My subconscious learned that being busy meant I was successful.
This wasn’t true at all….
I found I was disadvantaging myself in a number of ways:
* My response wasn't genuine
* The conversation ended just as quickly as it started
* I wasn't truly connecting with others
* I began to believe I was busy creating feelings of overwhelm and stress
* I was stuck in societies belief that busy was good and this wasn't true for me
If I sit back and think about my favourite moments in life, it’s certainly not when I’ve been run off my feet, trying to juggle 'all of the things in the air'. I’m happiest when I feel relaxed, calm, and present in the moment. Enjoying the people around me.
Being busy was a generic response for me in the past. It wasn’t always authentic, and it didn’t provide me with a true connection with the person I was talking to – it was such a knee-jerk reaction!
After some reflection, getting rid of limiting beliefs about switching my thoughts about being busy, things have positively changed.
My mindset is now focused on having authentic conversations. Being present, and responding with a more specific, considered response. Rather than responding “I’m busy”, I’m now replying with a few activities I’ve done, how I'm feeling, and what I've got planned coming up.
The difference? Real, authentic conversations open up and allow for greater connections with others. It’s taken some practice to whip myself out of a reply of 'busy', but it’s rewarded me by leading others to do the same.
Life is full of experiences. I have chosen to move away from conversations starting and ending at busy, it’s lead me to become more generous to others when talking and listening. The biggest bonus – there’s no more fake ‘busy’ and I'm feeling less stressed and overwhelmed.
Let’s stop at the automatic ‘busy-ness’ and be more open, specific, and intentional with our responses. In doing so, we can help others share their own real experiences. We can establish closer relationships with others with less pressure, overwhelm, and feelings of calm.
Will you join me?