Stop the Habit of Rushing & Break Free From the Race to Catch Up

In this podcast episode (and blog post), I’m sharing about my journey with hurrying. This episode (number 51) is part of the Goals Series on the podcast. You can read the post, or listen in the podcast player below.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Today we are talking about how to stop hurrying throughout your life, rushing to get things done, multitasking upon multitasking upon multitasking.

Over the last couple years, I have made a big shift in my life. I have gone from someone who is always hurrying

  • I need to hurry and chop this apple for my kids.
  • I need to hurry and go say goodnight to my kids.
  • I need to hurry and write this email.
  • I need to hurry and get to the grocery store and hurry and get home.
  • I need to hurry and do my yoga (yes, it’s true).

That’s who I was a couple years ago.

I was always in a hurry and it was exhausting.

And now, as I’ve been reflecting on this, I realize that I am very rarely in a hurry in anymore.

And I want to talk about how I got to this point.

I want to talk about how I got to where I was and what you can do if you feel like you’re always in a state of hurry.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I’m all about choice here at Redeeming Roots Coaching. Our habits are what they are. And you have a choice…do you want to change them? Or do you want them to stay the same?

How I started hurrying through life

My hurry story starts when I was about five years old.

I was in a parade as part of the gymnastics class that I was in. And it was one of those parades where stand in a line, you walk in step with everyone next to you with the goal of making sure you’re always in line where you’re supposed to be.

I remember this memory vividly AND I have it on video, and have re-watched it.

I was in this parade and if you haven’t met me in person, I’m pretty short. And I’ve always been short. I’m 5’3″ as an adult.

I remember being in the parade walking in step with the people next to me. And I kept falling behind because my legs were six to eight inches shorter than the taller girls around me.

And so I remember looking to my left and looking to my right and noticing that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

And so once I noticed, I would take some quick steps and catch up. This would happen over and over again.

One minute I was walking in line, I was right where I was supposed to be, and then all of the sudden I would all be a few steps behind. Then I’d run really fast to catch back up and then it would happen again.

I don’t remember how long the parade route was. I’m guessing it wasn’t all that long because I was five years old.

But I remember being so exhausted from trying to keep up with the people around me that as soon as we turned a corner and I looked up and I saw my mom, I ran off the parade route and just started crying because it was too much.

And in this moment, my brain made a decision about my ability to keep up with the people around me. This was my subconscious sponge era, where events like this go straight to the subconscious.

In this moment, I decided I don’t have what it takes to keep up. Which means I have to work harder, and move faster than the people around me, just to get to the same place they’re going.

Running off the parade route was embarrassing, so from that point on, I knew I had to be faster (aka hurry) so I didn’t feel that emotion again, because I didn’t like it.

how you know you have a hurry problem

For me, I took those meanings into the rest of my life and I made sure that I was never behind.

I was always on top of my schoolwork as a kid.

As a mom, my kids were never late for nap time. We were on schedule because I did not want to fall behind.

Can you see how this belief and this thread and this idea can carry through your life and it can have a huge impact on every area of your life?

So for me as a mom, my kids’ crying because they were hungry took me back to that feeling of not being able to keep up, so I worked faster. Because I don’t want to disappoint anyone like that again.

I’m sharing this because I think it’s a very common situation.

We hurry because we don’t want to fall behind. We don’t want to disappoint the people around us.

Right now, it’s April, 2024 when I’m recording this and I don’t hurry anymore.

Hurrying with kids

I don’t rush my kids out the door at in the morning. If they’re late, they’re late.

I don’t rush through the grocery store worried that my 2-year-old is going to throw a tantrum if we don’t get done in time.

And you know what? She never throws a tantrum because I’m not rushing her.

hurrying in work / business

In my work day, I’m not hurrying to get things done.

I deliberately under-schedule my days so that I don’t push myself past what feels easy.

And if I have a day where I don’t get through everything, it’s okay. The things I don’t get done in one day will get deleted from the list, or moved to another time (without an emotional attachment of guilt or shame or not-enoughness <– THAT is the key here).

the problem with rushing through life

What’s the problem with hurrying, you might ask…I hear this undercurrent of hurry a lot in the world of goals and goal setting.

And anyone who would identify with being driven or motivated working towards something, there’s often this like undercurrent of like, anxiety or hurry or “I have to get this done and I need it now”.

And as I was Googling to prepare for this podcast episode, I found an article on Hurry Sickness.

hurry sickness

It’s also called Time Urgency.

When I read through this article, it sounds like so many people I know. This “sickness” is obsessed with productivity hacks and getting more done in less time.

If you struggle with this, you may have your laptop and your smartphone open with alerts constantly going off so you can always be responding to things and so you can always know what’s going on.

What’s really what’s happening is we’re cramming so many things into a small window that’s not big enough.

And what that does is it creates stress and pressure in our bodies that doesn’t need to be there. This can lead to health problems and burnout – really fast.

And so there’s a quote in this article that says, “When hurry, sickness, masquerades as efficiency, you may not realize that anything is wrong”.

And I think a big deal, because in our culture we are so prone to hurrying and rushing that we may not even realize what we’re doing, or that anything is wrong.

I didn’t realize that I was hurrying through my life.

And you might not either.

You might not realize how much pressure you’re putting on yourself to reach your income goals, your business goals, or even planning a vacation according to a specific schedule.

Moving from constant hurry to continual rest

I want to bring this up because I think this is an important conversation that we need to have.

I am someone who isn’t afraid to talk about the things that no one else is talking about and calling our culture out for the damaging patterns I see.

And I have this vision of the world and a community around me where we prioritize rest above all else.

We prioritize our desires in doing the things that we want to do because we know and we trust and we believe that what’s best for us is what’s best for everyone.

And I have this vision of this world where people are motivated and driven to work towards their goals, but in a way that’s exciting and fun, not in a way that’s like, “Oh yeah, I really have to go do that thing”.

Not with that “have-to” or “should-do” energy, but with the energy of “Oh, I’m just so excited for this goal that I’m working towards”.

How to work towards a goal without hurrying

Just because you’re working towards a goal, doesn’t mean that you have to run towards it.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else in the meantime.

It just means that that’s my destination on the GPS. That’s where I’m working towards.

When you feel yourself hurrying or rushing or panicking because there’s “not enough time”…ask yourself this question:

If I were to zoom out to a more removed, neutral space…is this actually an emergency?

For me, using the example of getting a snack ready…if I zoom out, I would notice that actually I am safe inside my home.

Maybe my kids are upset, but overall we are safe.

There is no emergency situation here.

Sometimes even just that act of imagining removing yourself and zooming out can be enough to neutralize that anxiety and that urge to rush.

what’s you’re hurry story?

I want to know…for you…What is your story when it comes to hurrying?

Do you tend to rush through things, through life, through tasks on your task list?

And if so, do you have any ideas of where that decision to hurry may have started?

  • Sometimes these decisions can come from someone telling you verbally like, you need to be faster, you’re too slow right now.
  • Sometimes it can come from just feeling a certain way around certain people that you’re holding them back
  • Or you can have a situation like my story where I literally was in public and I could not keep up with what I needed to keep up with.

And so I would love to hear from you about how you relate to hurry. Reach out on Instagram and let me know your hurry story.

If you’re hurrying in one area, how do you think it’s affecting your mindset, your mental health, and your physical health?

Everything is connected. And if in one area of your life you’re rushing and rushing and rushing through, I would imagine that’s showing up in other areas too.

moving forward…

My goal with my clients and in my own life is how can we slow down and add in more nourishing activities in our day-to-day life so that we’re enjoying each day? How can we add activities that are just for fun that give us more of a balance? How can we raise awareness when we feel that pressure building inside of us where we just feel stressed and like we are just not doing enough?

Here’s the process:

  1. Bring awareness to how you’re feeling. “I’m feeling ______”.
  2. Choose a tool (or find support from someone who has tools to teach you) to diffuse the pressure and move through the emotion.

This is what I want to help people with.

So if you find yourself in this place…if you have this pattern of hurrying and you want to learn how to slow down, I’d love for you to reach out over on Instagram.

If you’re looking for support with work life balance, stress management, and/or goal setting, I invite you to apply for one-on-one coaching through this link.

I’m going to be sharing about different angles of this idea of detaching stress from goals over the next several weeks.

I would love for you to subscribe to the podcast, listen to the podcast, join my email list.

You can sign up for the wait list for Beyond Burnout and that will get you on my email list.

My hope for you is that you’re able to pause and breathe right now. Enjoy this moment that you’re in and zoom out and become aware that nothing is actually an emergency in this situation that you’re in right now. And if it is an emergency, there are resources available to you in abundance. All you have to do is ask.

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