Are You Really THAT Busy?

By Alicia Cohen

Have you ever said something like this? "Oh man, I wanted to do that, but I couldn't. I'm just so busy."


Or this? "Oh yeah, that thing. I didn't do it. I'm just too busy."


Or even something like this? "I can't wait for XYZ to be over because then I won't be so busy." (But, let's face it, that thing comes to an end and you're still just as busy as ever, right?)


Does any of that sound familiar?



Sweet Sisters, I have a really important mindset challenge for you.... 


You are NOT busy.



Now, before you throw whatever device you're reading this on across the room (because I know…you're exhausted and fed up and can't fathom how what you're living through could possibly be considered anything except busy), hear me out, ok?


Busy is an illusion (delusion???) -- it's not real.  


Your life is real.  The commitments and responsibilities that you have in your life are real, but “busy” is not real.  It’s a state of mind or really, an expression of stress. Think about it this way…


When was the last time you began (or ended) a sentence with "I'm so busy" and then immediately felt empowered? Never, right?!? Maybe you felt somehow justified in your declaration of busyness. Maybe you felt like you had a "competitive edge" of sorts over someone else because you perceived that you were busier than she was, but empowered? I'm just not seeing it. I wager that if you're TRULY honest that you have never said "I'm so busy" and then felt empowered, strong, and ready to take on the world.  But this isn’t a surprise because "busy” is a word that disempowers us consciously and unconsciously!  Here’s why...


Busy is an indirect, non-specific word we use -- and please note that your use of the word “busy” is likely unintentional and something that you’re probably not even aware that you’re doing! -- to describe the state of our lives while conveniently being able to avoid taking responsibility for our choices.  Really, busy is a euphemism -- a “nice” little word we say to cover up taking ownership over the state of our lives because taking responsibility would be unpleasant or embarrassing!  But remember, in many cases, I’m guessing a lot of you reading this aren’t even aware that you’ve been doing this!


It’s important that we put “busy” in its place and change how we approach busyness so that it stops sucking our joy and sapping our energy.  


And, it’s important that we stop using “busy” to condone our stress levels because this just isn’t healthy for us!


In American culture (and I'm sure in other cultures around the world, too), there even seems to be an unfortunate glorification of “busy” -- that somehow we are “more” of a woman or “more” of a mother if we’re running around crazy.  REJECT. THIS. STARTING. NOW.  


It’s essential that we love ourselves and each other by putting a stop to glorifying “busy” and thereby putting a stop to consciously or unconsciously placing ourselves on a pedestal in some sort of busyness comparison competition with each other.


Sweet Sisters, let’s change the narrative!!  Now that you know about the illusion of “busy,” when you know better, you do better, right?  Because, let me just give it to you straight: "Busy" isn't serving you or anyone around you. It's time for a mindshift!  So, let’s talk about how to do THAT!


First, hopefully you are starting to get on board with “busy” as a word that disempowers us.  Mahatma Gandhi said,


“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”


So, if you can get behind the idea (the belief) that the word “busy” has got to go, then let’s take a look at our thoughts about “busy.”  


When it comes to thinking about being busy, instead of “busy,” use the words “full” and/or “a lot on my plate” and/or “a lot going on."  If we do this, then “I’m so busy” becomes “I have a lot going on right now,” or “I’m so busy” becomes “I have a really full life.”  When we use these words and phrases to describe the volume of activities, events, and whatever else on our calendars, it starts to send our brain the message, “Hey!  I am in charge here.  I am making these choices.  I determine how this goes.”  This way of speaking empowers us as women who happen to life, not women who life happens to.


Even if your life is SUPER full, and even if there are commitments that you have that you’d rather not have, you are still the one creating the rhythm and routines of your life.  There is power in reflecting this in how you speak about your life because the reality is that, like it or not, you have allowed this to come to be.  You are the conductor of your orchestra.  You get to decide which instruments (and how many instruments) get to stay or go.  (Ok, I hear you -- “But Alicia...I have to do XYZ and ABC.  I’m not creating THOSE parts of my life.”  I understand what you’re saying.  This is a topic for another blog post for another day.  Suffice it to say for now that you have more power than you think you do).   


So, let’s be sure that this new thinking about our calendars -- “full,” “a lot on my plate,” etc. -- is what’s coming out of your mouth when you're talking with others about your calendar, schedule, etc.  The words we use matter. As Gandhi said, to cut to the chase, what we believe becomes our destiny. Using words like  “full,” or “a lot going on,” or whatever word/phrase suits you puts us back in the driver’s seat on that path to creating your destiny.  If you can catch yourself and make this change, I posit that you will feel more empowered and stronger than you do now living in the space of “busy.”  Give it a try!  What do you have to lose?  (Well other than some of your exhaustion and stress, but I imagine you wouldn’t mind that, right?!?)



Is your "a lot on my plate" life leaving you feeling frazzled?  Looking for a resource to help?  Check out my FREE download below with my step-by-step system to beat the overwhelm of life!


Heeeey, Sweet Sister!  I'm Alicia, and I'm so excited that you're here!  I love a lot of things in life, but at the top of my list are my wonderful husband, my two precious kids, and helping other planner-mamas get back their joy and peace in life through intentional, functional planning!


Are you feeling frazzled?  Stuck?  Overwhelmed?  Exhausted?  I get it.  I've been there.  It would be my privilege to help you create a new reality for yourself!


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