Are you Glorifying Busy ?

I have been accused of glorifying being busy.

{and we both know that busy & productive are two entriely different things..but that’s another post!}

I have also been accused of using my busyness like a badge of honor.

I have even been accused of criticizing those who are not as busy with the same sorts of things — implying they are doing something less important or valuable than I am.

And I am guilty of doing all of these things.

When you chose to start your own business, you chose to take on all that comes along with that decision, including extreme busyness. Your choice affects the people who love you in ways that you should consider if you want them to feel like they are in this with you.

It still amazes me how one question, when asked lovingly and by someone you trust implicitly, can change the lens with which you see your entire life through. I am blessed with two mentors who have mastered the art of asking that question.

During one of our more casual conversations, a mentor and close friend asked me: “how will you know when this business is running you instead of you running it, Cate?”.

I had not considered his question. Ever.

I stood there speechless so he continued: “How will you know when you have started to sacrifice more than this business is worth? How will you know when you have asked too much of the people you love? How will you know when you have succeeded? How much is enough?”

Do you know the answer to that question for your life?

As a new entrepreneur, I was a little embarrassed to say that I hadn’t really considered his question. Like most entrepreneurs, I got caught up in the rush of adrenaline that we experience as we fight to make real a vision that pulls at us constantly.

I knew my husband would support me in any way necessary to see me succeed.

I knew my kids would always love me…and is there such a thing as too much success?

Here is what I forgot to remember: there are always costs associated with big life decisions — relational, financial, physical, spiritual, and emotional — and that the costs affect everybody who loves and supports you…and it is wise to consider the costs before you begin your adventure.

Your answers to these questions are critical to your relationships and to your success in business.

I sat down with my husband and asked the same questions and he had some answers for me, much to my surprise. He talked about our children and their need to see me and feel important. He explained that he could see a difference in their demeanor when they felt disconnected from me. He said four words that made my heart sink: “they need their mother”. So the difficult conversation begins…

We talked about putting boundaries in place that honor our marriage so we come through the next several years relatively unscathed and stronger for our children and families.

We talked about keeping physically healthy so that while I was building this new business and probably not sleeping well, combined with a heavy workload and long days, I would remain healthy.

We talked about what he would need to take care of the home front so that both he and our children always felt like they were part of this new adventure. We promised to hold each other accountable so neither of us ever felt lost in our marriage.

Sounds great on paper — more difficult to live out.

Truthfully, it sounded a little odd to me to be having discussions like this. I have always felt like conversations around “healthy boundaries” are for people who don’t observe any and people in 12 step programs…

…but I was dead wrong.

Some of the most impactful conversations I have had are around expectations and boundaries. It is impossible to know when you have violated an expectation or boundary if you have not defined any and then we run the risk of deeply hurting the people we love and never really understanding why or how to stop.

We all have expectations of others whether we realize it or not and having these conversations allow us to define and express those expectations so that we are able to honor boundaries and love better.

It is painful to hear a loved one admit they have felt less important, let down, or ignored.

Healthy relationships have these conversations often and welcome the clarity, accountability, and responsibility they bring.

Here is how you know you are living on a slippery slope:

~ When you repeatedly justify violating boundaries around family time, relationships, and friends…you are failing yourself and the people who love you.

~ When your focus become so narrow that you can go days and weeks without wondering how others are feeling or what they may need from you…you are failing yourself and the people who love you.

~ When your busyness becomes your badge of honor and justification for judging others…you are failing yourself and the people who love you.

Healthy, honest conversations around expectations and boundaries are not optional if you want to succeed in any part of your life, they are critical.

Cate Moore

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