Why Rest is Crucial for Your SuccessNov 18, 2021
There is a societal misconception that in order to be successful, we need to continuously be moving and doing and pushing. This mindset leads to overwhelm, stress, and even burnout. How can we truly be our most productive and successful selves when we are consistently existing in negative low vibrational emotions, such as these? The truth is, you actually need rest if you want the success.
It's time to deconstruct this perception of busyness equating to success and highlight how important rest actually is when it comes to productivity and creating massive results.
Our Addiction to Busyness
Have you ever reached a goal and immediately thought, “what’s next?”.
On the one hand, our subconscious minds are literally programmed to want to achieve. That is how you derive a sense of fulfilment and purpose, when you are challenging yourself and striving for the next creation. It links back to our primal survival instincts that drive us to keep moving forward and improving to heighten our changes of survival.
At the same time, there is a discomfort in not striving to the next thing. The truth is, it’s not actually about needing to strive for the next thing, but the discomfort lies in not knowing what the next thing is and not being productive enough.
Because we are taught that busyness equals success, when we are not being busy, panic creeps in. We want to immediately jump into the next project without celebrating what we have just completed or without giving ourselves a well-deserved break.
Does that sound familiar?
Again, on the one hand, this striving for more makes sense.
We as human beings understand happiness in the form of progress. When we are growing and achieving goals, we feel like we are moving forward. We feel like we have a deeper purpose and that is how we find fulfilment.
However, when we are determined to keep pushing through and begin the next project, phase, or goal as soon as we completed the last, we are actually putting ourselves at a great disadvantage.
Our society celebrates workaholism. We idolize people who are “doing it all” because we assume that is how they became successful. But does it really?
Let’s be honest for a sec… What does true success look like for you?
Is it running around every second of the day, trying to get it all done, feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, not even having time to enjoy the wealth or abundance you have potentially created?
Or, does success look like running your business, job, or life with ease, having time to enjoy life outside of work, and bask in your success and all that it allows you to create?
Even when you are in the midst of building your business, getting that degree, climbing the corporate ladder, or building your family, you want to be implementing approaches that help you steer AWAY from workaholic tendencies.
Rest as the Key to Success
How often have you heard the word hustle being used as a prideful celebratory term or have someone share with you that they are so busy, and mean it in a good way?
I want to be clear; there is nothing wrong with putting the pedal to the metal but there is a clear difference between working hard and burning out versus what I call “aligned productivity.”
The “Aligned Productivity”
Intentional work indicates that you have clarity on your goal and have identified the vital steps you need to take, that will move the needle for you towards that goal.
Hustling, working hard long hours, and constantly needing to be busy is completely different.
Aligned productivity consists of clarity, high vibe energy, and passion.
Busy “hard work” exists in a place of stress, overwhelm, scatteredness, fatigue, and frustration.
The thing about aligned productivity is that it is intentional, and that it is a season or a "zone" to tap into, as opposed to a constant state of being.
For instance, you are in the middle of creating a new project, working towards a goal, or launching something exciting. You are down to the final few miles so you want to give it all you’ve got, with that excited energy. However, when you have completed that goal, it is time for rest.
The concept of aligned productivity exists within that particular season that you are in, as you reach the finish line of a goal. It also can exist on a day to day basis of finding your "zone" so that you can work with efficiency and ease... but once again, it ends with rest.
The reason aligned productivity (or productivity in general) should not be a constant state of being, is because you should not be hustling all the time. If you are feeling the need to hustle consistently, get radically honest with yourself as to whether or not you have workaholic and even perfectionist tendencies. I want to challenge you to consider why you feel you always need to be doing something. One of the reasons we don’t want to *not* be busy, is because we fear what will come up when we are finally still.
Here is the core truth to success: rest is a vital part of the cycle of anything you are creating:
Not only is rest productive as it prevents burnout, but it also allows you to connect back to yourself and your needs through self-care and enables you to actually show up throughout all areas of your life. In turn, it is also incredibly necessary for reaching your goals.
Mother Nature Leading by Example
There are examples all around us, highlighting the importance of rest.
Everything in our lives exists in cycles. Society tells us things are linear, which is one reason why we feel like we need to achieve a goal to feel successful or fulfilled.
When you see time and projects as a cycle, it becomes clear that once we achieve one thing, we simply continue on the cycle, which allows us to really place emphasis on the process.
Mother nature’s existence is also cyclical. (I mean, we are spinning on a spherical planet after all!).
The moon phases repeat in cycles. The seasons repeat themselves. The female body lives in a monthly cycle. When we think about all these cyclical phases, they all have one thing in common: time for rest.
Let’s break this down with the four seasons:
Spring is the time of new beginnings. It’s when the rebirth happens, whether that is the flowers blooming or the energy of wanting to have a fresh start and begin planning the creation of something new.
Summer is the time of heightened energy. People want to be outside, enjoying the weather and being active. In terms of work, this is when we want to make our creations (that were planned in the spring energy) visible.
Fall is a time when we start to go inward. We know winter is coming, but we still have the motivation from the summer. We are ready to get focused and do the work. Just think about feelings of going back to school in the fall!
Finally, there is winter. Winter is a time for hyperbaton. It’s a time to rest and slow down. Of course in our world today, we tend not to do that. However, the energy of this season reflects the need for rest.
In terms of our seasons, winter indicates the necessity for rest. Nothing grows in the winter. At the same time, we all trust that life will bloom again in spring.
Your Cycle of Work and Rest
Projects or creations occur in the same cyclical phases, although we do not often acknowledge this.
Spring is the equivalent to the beginning stage of a project, where you are “birthing” new ideas. As you go through the seasons of your project (on your own timeline that doesn’t need to correlate to the actual seasons), your project wraps up in the energy of fall.
Right after you’ve accomplished a project, there is a barren zone. This would be the equivalent energy to winter.
The key here is to use this time to celebrate your achievement and rest. You cannot expect to plant seeds all year round; the soil needs time to rest and rejuvenate if it’s going to grow something new again.
In the time that is meant for rest, we tend to push through. As I mentioned before, it’s uncomfortable for us to *not* be constantly “doing.” Again, this does not mean that you need to become a couch potato and not make any plans, but rather, that hustling at 110% isn’t necessary.
Some of your best ideas will come up in this time when you give your brain space to let go.
Rest is not a Reward
What I have shared with you is how rest fits into a cycle of a project or goal; however, it is important to make rest a consistent habit in the process as well.
I used to see rest as a reward. I would only allow myself to take a break once everything was done.
The truth is, “everything” will never be done. Additionally, your life does not pause as you hustle through the work, just to commence once the work is done and you can finally enjoy it.
Our life is the way we spend our time. Rest and fun should be intentionally created in each and every phase, every single day.
The best way to create more balance in your life, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed or sucked into the hustle game, is to identify the things that truly fill you up, outside of your work.
Identify what refills your energy, whether that is socialising, being in nature, journaling, creating a designated self-pampering time, being with family, or tending to a hobby.
Once you have your list, allow these activities to flow into your day.
What I mean by this is to create space. We don’t want to obsessively plan exactly how we are going to rest because then the resting itself probably won’t be all that relaxing. Have you ever added "work out" or "take bath" to your to-do list and suddenly it felt like one more chore?
However, we can plan in blocks of time so we create space to experience all these other things that are important to us and our well-being.
So, if you’ve made it this far or have scrolled down just to read the end, here’s what I hope you takeaway as you move forward:
- Busyness equals burnout and wasted energy, not success.
- You can exist in a season of intentional hustle but rest is a key factor of success.
- Mother nature harbours all secrets: she cycles and so should we.
- Time for rest is a part of every cyclical process, whether that be winter or your project.
- Rest is not the end promise but should get space in everyday life.
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