Over the holidays, I was tucked up, all warm and cozy under my plush blanket watching Netflix. The next thing I knew, a mean little voice popped up in my head and started yelling at me, “Get up! What’s wrong with you? Stop being lazy! Do something productive instead.” But then I remembered a fabulous quote from Brene Brown:

“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”

I immediately chose to refocus and turn the volume down on that mean little voice, reveling instead in my relax time.

‘Do more and you’ll be more.’ Really???

As Brene quite rightly says, it seems society stamps a status symbol on exhaustion. Apparently doing more and achieving more and more is what we all believe we have to do to be successful.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with achieving. I love that adrenaline rush you get when you’ve finished a project, or hit a new level of performance.

But in the rush to do more and be more, we fail to recognize the scientific proof that rest and play actually increase our productivity. Rest rejuvenates our minds and bodies, and play stimulates our imagination and opens up our creative channels.

What’s more, when we’re overwhelmed and feeling exhausted, we completely shut off our imagination and creative flow. The result: we limit our ability to grow and expand. Simply put, we stay stuck.

Looking within

Do you think you might be guilty of the ‘doing more equals success’ mentality? To find out, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you always putting pressure on yourself to do more and more?

  2. Have you set yourself unrealistic expectations?

  3. Are you defining your self-worth by how much you’re doing?

Answering yes to these questions could mean you have a limiting belief hidden in your unconscious. Take a moment to think about that and see what comes up for you.

Finding the cause

A lady I know used to believe that she had to put in an 80 hour work week, otherwise she’d be viewed as incompetent and lazy.

We spent time together, digging a little deeper into her past and she remembered a moment when her mother caught her enjoying an afternoon nap in the warm sun. Her mother scolded her for being lazy and she told her that laying in the sun was never going to get her anywhere in life. If she ever wanted to amount to anything, she needed to work twice as hard as everyone else and do twice as much.

In that moment, she started to develop a belief that she would never amount to anything if she didn’t work her ass off. Now, is this really true? Is it true that we will never amount to anything if we take time to enjoy moments of rest and play? No, of course not!

Shift your perspective on rest and play

If you don’t quite believe rest and play will make you more productive, consider this: some of the wealthiest people I know work the least hours! Yes, action get results as does discipline and commitment, but this has to be to BOTH work and play. Doing more without rest only causes burnout. And that’s a surefire road to depression, physical ailments, and that horrible feeling of being stuck.

So today, make an effort to shift your mindset about rest and play. Train your mind to view both as important actions in your life, just the same as work is. Perhaps you can even go all the way and make play your new status symbol!