Why We Should All Stop Forcing Things

accountability goal setting mindfulness Oct 11, 2021

All of us have tried to force ourselves to do things, or forced situations to go the right way. Pressure is all around us, both internal and external. Some pressure is a healthy motivating factor, but constant pressure is not necessarily healthy. We can sometimes ignore the signs our body and mind are telling us in order to keep forcing ourselves to do what we feel we must. 

It’s like that feeling when you go to bed knowing you have a busy day ahead and you want to get some sleep, but instead you are wide awake. Now, on top of worrying about everything coming up tomorrow, you also are worrying about the fact you can’t fall asleep. 

So why do we force ourselves to do certain things or be a certain way or worry about what we can’t do or why we aren’t seeing results right away? And how can we stop forcing ourselves to do things or stress about what we can’t do? 

Let’s go back to our falling asleep example. If we try to force ourselves to fall asleep, that likely won’t make it happen any faster. In fact, we’ll be so worried about it, we’ll probably end up staying up longer. 

This example also applies in our lives both personally and professionally. Persistence is a good thing, but we can’t always force something to happen and we need to accept that. 

Let’s think about it from a work perspective. Maybe you need someone to get back to you about an outstanding question on a project. Following up is ok, but hounding them until they get back to you is not going to be productive. 

There are things we just can’t control. Instead of worrying about that, we should focus on what we can control. For example, taking a lunch break while you wait for that person to get back to you so you can pause, enjoy some food and relax. Then you can revisit the situation with a calm head because you took care of yourself. This sure sounds better than sitting at your desk quickly eating a sandwich while incessantly refreshing your inbox. 

The more we start to accept things that will happen we cannot control, and that we should listen to our bodies and our minds when we feel like we need a break, the better we’ll be.

If you can’t fall asleep, instead of laying in bed thinking about how you can’t sleep, grab a book and read a chapter or two until you feel tired, or make a nice calming cup of tea. 

When you take the stress out of the situation, you’ll be that much closer to the outcome you want. Nothing good comes out of being forced. Take a deep breath, take a step back and release control.

Whether it’s going to sleep, getting a work out in, or planning a big project, know this: things take time. If you are noticing that things aren’t going the way you feel they should be, instead of forcing things to happen, take a step back and see how you can adjust your perspective and plan accordingly. 


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