When you look at your calendar, does your blood pressure immediately rise? Do you start to feel flush in the face, as stress starts to overwhelm you?
It is easy to become overwhelmed with schedules as life seems to pull you in every direction. The unfortunate part is that in committing to so many things, it is just as easy to lose sight of your values.
So what really IS overcommitment? We all know the FEELING of being overcommitted, but do we really understand what it is? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “overcommitment” as: to obligate (as oneself) beyond the ability for fulfillment. b : to allocate (resources) in excess of the capacity for replenishment.
Think about those words:
To “obligate”. Do you feel obligated to commit to certain activities? Do you have a hard time saying no without feeling completely guilty? Obligations in my mind are not necessarily a good thing. There is a certain point where you should stick to your commitments because that shows loyalty and trust. But when you start to realize that some of your commitments do not line up with your values, that is when you should start to reconsider them.
Overcommitment is also doing something “beyond the ability for fulfillment”. Think about that. Think about all of your commitments – do they go beyond their ability to fulfill you? Not that we should do everything out of selfish gain – in fact, we should never do something out of selfish gain, but out of a servant’s heart. When you realize you are starting to lose that fulfillment, it is time to reconsider your commitments.
Do you feel like you “allocate” yourself, to the point where you are NOT able to replenish yourself? Are you just running from one activity to another, hoping that one day, you won’t burn out, and eventually feel refreshment? Do you live from one vacation to another, just hoping to stay afloat?
All questions to think about, as you look at who you are, and how much you are committed to.
And most of all, again, do your commitments line up with your VALUES? You may feel overcommitted, but when you realize that your commitments do not line up with your values, especially those that you try to daily hold on to, it is time to maybe step down. Stepping down doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable or not worthy enough for it, but stepping down says you value yourself, your family, and your priorities.
Beware of overcommitment. Do not let it destroy you or even those around you. Stay true to your values.