It’s okay for you to Rest.
I was talking to David, a very successful client, the other day. David had accomplished a lot in his life because he was very motivated. Some would say he was driven. These are attributes that people are rewarded and praised for in society. As he felt into different emotions in his body, underneath some frustration was some sadness. And underneath that, sadness was a feeling of exhaustion.
As he tried to embrace those feelings, I saw his shoulders slump and his head drop down, but he also resisted it. I said to him. “David, I want you to feel with your whole body what I am telling you. I want you to say it to yourself, so all the cells in your body receive it. It’s okay for you to rest now.”
David let his whole body relax, and he almost cried. His mind had not permitted him to rest for many years. It had always been pushing him to do more and be better. One of the problems is that you can’t do your best unless you give yourself a good rest.
If you have been pushing yourself and feel like you always need to do more and better, then perhaps you have a part of your mind pushing you as well. If you do, then it may be in your best interest to take time to rest. Make a statement to yourself. Say it to every cell in your body and every part of your mind. “It’s okay to get some rest now.”
You may find part of your mind doesn’t want you to rest. If you need help to get past that resistance that doesn’t allow you to relax, you can find remedies to those beliefs in the Self Mastery Course.
To perform at a high level, you will need time for rest.
I like watching NBA basketball. At the end of the close games, they leave the best players in the game. The coaches then use their timeouts to stop the game and give their players rest. They play for a few more minutes, and then the coach calls a time out for rest again.
They will sit one of their star players for a game during the season, particularly on a back to back game schedule. This prevents fatigue and lowers the risk of injuries. Their body will be stronger and healthier in the post-season playoffs. It also extends the number of years they can play.
These are some of the world’s highest level athletes, and they are not pushing themselves to the max all the time. They are high-level athletes because they consciously include rest into their training and performance program.
Good chance you will perform at a higher level if you give yourself an appropriate rest. Your judge, perfectionist, and hero might not think you should, but they probably don’t perform at a high level, nor have they coached anyone to perform at a high level. Check their credentials on this if you aren’t sure.
Rest makes you learn faster and better.
You can’t learn when you are overwhelmed or tired. You also need rest so that your body and nervous system goes into recovery mode. When rested, cells, organs, and neural pathways grow and repair. While you sleep, your liver and digestion processes have a few hours off, particularly if you didn’t eat late, and they do some flushing and fixing. I don’t know the details of it, but I know it is a thing. Sleep resets your brain and clears your head as well.
When I pushed myself, I didn’t get as much done.
When I first started teaching, I used to come home pretty tired after doing three-day seminars. But I had big plans and didn’t want to be lazy, so I’d open up my computer and go to work on projects the next day. I found myself staring at the screen and unfocused. It would take me 5 hours to get 1 hour of work done. Judgments chatter and frustration about not getting everything done and being inefficient would ensue. I’d bear down harder the next day. The next day would be equally unproductive.
After struggling for a few days like this, I gave in to being tired and rested for a couple of days. Then a surprising thing happened. After a few days of being lazy and resting, I was much more effective.
In time I learned to accept reality and not fight it when I was tired. I quit trying to my mind’s “Overachiever Character” plan that didn’t work. I put it in my schedule to leave myself 2 or 3 days after an event and rest. I’d sleep in late, hit golf balls, bike ride, take a nap, go to the movies, and stuff like that.
I’d do all the stuff my judge said was a waste of time. I didn’t believe him, but it didn’t stop him from having his opinion at that point. After a couple of days of rest and play, I got bored and would want to work. Since I felt like working, I got more done in one day. I could do what took 3 or 4 days when I was tired.
Mark Rest Into Your Schedule
It’s okay for you to rest. I give you permission. Your mind may object, but that’s what happens when you go against your belief programming.
The process of changing beliefs with the Self Mastery Course is training. It’s not a sprint. It’s not even a race. You don’t have to get “there” today or tomorrow. (still some mystery about where “there” is. TBD, I guess) Put some rest into your schedule for the day. It might just be some fiction reading before you go to bed. Take some rest from the homework during the week. There can be a day or two a week when you aren’t working on any practices.
Every couple of months in the course, it will make sense to take a week off. Perhaps you take a week off from the writing, and you do the guided meditations. Those are easier. They relax and open up your mind and imagination. Let the cognitive “Fixer,” “Judge,” and “Perfectionist” have a week off. Maybe you just open your mind with the meditations.
So your other characters don’t panic about “not getting back to the process” mark on your calendar what are “off” days or simply just meditations days. Then put on your calendar what day you start charting the inventory of stories, characters, releasing emotions again. Knowing when you will get back to these practices and that you will be getting to the big changes you want to make will allow some of those characters to relax a little, which will allow you to rest a little easier.
The very best performers take time to rest.
Greg Popovich is the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. He is considered by many to be the best active coach in the NBA. He has won 5 championships in the last 20 years. His team has made the playoffs the last 22 years in a row. Popovich rests his best players during the season. When he stopped playing his best players every game and trying to win every game, it was unheard of. But he had bigger plans. He was working towards a larger goal. Getting there meant he needed his players rested and healthy by playoffs. He didn’t care about others’ expectations and even the fines. He did it anyway. Now all NBA coaches consider the reality of what rest their players need as part of keeping them their highest performance.
So, you have permission to rest. Put it in your schedule, along with something fun and creative. That helps your brain reset too. Be good to yourself. It’s good practice to get used to it.
If you find your mind resists doing what is best for you and pushes you all the time to be “better” or “do more” (which accomplishes the opposite), then that condition is very normal. Normal as in common, a lot of people, particularly the high achievers, have that. But “normal” doesn’t mean healthy or a good formula for being happy. If this is your situation, then you will be helped by doing the Self Mastery practices to change those beliefs and live more congruently to your best self.8