Everything is urgent, right? Going to the grocery store. Texting your friend back. Solving the work problem. Figuring out the future. Fixing every problem- it’s ALL urgent these days. But urgency often comes from anxiety- and you can’t let anxiety run your life!

But part of the problem is that our sense of urgency is inflated by our nervous systems (thank you, fight or flight) and ingrained into our pattern of being. We have to take a HUGE reality check on the amount of urgency we feel and the feeling of being compelled to solve everything now!

We have to learn how to not be anxious when things are up on the air.

Now I’m not saying this is EASY work but it is definitely attainable- even if you’re not sure how right now! Here’s a few things you can keep in mind, and even use as affirmation to help you with your journey to root down and slow down.

Remind Yourself of Realistic Expectations

Most of the time what fuels our sense of urgency is unrealistic expectations! Expectations we feel others have of us, and the high expectations we have for ourselves.

If you’re feeling like you owe something to someone else, or to a certain situation- get clear about what that is and where it comes from. Then ask yourself- is this real?

When it comes to expectations you have for yourself- ask yourself is this a reasonable expectation? Is it something I would expect from anyone else? If the answer is no- then it’s definitely time to re-evaluate.

Stop Trying to Prove Your Worth

Your worthiness is not dependent on what you accomplish, or by how many checkboxes you can tick off in a day. If you feel stuck in the pattern of accomplishing things in order to feel like you’re good enough- you have to actively work against this thought pattern.

Find a new strategy that holds you to more realistic expectations. Instead of giving yourself a limitless less and trying to cram in as much as possible- start with a much smaller number. I’ve heard the idea of writing your must dos for the day onto one post it note- and those are the only things you hold yourself too. After that list is complete you give yourself permission to rest, relax, and do things that are just for you

It’s Not Your Job To “Make” Anything for Others

That’s right. Repeat after me: It’s not your job to make other people happy! To make them happy, or comfortable, or less stressed, or feel better. It’s not your job to make their life easier! Especially when it’s making your life harder.

Now trust me, as a person who enjoys helping others and being of service, this can feel like a complicated task to unravel.

You can absolutely give and share your time and resources with other people, but you must remember that you are not obligated to do this in order to belong at the table. So help where you can, and if in order to slow down you need to pull back on the things you’re doing for others first- that is OK!

It is always okay to choose YOU and to stop letting anxiety run your life.

So prepare yourself to move forward with these three important reminders in mind, and feel free to use the following questions to help you sort through any “urgent” matter.

  • Is this something that I am responsible for?
  • Do I feel compelled to move with urgency because of someone else?
  • What is their expectation for when this gets completed?
  • What will happen if I don’t get to this right away?
  • Could anything good come from me taking a brief pause to finish other priorities before I get to this?
  • What would it look like for me to take space from this problem? What else could I do with my time and energy?

Then remind yourself: I deserve to move through life with reasonable expectations. I am more than good enough. I deserve to slow down.

If this has resonated with you- give a listen to the companion episode of our podcast- where you can hear me expand on this idea of letting go of constant urgency and anxiety. Listen below on the A Bit From Within Podcast, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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