We both know that anyone who says they’re ‘fine’ is absolutely anything BUT fine.
That’s why I want to address the places you’re ‘fine’ and help you kick ’em to the curb.
This is an episode of That’s What She Said! Listen in for the extended version, or keep reading if you’re pressed for time.
Here are 5 spots where ‘fine’ could be tripping you up.
Which of these sound like you?
1 – “I’ll take care of everyone else, it’s fine.”
You might have succumbed to martyrdom, which those born female are trained for since birth. In my life, this looked like showing up as a perfect angel of productivity (and vacumming and cleaning and cooking!) while resenting everyone for not noticing how much I was struggling and how little energy I had to spend.
Nevermind that I never or rarely VERBALIZED my needs or desires or stunning exhaustion: it’s everyone else’s fault! They don’t understand! REAL HOUSEWIVES ARE THE ANSWER, I KNOW IT!
My martyrdom pushed me further into numbing out and trying to recover from life by…avoiding life altogether. I shoved pesky things like needs and feelings as far down as possible, piling reality TV on top of more reality TV.
👉🏻When people asked if I needed a break or would like some help, I’d say “No.” Because I was FINE.
2 – “I’ll work even harder, it’s fine.”
If not martyrdom, you might be taking workaholism for a spin!
That looks like…
Time off: nope!
Taking a break from thinking about work: never.
Fun: DEFINITELY NOT! WE HAVE WORK TO DO.
Work will help you numb out in the name of capitalism, which makes it harder for those around you to address directly. Society says you should be working! And you are! Nonstop! What could be better?
Except…you burst into tears at seemingly random times. You can’t figure out exactly why, so you figure it’s ‘for no reason.’ You beat yourself up for having bursts of emotion and then keep working.
In my life, workaholism showed up when I was MANY YEARS into a marriage I first got the impulse to end at the 6-week mark. Did I face that reality with grace and aplomb? Heeeeeeeell no.
I did what any self-respecting, overachieving woman does: I worked even harder.
I sat at my computer faithfully for 8 to 12 hours a day, 5 days a week and sometimes on weekends. I posted, I tweeted, I blogged, I emailed, I coached, I wrote…ANYTHING to avoid the fact that I didn’t actually like my husband or want to be near him. My work was as much an escape from myself as a way to make money and help others grow.
In 2021, workaholism means you’re stressed from making an extra 3,000 pandemic-based decisions a day. From making and canceling plans. From rescheduling and trying to navigate all things WTF IS EVEN HAPPENING in an unstable global year. From navigating the rapidly changing economic/social/educational/political landscape. From being ‘on’ at all times. From Zoom school. From mask mandates or the lack thereof. From waking up and finding the courage to face another day.
AND from doing all the work you normally do.
You’re overwhelmed, exhausted, and holding on by a thread.
👉🏻…but when people ask how you are? You’re FINE.
3 – “Just keep swimming. The status quo is fine.”
If you haven’t turned to workaholism, you might feel…unmoored. Adrift. Distant from your being and your work. You find yourself asking existential questions like, what is it all for? What does it all mean? Why does this work matter? What difference does it make?
Asshole brain is quick to assure you that none of this matters. It pipes up that there’s no way [that idea you just had] will work, so you just keep swimming. All of your efforts are tilted toward surviving today, which means maintaining the status quo.
One day, then the next. No need to dream or plan or strategize. And those longings you feel for something different, wild, expansive, or imaginative? You shove those into a tiny box and banish it to the back of your brain.
👉🏻You’re stagnant but surviving. You’re FINE.
4 – “Everything I want can happen…later. I’m fine.”
It might look like you’re functioning normally on the outside, but on the INSIDE. Your insides feel condensed and sometimes you don’t feel like you can breathe. You catch yourself holding your breath when you’re stressed.
You’re curled into a metaphorical ball and hoping this shit ends soon.
You’ll make up something new or get back to your business or career or art-making or idea-gathering…later. When pandemic ends. When your kids go to kindergarten/high school/college. When you lose 10 pounds. When you can hire way more childcare/an assistant/a manager/an accountant/a fully-staffed yacht.
👉🏻Your enthusiasm for life and for the future have experienced massive shrinkage — and that’s 100% OKAY BECAUSE YOU. ARE. FINE.
5 – “I can do it all by myself. I’m fine.”
Finally, and because we’ve faced social isolation like never before in the past few years, you might have slipped into I Can Do It All By Myself Syndrome. You don’t need child care or help taking care of your home or someone to help you process orders or send mail or respond to customers or build systems. You don’t need a sounding board or someone to support you as you take your next steps in business.
Your whole being is contracting in such a way that more and more responsibilities land on you — because you’re the only person you really trust to get the job done.
👉🏻You’re doing it all by yourself because YOU! ARE FINE.
Finding your ‘Fine’ life points will help you find spots where you’re lying to yourself, totally overwhelmed, or unable to handle facing some portion of your life directly.
We can’t talk solutions to these feelings without first identifying where ‘fine’ shows up in your life.
So…which sounds like you at the moment?
1 – I’ll keep taking care of everyone else, it’s fine.
2 – I’ll work even harder, it’s fine.
3 – Just keep swimming. The status quo is fine.
4 – Everything I want can happen…later. I’m fine.
5 – I can do it all by myself. I’m fine.
6 – All of these.
Let me know what you’re up against by shooting an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the corresponding number! I’d love to know how ‘fine’ is showing up for you.
I’ll use every response I receive anonymously to help make my next free live event even better. (Translation: talking to me helps everyone who listens to the podcast or reads these emails! Go, you!)
Once you’ve shot me an email, sign up for this magic 👇🏼
⚽️FREE LIVE PODCAST EVENT OF AMAZINGNESS: DON’T YOU DARE SETTLE FOR FINE
You’re invited to Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine, the next live podcast recording! (Why YES it IS inspired by Roy Kent’s famous lines from Ted Lasso, thanks for asking!)
Don’t You Dare Settle for Fine goes down on September 15th at 11am ET.
⚽️If you’d like to talk about your version of ‘fine’ and get coached in real time, YES! Let’s do it! Talk to me and we’ll find a next step to start moving you out of ‘fine’ mode.
⚽️If you’d like to hear more about how to kick ‘fine’ to the curb and live a goddamn spectacular life in the midst of pandemic, yes! I’ll be talking about that! And you can play with me and ask questions in real time! (SPOILER ALERT: I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT SEEING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY AND WHY WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE BOSS MATTERS TO YOU.)
⚽️If you’d like dibs on my live event in Philly this November, GET STOKED! I’ll give you details and a promo code at that time!
Pop your name in the magical form so I can send you details! 👇🏼
P.S. When you’re feeling ‘fine,’ you need simple and helpful ways to defeat asshole brain.