What “to do” when your “to do” is causing you anxiety.

So last week you may have noticed a rather “OH WTF HAVE I DONE” post where I ranted and raved about the woes of anxiety. Today I want to write a post on how, after 6 days of turmoil, I feel like me again.

This particular wave of anxiety fell largely under the category of:

Having “too much” to do, and not knowing how I was going to get it all done.

This train of thought makes me anxious because I then worry about two things:

  1. Letting people down if I didn’t ‘get the things done’
  2. Worrying about what people thought of me if I wasn’t getting things done

The two are not to be confused. They are very different. One involves my perfectionism, and the other involves my want to be liked.

Getting over the “letting people down” thing

Tackling task 1 was the first on my list. In order to get over letting people down… I had to face my fears and just let people down. There’s no avoiding it.

I had to tell a few people I couldn’t work for them anymore. Some of those people included family. It was tough.

This damaged my perception of myself a little as I always thought of myself as resilient and hard-grafting enough to be able to do all of the things and not feel an impact (LOL).

Anyway, whilst letting go of one of my clients involved a bit more of an emotional detachment, this was the outcome of my other client:

I mean, do you SEE how easy that was?!

Letting go of both of these clients probably gave me back about 45 mins daily. Those 45 minutes that could be used to read, think, poo, annoy George.. ANYTHING that isn’t work basically, and I felt the benefits of having letting them go immediately.

Worrying about what other people thought of me if I wasn’t getting things done.

This one is actually rather amusing… because the only person who KNOWS i’m not getting things done on my to-do list is ME.

All of the Run Talk Run commitments, all of my fitness commitments, all of my personal development commitments… I’m the only one who knows the “tasks I want to complete” in that day.

Noone else bloody knows. So who on earth is going to think any differently of me if I didn’t do the things? Noone.

And, equally bizarrely, the moment I gave myself permission to be a bit more chilled about getting things done… the more I actually GOT things done because I wasn’t sat in my whirlwind of thoughts, absolutely paralysed by the amount of things I thought I HAD to do.

See, the thing is, anxiety makes no sense.

But in order for it to at least KIND OF make a bit of sense, we have to just get really honest with ourselves about what it bringing on the madness. The sweaty palms. What is the fear that we’re really feeling?

One thought on “What “to do” when your “to do” is causing you anxiety.

  1. Unless of course the people you are letting down remind you of it. Spiral 😞 Going through this right now – just can’t seem to do enough for some people and most of those are loved ones. I’m sure there’s a quick solution about enabling, passive aggressive, or whatever, but it just seems to never end with some. Enter – anxiety


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