How to Create Chaos in Your Life
Now of course you would never aspire or set out to create chaos. Who would? My point is though, we often create chaos without even realizing it. Probably because we have an assortment of great “reasons” why things are going wrong, why we are always harried and stressed…we just don’t often look in the mirror.
The chaos comes from a lack of boundaries in our life. Boundaries mean we get real with reality – that time, money and energy are finite resources. There are deadlines. There are natural consequences too. But of course we’re often too busy and harried to even think about those, because we’re too busy putting out fires! But if we were actually setting the fires in the first place? What if the chaos is a result of our refusal to get it together…to be more organized, practical and responsible?
Overscheduling: This is a sure fire way to add drama to your day. Trying to be in many places at once, get too much done makes no one happy in the end. You just end up stressed out and others end up frustrated with you. Where does this come from? Mainly from people-pleasing behaviors of not saying No to requests, not prioritizing what needs to get done, and not taking time to plan each week. Therefore you end up running around, scrambling to make it all happen and shooting from the hip most of the time.
Not having a schedule or routine: Most of us have at least some forced routine such as school or work. But not having a routine for the morning and evening can really add stress to the day. Also, without a designated time to get certain things done such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc, then the fallout of no clean clothes, fresh milk, etc creates stress in the moment. Conversely, by making sure there are boundaries around getting those things done, you ensure you have what you need. Another stressor is not coordinating calendars with loved ones so things run smoothly.
Not putting things back where they belong: This may seem minor, but if we add up all the time lost looking for keys, scissors, etc. we would be quite surprised. By taking a few seconds to put things away each day you can save yourself a lot of stress. We also internalize disorder in our living or work space.
Not following through: This is a big one. As well-meaning and caring people, of course we want to be able to follow through on what we agreed to, what we say we need to get done this week. But for a host of reasons (some stated above) we don’t follow through. This creates tons of stress for you and others, damages trust and can really contribute to anxiety, because it hammers your self-esteem.
Not asking for help: This is when even though we are overwhelmed we don’t want to burden others, we fear conflict or are bent on pleasing others to feel needed. However when we don’t ask for help we often leave others out, they don’t feel needed or responsible, and we look like control freaks. Shall I go on?
Not making time to plan (confront reality). It really is all about what is truly happening. Not making time to take stock of what’s going on, what needs to happen and how we feel about that prevents us from moving the needle toward a more serene life. I talk on this week’s podcast episode about “running” from the truth we think we can’t face by adding more and more to the plate so there’s no time to think or feel. By taking a half hour each week to notice, feel and plan can go a long way toward helping us feel grounded. Sitting with our finances once a month is crucial as well. If we don’t get some boundaries going in our life (choices) then it will just be the hamster wheel again and again. STOPPING and looking at the mess can be scary. Gather support for this. If you live with a partner I strongly encourage planning together.
So chaos thrives where there are no boundaries. I want you to think about it in terms of Choices you get to make every day, all day to be preventative instead of a member of the fire department. Slowly but surely if you work on your commitment to reigning in the crazy, you will feel better. If you don’t think you can do this alone just let me know!