Pressure to DO vs. BEING

Through the years, I have noticed how much pressure I put on myself.

Pressure to be a great mom, a great wife, have an organized home, have dinners hot and ready, the kitchen cleaned up, laundry caught up…

Whenever I start to feel stressed out lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of immediately reminding myself to consider why instead of just wallowing in the pressure, anxiety and stress…

Why am I stressed out about being behind on laundry?
Why am I stressed out that I’ve had to whip together last minute dinners the last two days?
Why am I stressed that our house looks like a small earthquake just occurred?

Do I REALLY care about these things in and of themselves, or is it something more?

As usual, it’s always more than it seems on the surface.

It’s NOT the laundry, it’s NOT the dishes or the meals. It’s the expectations.

Expectations I put on myself (all of my “SHOULD BE”‘s).
Expectations I THINK are put on me by others.
Expectations of my ROLES (mom, wife, entrepreneur, etc) based on how I believe those things should look… generally compared to what I see others DOING.

Yesterday I started brain dumping everything a busy woman needs to live her best, fittest life.

Before I could even process what I was writing, I started to write:

“Purpose and MEANING beyond her “Duties”!
Mom Duties vs. BEING a Mom
Wife Duties vs. BEING a wife
Diet/Exercise Duties vs. BEING a Fit Lifer

… The list goes on

When I re-read the outpouring of my heart I realized something… All of the pressure/stress/anxiety came directly out of expectations of “DOING”.

But just like there is NOTHING we can DO to earn God’s love, there is nothing we can DO to be the best wife/mom/fit woman without first truly BEING those things.

Here’s what I mean… Can you imagine a mom who DOES all the things, but doesn’t really show up for her kids when they really need it? She bakes all the goodies, she volunteers at all the events, she keeps up all the appearances, and keeps her home spotless, neat and tidy but at home she is completely disconnected?

And then maybe there is the mom with the precious, sweet and open relationship with her kids. When you drop by, her house is always a mess, and she never even apologizes for it. She welcomes you in and you see her children stop to kiss her cheek before returning to play.

Now of course there is also legit supermom who manages to do both, and she is amazing… she is not me, but amazing nonetheless, and someone worth learning from!

You see, it’s not about what you do or don’t do, it’s about who you ARE.

My stress was coming directly from expectations I put on myself because I was subconsciously judging who I WAS by what I DID.

And that, my friends, is where we run into trouble.

Because placing my focus on the DO’s took my focus off who I want to BE which made me DO all the things that don’t really matter, and then I had more guilt.

I am not a good mom because my house is clean or my laundry is caught up. I am a good mom when my priority is on BEING one first.

The funny thing is, when I am focused on BEING, I am present, I am intentional, I am aware- on what MATTERS.

I see the laundry piles and sometimes it gets done, and sometimes it doesn’t.

When I am focused on DOING, I am distracted, stressed out, overwhelmed, feeling inadequate.

But the really cool side effect of putting aside the “Do’s” and focusing on BEING is guess what? The most important “to-do’s” get done because they get prioritized properly.

If you think of it in terms of fitness and health- a dieter prioritizes weight loss (a DO). That will keep them focused on everything that they DO. They focus on the rules, and the guidelines over how their body feels. Nothing will ever seem enough. They’ll feel defeated every time they re-gain weight.

A Fit Lifer prioritizes living their best life, and they know that this means an energized, healthy on full of vitality! Because they are someone who lives a Fit Lifestyle, they make healthy choices without having to over think it. They fuel their body to energize it so they can live their best life. They don’t feel guilt associated with food, and never value their WORTH by what the scale says.

The next time you feel tempted to make a list of “To-do’s”, try starting with a list of “To BE’s” and then see how that to-do list transforms.

Here’s to BEING who we were created to BE!!



Emily Long

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