Do you remember the first time you heard the phrase
'giving 110 percent'? I do! It was about 20 years ago, and I distinctly remember taking some time to ponder the idea that it was possible to give more than 100%.
Over the last 20 years or so, the term 'giving110%' has become pervasive in motivational speeches and sports commentary. It means, I guess, that the person is to be admired because they are going above and beyond. They are literally putting in more effort than was once thought humanly possible.
Our unsustainable culture of giving 110%
I still ponder this phrase, because 20 years later, I feel that it has seeped into our culture, and it has become normal for people to feel that 110% is something to strive for.
In my clinic I regularly see men and women, mums and dads, executives, students and grandparents, who are exhausted and close to burnout. They are caught in the trap of trying to do more and to be more. They are in my clinic because some part of their health is breaking down.
The impact of burnout and exhaustion
Could this continual struggling for 110% be the reason why so many of us are unwell and unhappy?
Constant stress and striving has a huge impact on our health in the short term, and can cause chronic health conditions over the long term.
The effect on your health will vary depending on your genetics and your everyday exercise, food and beverage choices. Stress induced health conditions can include digestive problems, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, difficult menopause and peri-menopause, autoimmune conditions and mental health problems.
The term 'adrenal fatigue' is often used by naturopaths to explain the physical effects of exhaustion and stress hormones on a patients physical and mental well being.
What do you value?
As a naturopath and wellness coach, part of my job is to help my clients look deeply at their lives and decide if they are doing too much. And if they're doing it for themselves or to please other people?
We look at the areas of your life that are taking the most time and energy, and then ask the question: 'are you using your energy in a way that matches what you value most in life'?
Should sustainable living include 20% self care?
Self-care is a modern way to describe the ancient wisdom of looking after ourselves. Self-care is a necessary part of wellbeing and not something that we should reward ourselves with only when we are exhausted.
Imagine if motivational speakers encouraged us to only give 80% and make sure that the other 20% of our time and energy was used in looking after ourselves! What an amazing way to sustain our energy over the long term without falling prey to illness.
If you feel that you have health problems and you are struggling to make self care a priority, please work with me.
I'd love to help you live a healthy, energetic and balanced life, even if you don't think it's possible!
I am a naturopath and wellness/life coach working in Sydney, with clinics in Gladesville and Sydney CBD.
I specialise in women's health, stress and burnout, holistic weight loss, self-care and finding more energy.