Are You Suffocating in the “O” Zone?

When I share my signature story, I talk about running on my tippy toes until I start to wobble, then, eventually, fall down.

In other words, I do too many things so quickly that I end up overgiving, overcommitting, and overcaring (that’s the wobbling part).

I call this phenomenon suffocating in the “O” zone…

It’s okay to give, care, commit, or achieve. Doing any of these things makes us a really good person.

However, when we do too much of any of these things, we overwhelm the person receiving, and we steal the joy out of our giving. In fact, we do something to excess, it represents an unmet need.

Here’s what Cheryl Richardson wrote in her book, The Art of Self Care:

Overgiving is often a sign of deprivation – a signal that a need isn’t being met, an emotion isn’t being expressed, or a void isn’t getting filled.

The word over, when used as a prefix, is defined as:

Excessive, too much, beyond an agreed, above normal, or desired limit

And often, the root of our excess is to impress someone, or receive adoration, affection, or affirmation. Instead, the opposite happens.

Are you suffocating in the “O” zone?

Take a look at the list below and ask yourself if you are doing any of these:

  • Overachieving = Doing better than expected because you’re trying to win someone’s adoration, affirmation, or affection
  • Overcaring = Exhibiting concern to the point where you fix or rescue the person
  • Over-committing = Making a promise to someone that prevents you from meeting your needs, or causes you to diminish your desires or dreams
  • Overcompensating = Paying back or reimbursing what you owe from a position of guilt, embarrassment, or shame (compensating would be paying back from a position of humility)
  • Overeating = Consuming foods in excess; gluttony
  • Overgiving = Transferring your time, energy, or resources by depriving yourself
  • Overindulging = Treating yourself in excess; also known as an addiction
  • Over-responsible = Obligation to do something, or having control over someone to the point that you rob the other person from making their own choices
  • Overthinking = Analyzing a course of action to the point where no action is taken
  • Overworking = Physical or mental effort to make something that takes you beyond the normal hours of operation; also known as a workaholic

Ready to breathe?

Choose the one thing in the “O” zone that you’re willing to give up in the next 72-hours. What will you shed so you can breathe?