In Coaching

Do you suffer from Hamster Wheel Syndrome?

At first I thought I made up this “syndrome” after noticing a cluster of “symptoms” among the people I interact with in my business.. but then I Googled it and found that I’m not the first to identify Hamster Wheel Syndrome! #dammit

Anyway. Now that I’ve proved just how smart I am by inventing a syndrome that already exists, let me introduce you to the symptoms and explanations behind it, so that you can move forward to treating it properly.

via GIPHY

What is Hamster Wheel Syndrome?

The Symptoms:

  1. Exhausted with no other explanation
  2. You say “I’m so busy” ALOT
  3. You feel like you’re getting nowhere
  4. You never reach your goals
  5. Burn out
  6. You’re loathing work
  7. You haven’t had a holiday in a LONG TIME (6 months+)
  8. You work weekends, public holidays, on your wedding day.. whenever you get the chance
  9. You struggle to say ‘no’ to clients
  10. .. oh, how I could go on!

What Keeps Us On The Wheel?

When you look at the above symptoms list, you find it hard to believe that people sign up for this. And you’re right, why would you?

But when you’re stuck on the wheel and you have little option of getting out – you have no choice –  you just have to keep on spinning (see what I did there!? I’m literally on humour fire today.. watch out).

What’s the problem then? The problem is generally not motivation. Goodness knows I wrote about my beef with motivation here. The problem is generally procrastination with a massive side dollop of fear. Don’t believe me? Let me explain..

Make no mistake, YOU are the one that is keeping you on the wheel.

You may not want to hear that right now, but I’m a truth speaker, so that’s what you’re getting.

You are the only one that can change your situation.
You can only you have the power to make tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.. any different than it has been today.

The Comfort Zone

There are payoffs for staying in your comfort zone. Not that staying on the hamster wheel LOOKS all that comfortable, it’s just what you’re used to. You know if you stay in that little old comfort zone that you don’t have to change. That you don’t have to look like a failure. That nobody needs to know you’re not getting anywhere. That you can just stay safe and warm in your dirty poop-covered shavings.

Until you see that STAYING IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE IS MAKING YOU MISS OUT, until you harness your motivation towards the FUTURE, you’re going to stay exactly where you are.

The fear of staying the same has to out-weigh the fear of change.

Treatment

  1. QUIT DENIAL: you cannot do anything about something you aren’t willing to see or admit to. If you see yourself in the above symptoms, it’s time to get cracking with the below steps!
  2. RECOGNISE: Look at your payoffs for staying on the wheel. What are you ‘getting’ by staying there?
  3. GET PROACTIVE: Take time out of your busy schedule to quit being reactive and start getting strategic.
  4. DEAL WITH YOUR FEAR: What is it that’s keeping you on the wheel?
  5. SPIN IT AROUND: Now spin it around – what are you missing out on by staying on the wheel?
  6. PLAN: Make plans and move forward towards your goals and dreams.

Well that was a whole lot of tough talk for one post!

I’d love to hear – have you ever had Hamster Wheel Syndrome? How did you get off? Do you have any tips of your own to add?

Leah x

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