I admit it: I’ve had it — Rat Race Fatigue (RRF).
It’s an increasingly prevalent syndrome. Have you experienced it? Have you felt it nipping at your heels?
How can you tell?
Well, the Rat Race has its tell-tale signs, and we’ll get to a few of those in just a minute.
It makes sense that, sooner or later, you’d get fatigued by the Rat Race. I mean, let’s face it — it’s called The Rat Race for a reason.
Yet it can be surprising — really surprising — where and how its tell-tale traits show up.
It’s been quite awhile since my own first encounter with RRF — maybe 2003, and since then I’ve learned how reclaiming our Feminine Mojo helps a lot with that.
But RRF is pervasive — it popped up again in the last month or two.
What set it off this time?
In one week, I’d received a barrage of marketing emails for 5 or 6 different “tele-summits”.
Each email promised a Tele-Summit including dozens of calls — a veritable buffet of expert advice — assured to share THE ways to:
- navigate the Apocalypse (by listening to the advice of a bevy of Spiritual Masters),
- attract your SoulMate (in 30 days no less!), and
- market in a heart-centered way (which pretty much looked like marketing in any other way, just using the word ‘heart’ a lot).
There were others, too, offering a gaggle of calls and experts on various other topics.
Plus all of those other neuromarketing-savvy, “pain button” triggering emails about Insta-Cure programs and packages.
Sheesh — can you feel your circuits overloading? (There’s a reason for that — read on…).
Now understand — I’m an information hound. I love information.
I take in A LOT of information, and I can synthesize a lot of information into the vital essence or key ‘handy nugget’ or insight. It’s pretty easy for me — kind of a gift. My clients really appreciate it.
But even I have my limits with the inundation and the fatigue brought on by all of that pain-button triggering (more on that below)!
And this example alone reveals not just one but *several* of the tell-tale traits leading to Rat Race Fatigue.
Can you pick them out?
Here are two of them — and these are BIGGIES:
1. An overload of choices and information.
Choice seems like such a great thing, and it is. Hey, as a Gemini Moon, I adore choice.
Except when it sort of goes haywire and we’re so inundated with choices and data that we pretty much fritz out and go into a sort of stressful decision-making paralysis.
This is pretty much what Swartmore College Professor and “The Paradox of Choice:Why More is Less” Author, Barry Scwartz, found in his research — an overload of choice and information resulted in choice-paralysis.
If we somehow busted through the choice-paralysis, we’re still bummed out — dissatisfied, kind of depressed — because of thoughts of all of those other choices that could have produced something even better.
The result, either way: way-high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction.
His more recent work focuses on the real need to restore ‘practical Wisdom’ in our lives and organizations.
Amen to that — I am sooooo about that.
And a second tell-tale trait of Rat Race Fatigue Syndrome?
2. Perpetual Self-Improvement.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an evolutionary being, always
growing and evolving so that I can joyfully offer the best of my gifts and experience to light the way for others.
That feels good. Really good.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The ‘Perpetual Self-Improvement’ that leads to Rat Race Fatigue is actually corrosive to your heart, soul, and well-being.
Because at its core it has a rotten premise — one that’s rooted in Neuromarketing Rule #1 — Thou Must Hit Thy Prospect’s Pain Button.
What’s the “Pain Button” premise that is the Dark Side of even the Self-Improvement movement’s marketing?
That you’re hopelessly flawed, broken, and just-plain getting it wrong. That there’s something wrong with you — something you’re just not doing right.
And, of course, once your Pain Button’s been skillfully nailed — and it’s easy to do — you’re in Limbic Survival Mode, operating from your Lizard Brain, and ready to ‘click here’ to buy just about anything — the DVD upgrade or miracle program or the $25,000 coaching program — that’s going to ease your pain.
Kind of like pharmaceutical advertisements, but for self-improvement programs instead.
You can feel it, can’t you?
That impulse-to-fix-it building up in you, tempting you to buy whatever it is that you NEED in order to FIX this huge problem you have — to somehow fix that hopeless flaw at your core…NOW, easily, because THEY have the SECRETS.
Evolutionary growth, on the other hand, stems from the premise that there is much that’s right and beautiful with you (or your group) — and that ‘rightness’ continues to evolve and build on itself as you fertilize and cultivate it, evolving with the impulse of Life itself (which, of course, we are).
Evolutionary growth is about remembering who we truly are — individually or as groups — shedding false skins and masks and reclaiming our innate gifts, which help us to navigate through change and access intuitive or synchronous answers to sticky problems.
A tell-tale trait of Evolutionary Growth?
It feels inspired, and we see the difference as we experiment and practice with it.
Self-Help Lizard-Brain Triggering is about triggering who we are not.
That doesn’t feel inspired; it feels like crap — like an invisible, acidic fist in the middle of our gut that just eats away at our sense of self, at that evolutionary ‘rightness’.
So it’s no wonder more and more people have a version of Rat Race Fatigue, right?
As Gangaji — or my late mentor, TJ — said: I invite you to just stop. For a minute. Stop doing the thinking mind (or following the easy-triggering of your Lizard Brain).
Just stop and breathe deeply for a minute or two. Bring your attention to your heart-center. Breathe. Allow your higher-brain, your neurocortex, to come into the conversation — intuition, insight, creativity, inspiration.
And then you’ll know — this offering is right for me because it feels inspiring to something true in me; that offering isn’t right for me because it triggers negative programming and makes me feel anxious and impulsive and fearful.
Just stop. Breathe. Allow your creative, intuitive knowing to come through. Amazing things happen.
With evolutionary growth — as you activate and strengthen you Feminine Mojo gifts — the Rat Race Road gets farther and farther away.
And that feels a whole lot better (and works a whole lot better, too).
© 2011 – 2014, Jamie Walters. All rights reserved.