Being a Go-Getter or person of action is seen as a virtue in society. It’s great to be known as a Go-Getter. But always focusing on action can lead to a bunch of activities with no productivity. There are people who hide behind the Go-Getter mask because they are either avoiding something, seeking to please people or lack clarity.
Constantly being on the go means that you don’t have to slow down and face yourself. It means that you don’t have to think about that looming thing that you’ve been avoiding. When we stop and tap into our thoughts and emotions, it can be scary. We don’t know what to do with all of that stuff that comes up. So, we avoid it. We hide behind activity. We cover up our fear with the mask of the go-getter.
What is behind the mask? What is hiding beneath the need for constant activity?
One lesson I learned, after experiencing an anxiety attack, is that the world will not end if I say ‘no’ to someone or don’t wash the dishes every night. My kids don’t have to be involved in every activity or go to everyone’s birthday party. My friends won’t excommunicate me if I bow out of meeting up occasionally. I didn’t have to take on every assignment by myself at work–that’s what great teams are for.
At the heart of much of our activity can be the need to please people. There is the notion that if we don’t do what is asked of us, we will lose that person’s love or regard. Often, we please everyone else at the expense of our own well-being and self-worth. We see everyone but ourselves as important, worthy of our time.
Who told you that you aren’t worthy? Why did you believe them?
Lack of Clarity
Not all action is productive, or fruitful. It’s amazing how much we can cram into the hours we are given, but when we look back on the value of that activity it is meager. This smokescreen of activity may be due to a lack of clarity. When we aren’t clear about what we want we’re all over the place.
One of the books that had a major impact on me was Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry. In the book, he notes aimlessness as one of the seven signs of mediocrity. When we are aimlessly busy, we dilute our energy and creativity. By taking on everything, we miss the opportunity to focus on the right things.
What activities contribute to your growth? Which ones will move you forward to a desired goal? Do you have a goal?
Go-Get the Right Things
Being a Go-Getter is great when 1) you have the right intention behind your actions, 2) when the actions are aligned with your goals, and 3) when the actions are fruitful or productive. Set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to set your intention and reflect on your day. Evaluate your activity to ensure that you are not masking avoidance, people-pleasing, or lack of clarity. Go get it!