According to Urban Dictionary.com, being on the grind means “to work hard, always be hustling, or otherwise engaged in money-making.” While typically considered a hip-hop term, professionals use it to refer not only to making money, but gaining promotions and amassing goods to represent the outcomes of their hard work or their grind.
While the intent of the phrase is motivational, the outcome is often stress, reduced work-life balance and poor relationships. The goal of the grind gets lost in the process. At some point, the pressures of the grind will necessitate a change – a modification of effort. A life coach can help you identify the reasons for or needs being met by constantly achieving to the detriment of other life aspects. A life coach can help you gain clarity and balance.
Why are you on the grind?
There are as many reasons as people, but there are a few reasons common to most of us such as being previously poor, living up to someone else’s expectations, meeting your own unrealistic expectations and fear of failure. It may be time to give yourself permission to take a break from the grind.
Lisa is in her mid 40s and she’s constantly on the grind. She is more than competent in her work, always maintains employment and owns her home. Yet, she takes certification class after certification class, applies for job after job, attends conferences, workshops, seminars and joins as many professional organizations as possible. Recently, she’s begun to complain of fatigue, loss of motivation and decreased creativity. She wonders when she’ll have time for a vacation, ponders the nature of her next relationship and is experiencing a loss of joy in life.
During one coaching session, Lisa identified living up to expectations she imagined her father might have for her as one reason for the grind. Beliefs that she would disappoint her father led to mild depression resulting in fatigue and loss of motivation. In another session, Lisa realized her creativity was compromised because she was taking in more information than she was actually utilizing to solve problems, envision new products or communicate effectively. Because of this, she was putting in more work hours and neglecting her self care and personal relationships.
Lisa’s epiphany came after being asked, “Can you give yourself permission to get off the grind, if only temporarily?” The thought of getting off the grind had never occurred to her and she found the thought appalling. If she weren’t on the grind, what would she do? Lisa accepted that she needed to regroup and reenergize, especially in light of her increasing self awareness. Once she gave herself permission to take a break from the grind she expressed a sense of relief. With the help of her life coach, Lisa developed a three month plan to gain balance in her life. The plan included limiting work to eight hours per day, attending only one seminar or workshop per month, and reviewing the benefits of each of her certifications. The plan also included a seven day vacation and two long weekends. Lisa committed to joining at least one Meetup group to reengage a previously enjoyed activity and meet new people.
Lisa’s break from the grind resulted in a greater sense of self and renewed joy in life. She continued to work hard, but now her efforts were geared toward realistic self expectations, not imagined ones. Lisa’s creativity returned, and she felt more satisfied with the quality of her work. Finally, Lisa committed to attempting to maintain balance between work and life. She realized that it was okay to give herself permission to be in control of the grind, not a victim of the grind.
This is but one way one person benefitted from life coaching. How might coaching help you?
© 2012, Dr. Tonia Richardson. All rights reserved.