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Underextend Yourself

It is the current trend in this world of ... for people to ... their ... ... their income, ... to their family and friends. All of this leads to ... overloa

It is the current trend in this world of opportunity for people to over-fill their schedules, over-spend their income, over-promise to their family and friends. All of this leads to overwhelm, overload, and being in over their heads and over-extended. It becomes obvious how prevalent these situations are by noticing how many over words we have in our vocabulary to describe them.

My bold proposal is that instead of all the overage, we practice under-extending ourselves. A graphic analogy to demonstrate this is to picture a rubber band around a deck of cards. If the band is stretched to its ultimate, adding even one more card will cause it to break and all of the cards will scatter. If the band still has some slack and can stretch further, more cards may be added and the deck will stay intact.

If our lives are like that deck of cards and our rubber band has stretching room, we will be free to add more to our lives without losing our integrity. For example, if you have a reserve of money and a great investment opportunity presents itself, you can take advantage of it. If you keep reserves of time and energy, when unexpected events occur you can handle them without undue stress. If you under-promise to family and friends and then deliver in excess of the promise, you are a hero.

There are several ways to keep some slack in the rubber band of your life. You can clean out some of the “cards” in your deck that no longer serve you well. Cleaning out the clutter in your physical environment is an obvious example. You can free up space by getting rid of objects that are no longer useful to you. You will then have space to add valuable objects when they present themselves. Also, completing the uncluttering process will give you a burst of energy to add to your reserves.

Less obvious, and possibly more freeing, is the resolution of relationships that are no longer working for you. If a draining relationship is one of your “cards” and you remove it, you then have the option to replace it with another relationship that is more suitable. Or, you can keep the extra slack in your elastic reserve and have the space available for additions to other areas of your life.

You can also create some slack in your rubber band of life by stretching and growing at a reasonable and sustainable rate. As you gain experiences and insights, build more supportive relationships, increase your financial reserves, etc.; your capacity to hold a larger “deck” of life increases. You build reserves and create room to add more to your life without compromising your ability to hold it all together.

So, when that stretched-out feeling alerts you that you are beginning to overextend, stop stretching. Clear out your excess “cards”Article Submission, or grow your reserves; and regain some slack in your rubber band. You will then be able to add valuable “cards” to your deck of life and remain under-extended and ready for more.

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Jean coaches professionals and small business owners to discover, design and live their just right lives. She provides support, focus, and momentum to keep clients on track and progressing. She can be reached at or visited on the web at Subscribe to Just Right Coaching Clips newsletter by email:

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