The joy of over-commitment: The need to always do more to be seen as more

g’day my friends and welcome to another week and finally a new blog!! I am so sorry for being absent! I have finally submitted my 10,000 word dissertation! I have been working on it since February, which means i have been living and breathing law.

So now that is over and done with, I can now get back to writing these blogs!!

I want to talk a little bit about over-commitment or trying to be something other than who you are.

Regardless of if you are disabled or not, we all struggle with this concept.

So I want to delve a little deeper into the subject.

The Social Perception

a baby tree growing out from concrete
Photo by Engin Akyurt:

I have heard time and time again from members of the disabled community about being seen or lack there of by members of the public.

They often feel in order to fit in or feel like they have any worth to the public, they must become Paralympians or do something extraordinary.

Why is that though? Too often, disabled people are often used as ‘inspirational’ or ‘motivational’ objects for people.

The word ‘inspirational’ gets used constantly. Sure you can look at it in two ways. İts either their way of saying ‘you easily could have given up on the world or refused to do anything today, but you didn’t you decided to just get on with it’ or it is a means of pity or feeling sorry for that person and viewing their life more difficult or horrible than their own.

Either way in comes down to perceptions. The one thing I learnt with my dissertation is social perception and ideas are the catalyst for change. Without social perceptions evolving, our quality of life doesn’t evolve.

Given the social perception of needing to be more to be of value, it often leaves us to feel like we have to keep doing more and become someone else for the sake of others. This then leads to? Yep you guessed it over-commitment!

The toll of over-commitment

a sheet of paper with 'balance' and 'burnout' written next to check boxes. I feel over-commitment should be added to the list!
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

I struggle with over-commitment. Shocker I know!! This year I decided to say yes to everything, and paid the price for it. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and had no desire to workout. I broke down numerous times and felt like I was sinking.

Why did I do this to myself? Well mainly it was because I love being busy, and I thought I could handle it. Oh how naive I was!!

But also because I allowed the outside noise get in my head that told me to be more and to do more to warrant the ‘your so inspirational’ comments.

Because before that I just didn’t believe it. In fact, I squirmed whenever someone said that to me. I felt like I hadn’t earn’t that label yet.

However, I also felt a sense of pride being so busy. It also gave my life even more meaning.

But the price we pay on over-commitment will be our health if we aren’t careful.

So for the sake of needing to be seen as worthy of a place in society, are we prepared to run ourselves into the ground?

The importance of finding who you are

someone in snow gear holding a coffee cup full on snow to the camera. the coffee cup reads 'the adventure begins'
Photo by S Migaj:

We are always struggling to find our place in life. Who are we? What do we want to do with the time we have left? And all the other questions we ask ourselves when we figure out who we are.

When we are insecure we turn to external sources to fill our cup, or to direct us in life. Whether that be career, relationship, health, friends, houses, cars, and anything and everything in between.

But the truth is we will never be fulfilled if we look elsewhere instead of within.

Once we do the things that matter most to us, and become certain within ourselves and our abilities, that’s when we truly can balance the joys that life throws at us.

When it comes to social perceptions and social pressures, it is time to change the patterns. Once we can start seeing people as people and not needing them to do things extraordinary to be valued, then that is when change starts to happen.

However, for those who struggle with the ‘inspirational’ comments. We are unique in that we see life as valuable and not to be wasted. We go through things that people wouldn’t imagine. But that ultimately allows us to get on with life and the ability to deal with things probably better than others. So sometimes we should take that as a compliment… but obviously not all the time.

As for those who feel sorry for the disabled community and the life we lead. We aren’t after your pity. Life could be so much easier if we can access all the same shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, jobs, schools, and transport like you. Help us to feel valued in society by equal access not by the things we feel are a requirement of us to do in order for you to feel ‘inspired’ and for us to feel seen.

So my disabled brothers and sisters and everyone else, do the things that make you happiest in life. No external thing will truly make you completely happy. And social status while allowing us to have some incredible opportunities, isn’t everything in life. So take on as much or as little as you want, but don’t give into over-commitment out of social pressure. But also be proud that you are doing life.

till next time,


After a little more motivation for your day? Check out my post on finding meaning here!

1 thought on “The joy of over-commitment: The need to always do more to be seen as more”

  1. Linda Apelt

    Such a good read again. Ive realised we are never to old to learn and accept different ways of understanding our, and others, emotions and feelings.

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