RL Practice of the Month

Constantly doing too much at work or home? Make a change in 2020.

Constantly doing too much at work or home?
Make a change in 2020.

Fact:High levels of chronic anxiety lead to an increase in reactive behavior.  One common form of reactive behavior is over-functioning. If we are over-functioning these days, it means that we are thinking, feeling or acting for another in a way that erodes their capacity for ownership and effective action. The deep roots of this behavior lie in our anxious fears that are generally beneath our conscious awareness.


Pause for a moment and consider where you might be over-functioning in your life and with whom.  Who might you be “thinking, feeling or acting for” in ways that could be eroding the other person’s efficacy?  What underlying fear might be driving your behavior.

Try It:

This month, keep a list of the fears that are driving your over-functioning behaviors (e.g. Fear of: Being left out, losing control, losing my job, getting behind at work, getting old, etc.). Identify ways you are over-functioning in connection with these fears.  Then consider these questions:

  1. What am I feeling threatened by and how accurately have I assessed these threats?
  2. What might be a more productive way to face my fears?
  3. What should I do now?