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5 Things We Need to Stop Normalizing (right now!)

Do you ever feel like you’re trying to win an award for something that isn’t a competition?  

“Most Willing to Grin and Bear It” 
“Busiest Parent”  
“Least Likely to Ask for Help at Work” 

Many of us spend our time competing in contests to win over the approval and admiration of others, yet in reality, in the end, all we “win” is burnout, exhaustion, and dissatisfaction. Yet hustling to win these awards can feel like what we’re “supposed to do.” Everywhere we turn, it feels like everyone is talking about how busy they are or how much they have on their plate—so, of course, we follow suit because who likes being left behind? 

But what if this way of living didn’t have to be normal? What if we all quit competing for awards that don’t actually exist? What if we raised a white flag and drew attention to the fact that “normal” is actually abnormal—and what’s worse, it’s negatively impacting our lives? 

Today we’re exploring five things we all need to stop normalizing. As you explore these five things, we hope you view it as an invitation to quit hustling for that laundry list of awards you’ll never win and step into a new way of living. You deserve it. 

Let’s dive in.  

We need to stop normalizing workaholism.  

What is the first question you ask when you meet someone new?  Say it with us: “What do you do?”   

Many of us have forgotten how to be “human beings” in exchange for living as “human doings.” In a culture obsessed with accomplishments and accolades, defining ourselves by our work is not only socially acceptable but is often encouraged and celebrated. And while that can feel nice for a little while, research finds that putting our identity in what we do instead of who we are results in an over-abundance of burnout.  

Burnout has become incredibly commonplace in our workplaces and homes. In fact, a new Gallup-Workhuman report found that 25% of employees describe being burned out at work “very often” or “always.”  

We need to stop glamorizing losing ourselves in our work. The truth is that workaholism, just like any other “aholisms”, is just another way we cope with the stressors of life. 

Instead of leaning into workaholism and identifying yourself by what you accomplish, what if you celebrated and created room to identify yourself by who you are? By what your passionate about? By how you treat yourself and others?  

Can you love your job? Yes! Can you work really hard? Yes! But let’s not lose our humanity in the process. 

Related: Five Steps to Combat Burnout 

We need to stop normalizing putting others needs above our own.  

Many of us spend our days putting everyone else above ourselves. We often think it’s selfish to take care of our own needs. But the opposite is true: caring for ourselves is one of the most selfless things we can do.   

When we prioritize our own emotional, mental, and physical health, we can care for those around us without depleting ourselves, acting out of resentment, or being overcome with fatigue.   

Instead of putting everyone else above yourself and running on empty, what if you took care of yourself so that you could show up as the best version of yourself for the people you love?   

Need some help setting boundaries around this? Check out this article! 

Related: The Misconception of Self Care 

We need to stop normalizing doom scrolling.  

We’ve all been there. We picked up our phone to look up something on Google or set an alarm, only to have blinked and somehow lost an hour to the all-familiar doom scroll.   

Our phones can be incredible assets and tools when used for good. They have the power to connect us to those we love, educate us on things we’re passionate about, and capture some of our favorite moments. But when we’re not conscious, technology has some serious downsides. As a society, we’ve normalized using our phones to “check out” from our lives when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, or when we want to avoid our feelings.  

Instead of falling into the doom scroll, what if we allowed ourselves some room to get curious about what we’re trying to avoid? 

Related: How to Take a Technology Break 

We need to stop normalizing drinking to take the edge off.  

Since 2020, amid what 90% of Americans call a “mental health crisis,” rates of loneliness, depression, and anxiety have skyrocketed. 58% of people who self-identified as lonely also said that they had increased the amount of alcohol they drank, and 56% had increased their use of drugs.  

Some people can have a healthy relationship with substances. But many of us use substances to numb our uncomfortable emotions.  

Instead of using alcohol or other substances to cope, what if we got curious about the ways alcohol is covering up what we really need and masking our loneliness?    

We need to stop normalizing seeing our emotions as weaknesses. 

From a very young age, many of us were taught unhealthy and unhelpful narratives about our emotions. For example, some of us were told, “Don’t cry,” “You’re just being sensitive,” or “That’s enough of that.” Others of us were taught to view some emotions as “good” and others as “bad.” Unfortunately, these narratives that we pick up as kids often result in adults who believe that expressing or feeling emotions is a weakness. 

But what if we shift our narrative and start to view all emotions as helpful pieces of information? The truth is, every emotion is a gift in better understanding what’s going on beneath the surface. When we view emotions as an asset, not a liability, we can begin to see how useful feeling our feelings can be.  

Related: Becoming Emotionally Smart   


Just because culture has normalized these things, it doesn’t mean we have to accept them as normal. When we live our lives normalizing and accepting behaviors that keep us disconnected from ourselves, we run the risk of living a life we don’t actually enjoy. There is a better way. 

Our world-renowned Living Centered Program gives people the opportunity to step away from their day-to-day life so they can reattune themselves and reconnect with the vision and purpose they want for their lives.  

Learn more about this impactful experience and connect with our team to determine if a Living Centered Program is right for you. You’re worth more just existing, you deserve to thrive!