Spending more money than we earn isn’t sustainable over time, we all know that.
Yet that’s exactly what many of us do day-in and day-out when it comes to our life energies.
We’re on deadlines. We experience urgency. We get caught up in the whirl of life that’s all about productivity and performance. This pace can seem so normal that we don’t tend to notice when we’re spent, all our reason and rationale seeming sane at the time.
Yet such constant go-go-go isn’t sustainable. No way. No how.
Take Sam, that client of mine and business owner you met earlier (remember him ?). When I met him he was hadn’t yet learned to flip the switch.
He believed it was absolutely essential to work 12-16 hour days, live with his cell phone attached to his body, bark at his staff to get any work done, and skimp on basic self-care habits like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting some moderate exercise.
He lived his life as if all that mattered was getting the work out.
There was no room in his life for rest and renewal. Nor pleasant moments, places, or people.
Fundamentally Sam was in burnout, that state of stress that leads to:
- physical and emotional exhaustion
- cynicism, pessimism and detachment
- feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
With exhaustion the messy moods of cynicism (everyone’s out for himself) and pessimism (the worst will happen, there’s no hope) take root, reinforcing worn out, embodied patterns of behavior in a never-ending cycle of ineffectiveness and self-judgment.
In fact cynicism and pessimism have become so much a part of our narrative that we can easily get caught up in focusing on all that’s wrong with our jobs, other people, our lives, or our current national landscape while feeling hopeless to shift it.
We slip into self-doubt and blame. Assumptions shake our self-confidence. We’re not sure others are trustworthy. Negativity blinds us to possibilities.
Like Sam, you may find yourself on an all-consuming, energy-draining treadmill leading to nowhere.
You may be feeling one of two ways: dull and exhausted, or wound up too tightly and anxious.
Neither of these strained conditioned ruts occurred overnight. Such is the slow impact of burnout, seeping energy that results in disconnection and exhaustion. It comes from a lack of re-examining what’s important, revising commitments, and renewing our energies.
Like Sam, who learned the importance of pausing and listening in a new way, you can learn what it takes to flip the switch from living with too much pressure to moving into powerful action.
Sam’s first step involved pausing and paying attention.
His next step involved completing an inventory of his life habits and practices. To ever get off the treadmill, he had to be honest with himself about when and how his energies were going out, and when and how they were being replenished. Or not.
For your next step, reflect on the questions below to get you started taking a look at your current habits. Are they serving you? Exhausting you? Be honest.
- When was the last time you took an afternoon to yourself?
- Are you getting at least seven hours of sleep five days a week?
- Once home, what habits are you in? dinner with family? Glued to electronics? Working? Spending time with friends?
- What kind of exercise are you getting each week?
- What was the last fun event you participated in? How did it impact your mood?
Another step you can take is to sign up for the free 5-Day Resist Burnout Challenge: Flip the Switch from Pressure to Power if want to break free of the unsustainable cycle of busyness, exhaustion, and stress. You’ll have what you need to flip the switch in just 5 days!
In five days you’ll learn to:
- Focus your attention on what matters most
- Tune-in to your body’s rhythms & wisdom to access your energies so you feel alive & nourished
- Play with M & M’s—your mindset & mood to reveal how they set you up for burnout
- Craft conversations for action with new skills
- Take this all into action, flipping the switch from pressure to power
When you sign up for the free 5-Day Resist Burnout Challenge: Flip the Switch from Pressure to Power and receive a free workbook, a daily email and video, and the opportunity to join in the conversation on Facebook Live on Friday October 19th where we’ll be focusing on shifting out of pressure and burnout and into powerful action.
Flip your switch today!