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Doing Everything Yourself Leads To Burnout (But You Can Turn It Around)

“I’m self-sufficient, I don’t need anyone, and I can get things done on my own without any help.” If this sounds familiar, you’re probably jeopardizing your mental health and heading down the path to burnout. Yet if you can acknowledge that doing everything yourself is neither sustainable nor desirable, you’ll be able to course correct […]

“I’m self-sufficient, I don’t need anyone, and I can get things done on my own without any help.”

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably jeopardizing your mental health and heading down the path to burnout.

Yet if you can acknowledge that doing everything yourself is neither sustainable nor desirable, you’ll be able to course correct – and improve both your mental and physical health.

I know it can be scary to admit you can’t do everything yourself, because I’ve been there. I remember worrying: What if no one believes me when I finally profess how hard it is to do everything myself? Maybe I’m just a complete wuss. If I come clean about how hard this is, am I negating my accomplishments? What if no one wants to help me?

It’s really frightening!

But when I’d burned myself out and had to accept that I couldn’t do everything by myself anymore, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I began to heal.

Why Do You Feel You Have To Do Everything Yourself?

When you think about it, isn’t it astonishing how we women get the message we’re supposed to handle every last little thing without help?

We feel this way for a variety of reasons. Common ones are:

  • You like to consider yourself an independent, capable woman, able to do it all on your own
  • Your perfectionist self stops you from asking for support because it seems like nobody can do things as well as you
  • Or your inner critic stops you from asking for support, telling you that you should be able to do it on your own
  • Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that you truly can ask for support; you can delegate, you can be part of a team rather than continue to do life as a solo adventure

These are all things I’ve done, so I get it! My mother raised me to be independent. Don’t get me wrong; independence is a stellar quality. I just took it too far.

Rate Yourself On The “All By Myself” Scale

Using the reasons I mentioned above, let’s take a snapshot of where you are now on the “all by myself” scale. This isn’t meant to judge; rather, it’s for you to get an understanding of your current state.

So, on a scale of 0-10, rate how often you try to do things all alone:

0: Not at all, never

5: Sometimes

10: All the time, always

Remember, there is no right or wrong, good or bad place to be right now. This number gives you a baseline of information. Acknowledging this without self-judgment is the first step to beginning to shift it. You can change this.

When I was on the burnout cycle, I was 9 on the scale of 0-10 when it came to doing things all alone. Can you imagine? No wonder I was burned out.

Since you’re not stuck at any point on this scale, let’s consider how you can change.

Where Would You Like To Rate?

Using the same scale and reasons, above, think about where you would like to be in 90 days. Would you like to do everything yourself:

0: Not at all, never

5: Sometimes

10: All the time, always

After you set your goal, here are a couple of assessment questions to ask yourself:

  1. How will you know you’re there? 
  2. What will you be doing or choosing differently?

I encourage you to set this target with a number so you have something tangible to aim for. By setting a target like this, you bring it into your conscious, daily awareness, which lets you focus on allowing yourself to be supported in order to create the change you want.  

For instance, when I thought I was Superwoman and tried to do it all alone, I was paralyzed by exhaustion and overwhelm. However, when I began to understand myself more clearly, I realized that not only had I been punishing myself, but also pushing away others who wanted to contribute to me. Once this awareness dawned, I experienced more ease, increased energy, and greater connection with others, which improved the quality of my relationships. 

In other words, I brought myself back from burnout. You can too.

How To Stop Doing Everything Yourself And Come Back From Burnout

The solution is disarmingly simple:

Ask for help from others. 

Whether you’re at the office or at home, when you learn how to ask for help, you’ll feel relaxed and confident. You’ll free yourself up to tend to your most important priorities, and you’ll feel energized, clear, and focused. As well, you’ll be calm, easy-going and peaceful; sleeping like a baby and wake up rested, engaged in, inspired by, and passionate about your life. 

Any time you ask for support, you’re practicing a powerful form of self-love. You’re telling yourself and the Universe that you care enough about yourself to get help with whatever you are attempting to do, instead of letting yourself struggle alone with the weight of the world on your shoulders. This support also adds balance to your life, because you now have more time for self-care and the things you enjoy. 

You’ll create more of what you desire in your life – without burning out.

Remove The Blocks Holding You Back

I know what you’re thinking…

“Whitney, I feel so blocked about asking for help.”

Simple though asking for support may be, there’s often a bunch of gunk that keeps you from reaching out. So, let’s dive in and de-gunk!

A. First think of a situation where you could use some help.

B. Then ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What keeps you from asking for support? 
  2. What stops you from delegating a task? 
  3. What would it be like to delegate? 
  4. How might you delegate?

C. Take a few minutes to jot down your answers.

D. Next, write down your answers to the following questions:

  1. If you were to get someone’s support, what would the benefits be for you?
  2. What could you delegate and get support with, even if it’s something small to start? 

Give this exercise a try. Then, consider your responses to the following questions and comment below: 

Are you willing to delegate 1 small thing this week? 

And if so, what is that 1 thing?

It’s Time To Get Support

Now that you know why getting support is vital, and how you can ask for it, I want you to imagine the new beliefs you’ll be able to tell yourself:

“I ask for help when I need it. I receive support as a way to care for myself. I support my happiness and well-being when I accept help.”

You’ll feel calmer and more at ease when you relax into the benefits of receiving help. No longer will you be overwhelmed and racing down the road to burnout. 

Life will feel joyful again – and you’ll feel satisfied, knowing you’ve taken vital steps to restore your wellness.

It’s time to reach out and ask for help. And speaking of help, sign up for my email list to receive regular tips and techniques to bring you back from burnout and into balance. I look forward to supporting you!

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