Powering Through Doesn’t Make You Stronger

What’s the real reason you won’t stop?

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I used to be the Queen of powering through. Only my mother, who cross country skied her way through radiation and years later lived 18 months past a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer topped me.

That’s why last week when a top woman influencer posted on Linkedin that she didn’t feel well – powered through and then had a great day at work my 1st reaction was to join in and cheer her on.

Yet I’ve learned that choice has a price. When we continually choose not to listen to our bodies it catches up with us even when we do score that big work win.

Last week I chilled. Clearly, I had caught something from a plane while traveling for work. I had been away for over a week and so wanted to catch up on some things. I stopped. Listened to my body and decided the best bet was to allow myself to rest.

Women especially are reluctant to stop and allow themselves to reenergize when worn out. I can still hear my mother saying to us as kids. “There’s no need for you to be sick. You get good food, plenty of sleep and lots of fresh air – yes you are going to school.”

I understand the desire to power through although I am highly suspect of the real reasons behind it.

So here are 3 easy questions to ask yourself before you suck it up and decide to do just that:

1) How long have you been traveling or intensely working?

2) What exactly is your body telling you and do you have a history of a simple cold turning into bronchitis of pneumonia?

3) Why are you really unwilling to allow yourself a day or two to re-energize?

Be honest with yourself. You can only push yourself so much – and if you think it’s going to result in a big Thank You from some one – it probably won’t.


Lisa Guida works with women in traditionally male professions on their leadership and impact at www.whyleap.com

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