Community//

Running on Empty vs Choosing You

Badge of Honor, Selfishness or Selflessness

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iStock/Getty Images
iStock/Getty Images

Why do we give being overworked and over committed badge value?

Because it makes us feel important, needed, maybe even irreplaceable?

Because we’ve placed our self-worth in our work!

We continually drain the well and say, “when I take vacation I’ll replenish and recharge.”

Let’s do the math . . . . 46 weeks of stress and depletion and then 6 weeks to recharge. . . And then we do the same cycle all over again! Somehow our bodies and minds don’t bounce back that quickly. And the more we do it, the more our physical and emotional resilience is compromised.

And then we wonder why,

 . . . our patience has diminished

 . . . we’ve become short tempered

 . . . we’re driven by the hustle

. . . we often get colds

. . . we can’t sleep

 . . . we’re multi-tasking like robots

 . . . we’re physically present, but not present

 . . . we’ve forgotten how to say no

 . . . AND we’ve lost sight of what really matters

I remember when I was taking care of my mom. Twice I flew to be with her for 4 months at a time and I remember how consuming and draining it was – physically and mentally. (I now have such an appreciation for caretakers!) I remember trying to work with clients and being sleep deprived. I couldn’t think clearly. Creative ideas weren’t flowing. My mind was stagnant. My sense of joy disappeared. There were times when I didn’t know which end was up and so I made the decision to put my business on hold. Literally. It was impossible to burn the candle at both ends and do them both well. One was at the expense of the other, so no one won. As a matter of fact, everything turned into a debacle. In that moment when I choose me, I choose self-preservation, focus, replenishment and the ability to be joyful being with mom. While my choice had monetary consequences, the choice of human preservation is priceless. Money, can always be made back.

In caring for me, I could care for my mom so much more completely.

In caring for me, my clients were well looked after by someone I knew. I wouldn’t leave them high and dry. Some came back; others didn’t. But what I learned was that those who were aligned with what I valued, came back. Just like my work is an extension of me, so are my clients. My clients are my tribe.

What I experienced with my mom was just another form of burn out. And it’s the same burn out that people experience in their corporate careers. I know, I did that too! (A bit of a common theme here.) Regardless of the scenario, your sense of self is lost. What you can give to others is negatively affected because your cup is empty. Not choosing you has implications and consequences.

I see so many clients who are over committed, all consuming, exhaustive hamster wheel mentality. And many times, they don’t walk away because they don’t believe they have a choice. Abdication is a choice. Silence is a choice. Action is a choice. You always have a choice. Which choice will move you in the direction you truly desire to go. Which choice is aligned with what you value?

Not choosing you means you ARE choosing. You’re just choosing something else and you’re consciously making the choice not to put you first.

The next time you think about not choosing you, consider the other choice that you’re making and what that really means and the implications and consequences to you.

Choose you. Amplify your brilliance and dream Louder!

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