Why do we contribute to a culture that celebrates pushing ourselves past our limits? Burnout symptoms like apathy, autopilot, and emotional exhaustion seem normal. We often squeeze ourselves and our team until we have nothing left to give. And then wake up and do it all over again! It’s ridiculous and I’m committed to changing it, one client at a time starting with myself – client 0.
Unfortunately, it’s common company culture to reward hyper-productivity, despite unrealistic expectations. Even as entrepreneurs with the power to orchestrate a new ethos it can be challenging to shift. With any change (and especially as leaders), we have to be bold enough to go first. Expect a few waves. Not everyone will be on board when you start implementing boundaries and saying No — and that’s OK.
If you’ve followed my work at all you know that I’m passionate about business without burnout. It’s because I spent a good part of my early entrepreneurial journey fried and it was no fun at all.
I bought into hard work was honest work. That when you’ve emptied your tank for everyone else around you it meant you were kind and good. Yikes, can you relate?
Once a pattern is in place, we keep going down that road even if it’s not in our best interest. It’s what we know and what we’ve always done.
Despite an adrenal fatigue diagnosis I kept going. Pushing through, doing one more thing, committing to one more project. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have on the subject. I spent years learning one holistic modality after another. It took a clear choice point before I focused on reconditioning my mindset. And then, I started to experience and enjoy alternatives to the grind lifestyle.
I want to pause here and say you’re not the problem and you are not weak if you can’t fit it all in. Somehow if we don’t “rise to the occasion” it’s easy to think that we’re broken and not giving it our all. This is far from the truth! Please don’t fall into the guilt and shame trap when it comes to prioritizing your health and self-care.
Here are 4 steps to writing a new self-care story:
Step 1: Awareness
Being conscious that life isn’t feeling as awesome as it could. Begin cultivating hope that your future will be better.
Step 2: Change
Having the moxie and fortitude to choose again. Taking an empowered stand for your betterment.
Step 3: Habits
Creating rituals and boundaries to support your whole self. And exercising the follow-through to execute them each day.
Step 4: Celebrate
Honoring your process, timeline, and unique journey – observing through the gratitude lens.
To give the above some context, I’ll share a personal situation as an example. I began noticing signs that I was becoming out of balance and didn’t feel as joyful as I wanted. I knew things like excessively checking email were zapping precious energy. To start changing patterns of overworking, I added bright lines. Bright lines are predictable, clear guidelines that we commit to not crossing.
Here’s what I put in place:
- Only check email at 10 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday
- Close the workday at 4 pm
- Take a walk at the end of the day to move my body and relax my mind
These simple habits contribute to a powerful self-care system. I have more energy, clarity, and a greater sense of peace.
What’s going to work for you? What can you commit to today to change the story? How can you honor your core needs? It could be a morning meditation or an afternoon nap. Or maybe it’s a digital sunset so you’re not exposed to blue light before bed.
For change to be sustainable we must respect our unique idiosyncrasies. There’s no 1 right way, no blueprint to follow. You are the creator of your ideal life! The main thing is to shift your mindset when it comes to self-care. When that little voice whispers “self-care is selfish,” have a new script in place to flip the narrative. Embrace and focus on thoughts that make you feel better.
If it sounds too good to be true it’s most likely because you’ve just read all the things. You must take action and do the work to experience results. It starts with what you tell yourself. And then continues with inspiring others when they see you implementing your rituals. Believe me, you and everyone else will notice the difference!
We know that we lead and serve better when we are balanced and fulfilled. Include acts that contribute to your well-being daily to create new live-giving patterns. Let’s create a shift towards physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial health. We’re in this together!