“You are not lazy. You are tired. Perhaps you are lacking a few meaningful goals. Get some rest. Breathe a little. Start dreaming again. Set a plan, remember your strength, march on with enthusiasm, and love and all will be well,” Brendon Burchard. This came at a perfect time. I really struggled with my mental health and energy over the last few months. I had some triggers around my self-esteem and that sent me into a spiral. There were some new demands on my time at work and at home, and I struggled to balance it all for a few weeks. I couldn’t get anything done and it made me feel like crap. I felt so worthless and unfocused and like I was being torn in a million directions at the same time. And whenever I stopped, my mind raced with what I should be doing.
Then I saw Brendon’s quote and it reminded me that I can’t do all things. Something I had been telling my self for a while anyway. But when you’re highly driven and seeing progress, it’s hard to cut anything out because you want to keep going. That was like burning candles at every end. It left me exhausted and spent and barely able to keep my eyes open during the day. I still felt lazy and I felt incompetent because I couldn’t balance all that I was trying to do. The things I was getting done weren’t things I wanted to be doing. I always wanted to be doing something else. My conditioning made me feel lazy because I wasn’t accomplishing what I was trained to get done.
Brendon’s quote and the quote from yesterday about choosing yourself reminded me that this life isn’t about people pleasing, it’s about living. When we choose ourselves we are able to clarify what we need and where we spend our energy. Focusing on what is right for us isn’t selfish as we are taught to believe. It is what gets us closer to our purpose and fulfilling that purpose. It is perfectly fine to draw the line and say, “from here out, I have to choose me.” When we do that we bring our best to the table because we eliminate the other voices. We eliminate the distractions and the pull of what other people need. It is when we fulfill our purpose that we do the most good.
I mentioned I took time off of work the other day. I did so because we are in a huge transition and there is a lot of unknown at the moment. We are all facing a boat load of projects and there hasn’t been much in the way of direction or prioritization other than it all needs to get done. There is still the expectation that all will get done or that we implicitly know what needs to be done. When that is the case for multiple areas over multiple departments from multiple leaders, something is wrong with the structure. I realized how much of their own confusion they were putting on me to unravel. And as I worked my way through it, the criticism came. Not that I don’t need a thick skin, but if you’re not going to do the work then don’t complain about mine. And if you wanted it a certain way, then you better say that.
I also took the time off of work because I need to evaluate my future and my time. I want to really define what I want my life to look like outside of the corporate world. While I enjoy many facets of my job, the politics of it are harder and harder to cope with. The truth is that I’m not getting any younger, I want to have more freedom, my son needs me and I don’t want to miss out, and I want to do something for myself. Between the need to decompress and the need to get honest about next steps, that required some deep work. I’m glad I took the time off, even if it only served to remind me that it really is ok to put myself first. That it really is ok to admit I need a break—and to TAKE IT. I can’t serve if I’m not fully present for myself. I recommend taking the time you can and reconnecting with who you are and listening. All the answers are there. Just do it and see what comes of it.