Raise your hand if you have a lot on your plate.
Good, glad to see I’m not alone there. (You can put your hands down now.)
Women, especially businesswomen, have a really bad habit of over functioning. We take on more, and more, and more until we hit burnout. Even if we don’t hit burnout, we exhaust ourselves by choosing to make things more difficult than they need to be. The inner competitors and perfectionists shine through until we’ve done about a hundred times what was actually necessary. Yes, I’m talking to you.
I have so many clients come to me and say, “Oh my god, I’ve got so much going on, it’s so intense! I just wanna follow my dreams!” Often part of the reason why people are so exhausted is because they’re not doing tasks that they love, so they’re extra drained. And while we’d all love to just jump off the busy bandwagon and start sailing towards dreams instead, it doesn’t quite work that way.
There are a few stages in between the two and unfortunately, if you skip those ones you’ll lead yourself right into burnout (again).
Recognize that you’re over functioning and ratchet it back. Say no to a whole bunch of stuff. And yes this requires some heavy lifting at first, and often a bit of introspection surfaces as you consider how you got here in the first place. You will need to admit that you’re overwhelmed, overworked and over functioning and then actually take steps to stop that. But it can be done!
Take time to come to neutral. Just because you’re not putting more on your plate, it doesn’t mean you’re no longer burnt out or exhausted or tired (whatever word you are willing to hear without moving into defending yourself). This stage is all about self care. Allow yourself to gear down and refill your gas tanks. Take some time for yourself, go for walks, get a massage, exhale.
Dream. Dream about what you want, what it looks like and how to get there.
Step into action. And since you’re going to be doing what you love (after that dreaming stage, see why these have to come in order?!?) and you’ve spent time ensuring that your body, mind and spirit are ready for it (because you did the self care so that your energy gas tank is filled up) – this part is suddenly easy in a way it hasn’t been, in fact couldn’t have been, before. This, my friends, is what ease is all about!
Here is the thing… if you skip the middle stages, stepping into action is going to make you feel like a failure…you’ll have skinned knees and you’re going to go back into the overwhelm. Too many dreams are lost to, “I guess I’m not cut out for this. I guess my dream was a bad one.” NO! All that happened is that you missed the middle stages, these are the ones that are necessary to make your dream possible!
In order to access ease in your life, you need to work towards your dreams. But it is essential that you really roll up your sleeves and do the work of letting go of the ideas that you can’t have it, and the barriers that you have created in your own life. There ain’t any opportunity to jump to the front of the line here!
Okay over to you:
Which stage are you working through right now? How is the process going? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.