If I could scream just one message right into your face each day it would be this one - you’re doing a bloody brilliant job… keep going!
Sure, it doesn’t feel like it, oh, most of the time.
That’s because you’re a perfectionist type A hopeless overachiever who wants to make sure everyone and everything is perfect before you take a break and you are way too hard on yourself.
Once more for the people at the back - YOU ARE WAY TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!!
Ok, we know each other pretty well by now so can I be honest with you?
These little pep talks are often as much for me as they are for you.
I share my stories to help both of us know we’re not alone.
I create moments of inspiration and support for both of us to feel uplifted.
I talk about the improvement I’ve seen in my burnout and imposter syndrome struggles to show you that it’s possible and to remind myself just how far I’ve come (and therefore how much further I can still go).
Today I was talking to a friend ahead of my upcoming appearance on her radio show (more on that juicy little nugget later on) and I kept coming back to this singular message:
If you’re struggling with burnout you are SO far from alone.
It doesn’t go away by itself, it doesn’t get better by ignoring it.
You don’t have to give up the parts of your life that you love to make it all change.
Nor does it have to cost the earth, demand all of your time or be some dramatic thing.
Small, subtle changes are the heart of it.
It would be so goddamn easy for me to pretend that all you had to do was take a pill or say an affirmation three times and all would be well…. but I share the truth of it because it IS the truth and because it’s the work of recalibrating your life. The truth of it is that there are good days and there are not so good days.
It’s also true that, when you’re not paying careful, ruthless attention to the objective facts of your life, that nasty little voice in the back of your head will do a complete and utter number on you.
That sneaky little bastard will tell you that your life is shit… when it is not.
It will tell you that your troubles are unlimited and unending, when they are in fact trifling and transient
It will focus on the bad, sad and mad when your life is pretty bloody special.
It will tell you that you’re stupid when you’re not, lazy when you’re trying your best.
It will skip right over every single one of your successes, wins and fabulous moments in favour of blame, shame and frustration, if you let it.
Let me give you an example.
This week I have recorded a podcast interview, started working with a new 1:1 client, received an hour long radio interview completely out of the blue, been told I’m a brilliant speaker, that I put people at ease, what a fabulous guest I am (twice!), that I really know my shit. Last week was the 3rd birthday of my business, this month has outperformed the past six months financially and it’s not even over yet, I’ve supported people that needed a boost and managed to wear clean pants every single day (hey, I’m not above the small victories).
What does my inner voice focus on?
I have a snotty nose, am running a fever and am a bit behind on my correspondence. I have placed pause on a live programme for a couple of days whilst I got over the worst of feeling ill and until I could form meaningful sentences again. I haven’t finished my first book when I started it 12 weeks ago and had planned to finish it in 4. I have a half dozen new programme plans to put into action, want to keep going on the website revamp, uploading programmes and I’m a bit behind on my own personal development work.
Now, because I am who I am and regularly have the opportunity to place my work, my business and my life into context, I can laugh at this and bring it back into focus.
But if I was feeling just a little bit more unwell?
If I wasn’t as resilient as I am?
If I didn’t know everything I know now (and I sure as hell didn’t know any of this five years ago)?
Well I’d be crying into my Lemsip right about now.
So maybe you’re struggling under the weight of responsiblity and an ever-increasing workload and feeling a bit like a failure.
Maybe you’ve been struggling along on this burnout journey reading what I have to say but being just that little bit too scared to take the leap and start working with me in some way.
Maybe you don’t know who the fuck I am and have stumbled on this by some weird and wonderful act of the internet, but maybe this is exactly what you needed to hear.
You are doing a brilliant job.
You are doing the very best you can with the tools and resources you have right now.
You definitely need to take better care of yourself.
And whilst you’re at it, remind yourself of 3 things you do brilliantly and share them (with a friend, with your partner, with me in the comments - just make sure they’re shared).
Remember that you are only part-way through your story; there is still so much to do and change and learn.
If you really don’t like where you’re at right now, it’s time to make a change.
And you deserve all the support in the world.
If only whilst this blog stays in your mind, focus more on the things that are going well, that you love and that remind you it was worth getting out of bed this morning and in to that clean underwear.
You’re doing a bloody brilliant job… keep going!
PS Want to hear more about how I came to the study of burnout and imposter syndrome, the work I do with my clients and how to immediately start seeing changes in your burnout story? Well… tomorrow evening I will be appearing on Carolyn Luckygirl’s Feel Good Friday show on Kennet Radio, 7pm UK time. You can listen in no matter where you are in the world, and I’ll leave all the links below for you!
Click here to find out how to listen to the show, wherever you are in the world
PPS Isn’t it time you focused on increasing your resilience to feel happy, just like I did in this blog, instead of getting stuck in struggle and overwhelm all the time? Also, isn’t it time you and I got to see each other face to face, eat cake and be thoroughly spoiled for the day?
On Sunday 13th October I am holding the Serenity Social in-person training day from midday to 5pm in central Birmingham. There will be plenty of 1:1 support time, a ram packed programme of increasing resilience AND happiness (because why choose when you can have it all?) and you will leave the day feeling uplifted and with a plan (I love a good plan!).
It’s the final couple of days to join us at the early bird rate before the price increases to standard ticket access, prices rise on Monday. Click here to reserve your seat at the tablet (only 4 places remaining!)