In November, I hit a wall. Every brick in that wall became obvious when I was sitting by the side of the road one day sobbing so hard I couldn't safely drive. It was a snotty mess.
By many measures, 2016 was a tremendous year. My family is settled in our newly renovated house, and my business took off. I navigated all the changes, stretches, and activity gracefully and smoothy.
Until I realized the one thing I had neglected.
I couldn't even see how I had neglected the things that are most important to me until I was snotting into my sleeve. I missed my friends, and my life was a minute-to-minute, action packed schedule with not a second to spare for self care or reflection or even relaxed conversation.
Does this story ring any bells for you?
I work with people like you who have tremendous capacity for productivity and neglect their own needs. (Yup, we teach what we need to learn.)
When your needs are so far down the priority list as to be invisible, you are unable to sustain your effectiveness over time. Eventually, you'll hit your limit and ka-blam, you have to pull into a random park by the highway to ensure you make it home safely.
And, for every breakdown, there is breakthrough. Even when I'm completely falling apart, I'm thinking about how will this serve the Corporate Rebels? I'm recovered and ready to share some learning with you:
- Rest and Recover. If you've gone too far, seriously scale back and let the pressure valve slowly release. There were days I was in bed at 7:30. Be intentional and disciplined about your sleep and downtime. It's not a luxury. It's a necessity.
- Protect your energy. Give yourself credit for how much energy it takes to schedule your family's activities or to take on an extra direct report or a new project at the office. If you've had the experience of reaching an outer limit or you're teetering on the edge of one, start to learn your energetic limits and protect them.
- Enlist your friends to help you. I am not a good judge of when I've pushed myself too far so I've enlisted friends and family to help me see it. Ask for honest feedback and even when you resist, listen.
- Pace yourself. This year I will finally break my overworking pattern and learn to pace myself. You'll see lots of great things coming from Corporate Rebel HQ, and I'm experimenting with more spaciousness for you and me in what and how things are released. I'm also knitting again which is lovely.
- Get support. Get a coach. A therapist. A mentor. Someone who has your back no matter what. I have two coaches. They help me see and change my overworking pattern even when it's uncomfortable. I am grateful to them.
You've got this!