While being “successful” typically means pushing beyond your limits, being in constant “go mode” long-term often results in more loss than gain.
People who excel at their careers tend to have a lot in common, but the trait most notable to me is how driven they are and how much they often sacrifice their own health, as well as emotional and spiritual well-being, for the sake of their job.
I have a confession to make: I am guilty of the same thing.
I often push myself beyond natural limits: working even while on vacation, exercising at 5AM so I am able to hit the ground running as early as possible, and never really shutting my system down completely to allow my brain and soul to reboot. While we enjoy the fruits of our labor – we make a great living, receive accolades from our peers and our clients, and build businesses that grow handsomely year-over-year – we are at real risk for burnout.
Burnout can show up in many forms, yet I think the way I would define it best is this:
It is when my soul is out of sync with my mind and body. In the grind to get things done and be ever more successful, I lose little pieces of myself that take me further away from who I am and what I want out of my life.
Being in constant “go mode” means I don’t take the time to check-in with myself and be completely present in my life, making sure that my actions remain aligned with my goals. I worry that when I slow down, or even shut down for a bit, I will be leaving some proverbial chips on the table. But, invariably, when I force myself to unplug completely, I come back with greater clarity, energy, passion, creativity, and a laser-like focus on the right things—those things that can actually move the needle most.
When my children were young, I taught them to always listen to their inner voices and trust that their instincts were their “internal GPS systems” guiding them to make the right choices. The stakes may be higher now for you and me as adults, but the advice is still valid. When I begin to feel burnt out, it’s usually because my inner voice has been trying to get my attention and I haven’t been listening.
My advice: Learn to listen to your own inner voice when it’s just whispering…because once it starts to yell, you’ll have a lot more to do to quiet it down and realign your own internal GPS system back to center. And trust that when you do relax and realign, you’ll find greater clarity waits on the other side – where your Best Business Life is waiting – along with new ideas on ways to reach your goals without the baggage of burnout.