Burn out when you’re doing everything right
The high-achiever in me is constantly collating tips, insights, resources and strategies for becoming a better version of myself. Knowing myself well enough now I also recognise this pattern of collation and the desire for more growth, evolution and development can have the tendency to leave me completely burnt out. Which means over the years I have been seeking new, better ways to replenish and recharge my energy stores.
Tony Robbins says that the source of our energy is psychology. Food, sleep, exercise, are all fuels, they are not the source. We have the ability to literally choose how we feel (our state) in any moment based on shifting our thoughts. For example, if you were to pause right now and remember the last time you felt incredibly happy, joyful and excited. As you recall the memory and start to feel into what was going on, your body responds rapidly. Perhaps you feel your heart beat faster, or you smile slightly, or have a little chuckle to yourself. The point is that you can shift how you feel and it can happen in a moment.
I’ve certainly developed more intuition about my own energy and I have put in place far more valuable strategies to enhance it over time. I can usually sense when my immune system is over-burdened, I get flash warnings of a cold developing a few days prior. I am really quite proud of how I am now also super comfortable with saying “No thanks” to any activity that would not feel uplifting to me. Not “No, …” followed with some excuse like ‘I can’t, I’m sick’ or ‘I’ve got an appointment already’. Just a simple ‘No’. And I have a suite of great rituals to ground and reconnect me, from yoga and walking to baking and Skype dates.
What I’ve found to be most challenging though, is those times when I’ve been seemingly doing ‘everything right’. I’ve been super conscious of not overdoing my schedule, I’ve been to yoga, I’ve eaten lots of veggies, I’ve had long hot Epsom salt baths…and I still feel flat, burnt out, or low on energy.
So, what do you do when you’re already doing ‘everything right’?
Here’s where I’m at with it:
- In these moments there’s a deeper, different lesson to be learnt than the one we’re focused on. How else could I look at the situation and what could I be missing? If this moment was here to support me and teach me something, what could that be?
- While I have learnt and put into practice lots around changing my thoughts to change my experiences, watching Tony Robbins’ Super Soul Session recently, about psychology being the source of our energy, really hit home on another level for me. There’s so much more I could be doing in those moments of feeling low on energy to focus on the mind – to practice more and more shifting my state, to access higher energy points, to anchor myself to thoughts that will lift me up.
- Even if we have great practices and strategies in place, life is ever shifting and evolving. What worked really well for us last year may no longer be serving us in our new environment. Reviewing the rituals we have in place that have worked in the past it’s critical to lean in and ask: For what purpose am I doing these? Are they still serving me? Is this sustainable? If not, then what else could I do instead?
- Knowing that life is constantly moving, then naturally my access to energy will be shifting too. Therefore, instead of beating myself up saying I mustn’t have done ‘it all’ or ‘right’, why not simply tell myself ‘you’re doing great’ and ‘go with the flow and the lesson will reveal itself’. Simple acts of kindness to ourselves can relieve the burden of doing everything right all the time, and I imagine there’s a whole lot of unsustainable energy thrown into being perfect. Why not shift the energy to kindness and embracing the flow of life?