Because You Can't Run Forever

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2022

So last week I wrote about the never-ending marathon that is burnout. You cross that coveted 26.2 mile marker only to discover the finish line was moved. You keep running a little dazed and confused and think to yourself, “what fresh hell is this?”

That’s what burnout can feel like.

But the reality is we can’t run forever – none of us were built to run indefinitely.

So what do we do? We look for off ramps.

One off-ramp, while tempting, can actually backfire on you. Can you guess what that is?

Quitting your job. (Hello, Great Resignation!)

Here’s what happens. You’re exhausted and burned out. So you say, “Drop the mic! Deuces; I’m out.” It feels GREAT to quit. You throw open the door to the next chapter, smiling ear-to-ear.

(Quick caveat: changing jobs can be the best thing that happens to you. I know. I’ve made a career from reinventing myself many times over…but before you hit send on that resignation email, hear me out.)

The problem is that your ‘replacement theory’ won’t play out like a scene from La La Land. Your days won’t be perfectly choreographed and your coworkers won’t be beautifully scripted. The high of ‘something new’ wears off and you realize you’re simply at the starting line of a new race – wearing the same shoes and running the same pace. And while there are refreshing new views to take in, there are also steep hills, learning curves and potential cultural road blocks to contend with. If you’re not careful, you’ll be running at a break neck pace repeating the same exhausting patterns as your last gig.

Again, this isn’t a critique on taking chances and seeking new paths. But the answer is bigger than “I need something different.” The answer lies in the root of the overwhelm.

With that in mind, I want to leave you with three ideas that I personally use as a filter for my time and energy. They automatically get to the root of overwhelm – and slow me down.

  • If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. (Thanks Banksy!)

  • Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously. (Groundbreaking wisdom from Prentis Hemphill)

  • Does this need to be done right now? Does this need to be done by me? (My own set of qualifying questions…always)

We’re going to explore these a little more next week so tune in for part 3. Until then take the time to think deeply about the ideas listed above.

This is the good work…don’t run from it.

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