I remember it like yesterday. Feeling lost. Stressed. Uninspired. Unenergized. Sad. Burnt Out. I was working my ass off in Corporate America. Doing work I loved but burning the candle at both ends so to speak. It wasn’t until I got laid off in the spring of 2012 that I realized how burnt out I was. My soul was in complete disarray. It was then that I made the decision to leave the rat race behind and take total control of my ‘work/life balance’.
One business venture turned into another. Taking a leap in June 2014 to launch a business based upon my passions not my technical aptitude was exciting, thrilling and fun. And I was doing it my way. On my terms. As fast or slow as I wanted. I was in control and happy.
Fast forward to the fall of 2015. Those feelings crept back in. Lost. Uninspired. Unmotivated. Unhappy. Really unhappy. And I noticed I shut down. Stopped writing. Stopped believing in myself and my business. Stopped caring. I was BURNT OUT. It took me until after the holidays to admit it to myself. Here I was, in total control of what was happening and I let myself get burnt out. I was embarrassed with myself. How could I let this happen. I never thought it would happen to me once I left my corporate job. This was what I coached my clients on. Keeping up the harmony between work and life. I felt like a failure.
Once I acknowledged it to myself, I was able to begin the process of climbing out of the hole I had dug. I found that the tools that I used to help me better myself as a coach were those that were causing me the most stress-social media. Now, I love social tools like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.I love learning from experts in my field. I enjoy hearing new viewpoints from others.
What I noticed though was I starting judging myself against what others were showing online. Do you ever do that? Judge your life from others based upon their social presence. Other business owners seemed to have figured out how to market to their target clients. “Wow, they have it all figured out” was all I kept telling myself. And with each post I read or newsletter that landed in my inbox, I sunk deeper into my funk. They were posting on every platform, numerous times a day. I have hired social media experts to show me when you should post, how often, etc. That gave me even more anxiety. Any networking event for business owners kept throwing in my face how bad I was at this business ownership (or so I thought…). I was trying to fit into their mold. Not mine. One thing I have always prided myself on was being just a bit unique in all I do.
I can’t tell how many times I almost gave in in the past 6 months. Shut down my business and found a 8-5 job. Then it hit me-I wasn’t taking care of me first. I was letting myself get burnt out just like I did in my corporate job. Just like I would again and again if I didn’t pause and take back the control.
So I created a rule in my outlook that puts those newsletters in a folder that I can look at when I want to. I moved facebook off my phone to not get distracted. I limited the notifications I get when on facebook-I don’t have everything in my newsfeed anymore. I am trying hard to ensure I exercise daily (harder here in MN in the winter as I prefer to be outdoors).
I am taking baby steps. Determining what really is important for ME to do with my social media. With MY business. What fits with MY authenticity not someone else’s definition of it. And I must say, it feels good. I feel like the I am starting to come back to who I was last year. I am more concerned with doing awesome work inspiring others (and being inspired in return) than fitting into the rat race. I want to make an impact in my community and with my clients.
Just like the winter turns into spring, the sun is starting to shine a little brighter in my world and it feels good.
To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential,
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