“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” – Anne Wilson Schaef
Are you the queen of perfectionism?
People could hardly stand to be around me. I was unbearable. Everything had to be done the way I did it, or it wasn’t done correctly.
But if you’re pitying the person on the receiving end of my perfectionism, know that I was harder on myself than anyone else. Everything had to be perfect, so I could never be satisfied with anything I did. Because, let’s face it, there’s no such thing as perfection.
As perfectionism took its toll on my health and well-being, I realized I needed to be okay with “good enough.” So I began to catch myself whenever I was being a perfectionist (which was almost all the time). I would stop what I was doing and say, “It’s okay if it’s good enough.”
At first I would find myself clenching my teeth while I declared, “Okay, it’s good enough! I’m done.” I would make myself move on, even when it was very challenging. But over time I relaxed and stopped clenching my teeth.
Still, there was a catch.
Just When I Thought I’d Moved Beyond Perfectionism, Guess What Happened?
After many years of “good enough”, I had gotten pretty good at catching any perfectionistic tendencies before they caused trouble. And then, I started dating my now-husband, Dean. He began to visit me in South Florida from his home in New York State. Maybe you can guess what happened!
From what I recall, it started with the dishwasher. Well, it’s my dishwasher so, of course, I would know the only right way to arrange the dishes in it. And my husband is a wonderful man, so he would load the dishwasher for me.
One day I opened the dishwasher to put something in. To my horror, it was in complete disarray. Things that should have been in the bottom rack were on the top, and vice versa. The big plates were blocking the water access, and… well, I could go on and on.
I hustled into the living room and said to Dean, “Can you come into the kitchen so I can show you how to load the dishwasher.” He just looked at me kind of amused. “Honey, I know how to load a dishwasher,” he said. To which I responded, “I believe that you know how to load your dishwasher, but this is my dishwasher, and I need to show you a few things.”
When he said calmly, “You know, it doesn’t have to be perfect,” that was when it hit me that my perfectionism had reared its ugly head. I paused for a moment. Then I laughed. “Okay!” I said, “Then can I show you how it can be good enough?”
We had a good laugh over that.
Luckily, in this situation, we were both able to have a sense of humor, so it actually brought us closer together instead of driving us apart.
Yet you probably know that the long-term results of rampant perfectionism aren’t nearly so benign.
Why Chronic Perfectionism Can Put You In Full-Blown Burnout
The impact of perfectionism is that you are never satisfied. Your energy is drained; you feel overwhelmed, like you’ll never catch up; you’re forgetful and have a hard time focusing; you have difficulty sleeping; and you lose your sense of enjoyment in life.
As well, some of the largest costs associated with perfectionism may be in terms of poor health. A longitudinal study following a sample of Canadians over 6.5 years showed that perfectionism predicted earlier mortality! This finding held even after controlling for other health risk factors such as pessimism and low conscientiousness.
Yes, perfectionism can cause you to die sooner than you would if you let go of it.
But for most of us, unrelenting perfectionism can be a recipe for chronic stress – a major contributor to burnout.
Let’s take a look at what’s going on beneath the veneer of perfectionism.
What’s Under The Mask Of Perfectionism
Underlying perfectionism is the fear that you’re not lovable if you make a mistake.
You feel that you won’t be or can’t be loved if you’re not perfect.
Most of us developed this belief early in our childhood; long before we were ever conscious of it. By the time you’re an adult, perfectionism is deeply etched into your being and taking a toll on your health and happiness.
You may not be satisfied with anything you do, convinced that no matter how hard you try it just won’t be good enough. You may also fear that someone will agree with you. The irony is that you will find whatever you’re looking for. So if you look for imperfections and believe they’re there, you’re going to find them.
Maybe you fear making a mistake. And when you do (because we’re human and we all make mistakes), you’re convinced you’re unlovable. You tell yourself you’re dumb; a fool; an idiot – leading you to feel even more unworthy of love, which causes you to stop caring for yourself. And so you drive your self-worth into the ground in a spiral of self-loathing.
Can you see how insidious this belief is?
Now let’s take a look at the remedy.
The Antidote To Perfectionism
Since Wikipedia defines perfectionism as “strain[ing] compulsively and unceasingly toward unobtainable goals, and measur[ing] … self-worth by productivity and accomplishment,” you can see how you unwittingly tank your feeling of self-worth when you don’t measure up.
And lack of self-worth means you’re not loving yourself. You can’t love what you don’t value.
Thus, the remedy to perfectionism and its accompanying feeling of being unlovable is surprisingly simple, yet powerful:
Love and care for yourself no matter what.
Here are examples of what I mean:
- Schedule time for self-care such as soaking in a hot bath, reading your favorite book, or getting a massage
- Exercise daily; even a 10-minute walk will support your well-being
- Eat nutritious food
- Establish a practice of saying affirmations daily
Here’s a powerful affirmation that’s appropriate to perfectionism:
“I give up being perfect for being authentic. All parts of me are lovable, and it’s safe to share them. Authenticity is the key to genuine connection with myself and others.”
Through the years, I’ve coached many clients who were perfectionists. By focusing on self-love and self-care, they’ve been able to release the need to be perfect and the seriousness of purpose that accompanies it. This has allowed them to embrace fun, joy, and authenticity more often and with greater ease.
I’ve put together a list of 23 of My Favorite Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes for you to refer to as you focus on self-love and self-care. Sign up here to receive this gift right away!
It’s Time To Let Go Of Your Perfectionism
You know perfectionism can wreck your health, put you into full-blown burnout, and rob you of the joy that’s your birthright.
It’s time to let it go. For your sake, as well as for the sake of people who love you and care about you.
As well, trust me when I say that people actually find you more lovable when you screw things up! When you’re authentically imperfect, you invoke your humanity. Others like to see that you too are human, because, let’s face it, it’s hard to be around a perfect person all the time.
I understand that letting go of your perfectionism may seem daunting. But I also know when you make a conscious commitment to yourself, your life will dramatically improve.
If you desire to be supported by me in your letting go, I encourage you to join my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout. I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life again…
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life
Join me by clicking here to sign up for my next From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.
“I’m self-sufficient, I don’t need anyone, and I can get things done on my own without any help.”
If this sounds familiar, you’re probably jeopardizing your mental health and heading down the path to burnout.
Yet if you can acknowledge that doing everything yourself is neither sustainable nor desirable, you’ll be able to course correct – and improve both your mental and physical health.
I know it can be scary to admit you can’t do everything yourself, because I’ve been there. I remember worrying: What if no one believes me when I finally profess how hard it is to do everything myself? Maybe I’m just a complete wuss. If I come clean about how hard this is, am I negating my accomplishments? What if no one wants to help me?
It’s really frightening!
But when I’d burned myself out and had to accept that I couldn’t do everything by myself anymore, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I began to heal.
Why Do You Feel You Have To Do Everything Yourself?
When you think about it, isn’t it astonishing how we women get the message we’re supposed to handle every last little thing without help?
We feel this way for a variety of reasons. Common ones are:
- You like to consider yourself an independent, capable woman, able to do it all on your own
- Your perfectionist self stops you from asking for support because it seems like nobody can do things as well as you
- Or your inner critic stops you from asking for support, telling you that you should be able to do it on your own
- Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that you truly can ask for support; you can delegate, you can be part of a team rather than continue to do life as a solo adventure
These are all things I’ve done, so I get it! My mother raised me to be independent. Don’t get me wrong; independence is a stellar quality. I just took it too far.
Rate Yourself On The “All By Myself” Scale
Using the reasons I mentioned above, let’s take a snapshot of where you are now on the “all by myself” scale. This isn’t meant to judge; rather, it’s for you to get an understanding of your current state.
So, on a scale of 0-10, rate how often you try to do things all alone:
0: Not at all, never
10: All the time, always
Remember, there is no right or wrong, good or bad place to be right now. This number gives you a baseline of information. Acknowledging this without self-judgment is the first step to beginning to shift it. You can change this.
When I was on the burnout cycle, I was 9 on the scale of 0-10 when it came to doing things all alone. Can you imagine? No wonder I was burned out.
Since you’re not stuck at any point on this scale, let’s consider how you can change.
Where Would You Like To Rate?
Using the same scale and reasons, above, think about where you would like to be in 90 days. Would you like to do everything yourself:
0: Not at all, never
10: All the time, always
After you set your goal, here are a couple of assessment questions to ask yourself:
- How will you know you’re there?
- What will you be doing or choosing differently?
I encourage you to set this target with a number so you have something tangible to aim for. By setting a target like this, you bring it into your conscious, daily awareness, which lets you focus on allowing yourself to be supported in order to create the change you want.
For instance, when I thought I was Superwoman and tried to do it all alone, I was paralyzed by exhaustion and overwhelm. However, when I began to understand myself more clearly, I realized that not only had I been punishing myself, but also pushing away others who wanted to contribute to me. Once this awareness dawned, I experienced more ease, increased energy, and greater connection with others, which improved the quality of my relationships.
In other words, I brought myself back from burnout. You can too.
How To Stop Doing Everything Yourself And Come Back From Burnout
The solution is disarmingly simple:
Ask for help from others.
Whether you’re at the office or at home, when you learn how to ask for help, you’ll feel relaxed and confident. You’ll free yourself up to tend to your most important priorities, and you’ll feel energized, clear, and focused. As well, you’ll be calm, easy-going and peaceful; sleeping like a baby and wake up rested, engaged in, inspired by, and passionate about your life.
Any time you ask for support, you’re practicing a powerful form of self-love. You’re telling yourself and the Universe that you care enough about yourself to get help with whatever you are attempting to do, instead of letting yourself struggle alone with the weight of the world on your shoulders. This support also adds balance to your life, because you now have more time for self-care and the things you enjoy.
You’ll create more of what you desire in your life – without burning out.
Remove The Blocks Holding You Back
I know what you’re thinking…
“Whitney, I feel so blocked about asking for help.”
Simple though asking for support may be, there’s often a bunch of gunk that keeps you from reaching out. So, let’s dive in and de-gunk!
A. First think of a situation where you could use some help.
B. Then ask yourself these 4 questions:
- What keeps you from asking for support?
- What stops you from delegating a task?
- What would it be like to delegate?
- How might you delegate?
C. Take a few minutes to jot down your answers.
D. Next, write down your answers to the following questions:
- If you were to get someone’s support, what would the benefits be for you?
- What could you delegate and get support with, even if it’s something small to start?
Give this exercise a try. Then, consider your responses to the following questions and comment below:
Are you willing to delegate 1 small thing this week?
And if so, what is that 1 thing?
It’s Time To Get Support
Now that you know why getting support is vital, and how you can ask for it, I want you to imagine the new beliefs you’ll be able to tell yourself:
“I ask for help when I need it. I receive support as a way to care for myself. I support my happiness and well-being when I accept help.”
You’ll feel calmer and more at ease when you relax into the benefits of receiving help. No longer will you be overwhelmed and racing down the road to burnout.
Life will feel joyful again – and you’ll feel satisfied, knowing you’ve taken vital steps to restore your wellness.
It’s time to reach out and ask for help. And speaking of help, sign up for my email list to receive regular tips and techniques to bring you back from burnout and into balance. I look forward to supporting you!
Oprah once wrote, “Value yourself more.”
And the best way to do so? Take specific action to help yourself feel more valued.
I know it’s easier said than done. But the alternative – not valuing yourself enough – can lead to burnout; something no one wants for themselves.
Let me explain.
When you don’t take time for yourself each day; when you prioritize others’ well-being over your own, you’re not valuing yourself. You often end up not giving your body the attention and care it needs. You feel stressed and overwhelmed. You’re forgetful, and have difficulty focusing on or completing even the simplest tasks.
Plus, with all that stress, you can kiss a good night’s sleep goodbye.
Overwhelm; stress; poor sleep; forgetfulness; lack of focus; neglect of physical self-care: these are all signs of burnout.
And it can creep up on you almost before you realize what’s happening.
How You Can Devalue Yourself Without Even Realizing It
A few years ago, I had a self-care routine that was working great for me. I was healthy, happy, nourished and nurtured physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then little by little, I let the demands of work erode my self-care until I had stopped scheduling “me” time and began to put work ahead of my own needs. I didn’t value myself enough to be my own priority – even though I knew better.
The slow but steady erosion of caring for myself was all it took for me to go off balance then burn out. Likewise, if you don’t guard your own “me” time, it could easily disappear, putting you on the path to burnout.
When You Question Your Worthiness
As I mentioned above, there are substantial costs of not valuing yourself. If you’re already dealing with or feeling the costs such as overwhelm, sleeping poorly, and not enjoying yourself, you may never actually create all that you desire. Then you end up wondering, why aren’t I getting what I want?
Well, how can you expect to get all that you’re asking for if on some level, you’re questioning your worthiness? When you don’t value yourself, you continue to hit glass ceilings with income, intimacy, and your overall ability to influence your entire life.
How Much Do You Value Yourself Right Now?
Here’s a simple, quick exercise you can do as an assessment of how much you currently value yourself.
First, on a scale of 0-10, rate how much you feel that you value yourself. Valuing yourself includes such activities as eating nourishing food, taking time for a walk in your favorite place, or meditating or other spiritual practice.
0: Not at all, never
10: All the time, always
Know that there is no right or wrong, good or bad answer. This number gives you a baseline – a snapshot of where you are at this moment.
Second, take a few minutes to hone in and get specific about where not valuing yourself shows up in your life. In your relationships? Career? Your physical health; food choices; financial health; with your family?
Acknowledging your current state, without judgment, is the first step to valuing yourself more.
The good news? You have the power to change your situation!
The Benefits Of Valuing Yourself
Let me lay out the benefits of valuing yourself and how that ties into balance and the deepening of self-love:
Your self-care practice is the demonstration of self-love. Then, the impact your practice has is that as you’re loving yourself, and as you’re valuing yourself, everything around you begins to change.
You begin to feel more relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to your most important priorities. You’re more energized, clear, and focused. You feel calmer and more peaceful.
Instead of being a stressed-out insomniac, you sleep like a baby and wake up rested. You’re happy, inspired by, and passionate about your life.
Best of all, you’re able to create more of what you desire!
For instance, you may actually begin to experience more intimacy with your romantic partner because you’re valuing yourself; that is, you’re being more intimate with yourself, leading you to more intimacy with your partner.
Because you’re taking time to love yourself, you’re resonating at a higher vibration. You’re more easily able to attract a soulmate (if you’re looking for one); or new clients, business opportunities, and just good things in general. All this is possible when you take the time and make the commitment to value yourself.
Keep reading; there’s more!
How Much Would You Like To Value Yourself?
Remember that scale from the exercise above?
Now, think about where you would like to be on the same scale in 90 days. How much more would you like to value yourself?
Here it is again:
0: Not at all, never
10: All the time, always
I ask you to set this target with a number so you have something to aim for. By setting a target like this along with acknowledging where you are now, you bring “value myself more” into your conscious, daily awareness. This helps you prioritize your time and commitment to truly create the change you want.
To start, I recommend setting aside 15 minutes each day for your self-care practice. Put the 15 minutes into your calendar and treat it as sacrosanct. The best way to show yourself and those around you that you are serious about valuing yourself is to honor the 15 minutes of self-care. Be like a fierce mama bear – nobody can take this special sacred time away from you!
“If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. But if you schedule it, it’s real.” – Tony Robbins
To help you, I’ve put together a list of 23 of My Favorite Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes – simply sign up here to receive it right away. I don’t want you to be stuck in trying to create a self-care practice and delaying your “me” time. I’m here for you!
“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get.” – Oprah Winfrey
What are you grateful for?
When Oprah says the more grateful you are, the more you get, she’s right. And that includes more healing to help you recover from burnout.
I know what you’re thinking…
“Can practicing gratitude really help me get over being burned out?”
Truth is: yes, it can.
The organization Workplace Strategies For Mental Health cites numerous cases of people whose burnout recovery has been supported by writing daily in a gratitude journal to help them refocus their mind on the positive aspects of their life.
And digging deeper into the research uncovers some undeniable facts. Let’s take a look.
The Scientifically-Supported Benefits Of Gratitude
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California–Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. A number of years ago they published an article, “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being.
They followed several hundred people who were split into three groups and asked to keep daily diaries, as follows:
Group 1 – note events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things;
Group 2 – record their unpleasant experiences; and
Group 3 – make a daily list of things for which they felt grateful.
You’ll be astonished at the results.
Daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of:
- Optimism, and
In addition, those in the gratitude group:
- experienced less depression and stress,
- were more likely to help others,
- exercised more regularly, and
- made greater progress toward achieving personal goals.
These are all characteristics that will help you recover from – and prevent a recurrence of – burnout. And for ongoing support, click here to join my online community to receive weekly tips and advice.
What I’d Forgotten When I Was Burned Out
Several years ago, I found myself in full-blown burnout. I became so focused on trying to do too much that I stopped allotting time to my many feel-good practices, including feeling gratitude for all the blessings in my life. Then, when I was struggling with burnout, I felt frustrated: “Why me? Why am I so tired? Why can’t I do anything?”
I couldn’t muster gratitude for the burnout symptoms. All I could see were struggles and challenges. Blessings were nowhere to be found.
Does this sound familiar? You look at your life, and all you see is the negative.
Then, during one of my Somatic Experiencing practices, when I began to listen to my body, but this time with an intense desire to heal from burnout, I received a message that holding on to frustration was not going to support my healing. That message was a wake-up call for me.
Just then, a book on my inspirational bookshelf caught my eye. I hadn’t looked at it in more than a decade, yet it called to me. The book is titled Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
As I read through the first several pages of the book, the January 13th essay header, “Gratitude: Awakening the Heart,” grabbed my attention. The phrase, “The more I focused on lack and on what I couldn’t have, the more depressed I became. The more depressed I became, the more I focused on lack,” leapt out at me.
Can you can relate?
I’d spent day after day horizontal, struggling with burnout, feeling ever more depressed while focusing on what I couldn’t do. I was trapped in the cycle Sarah described.
Sarah went on to say, “At that moment I acknowledged the deep longing in my heart. What I hungered for was an inner peace that the world could not take away… I looked at my life with open eyes. I saw that I had much for which to be grateful. I felt humbled by my riches and regretted that I took for granted the abundance that already existed in my life. How could I expect more from the Universe when I didn’t appreciate what I already had?”
It was as though she was speaking directly to me. I, too, wanted that inner peace. But I had been taking for granted the abundance that was already in my life.
In short, I had forgotten to be grateful.
How Gratitude Helped Me Recover From Burnout (And Can Help You Too)
Writings by Christine Breese, DD, PhD, further confirm that a gratitude practice can help you with your emotional well-being. According to Dr. Breese, “… the practice of gratitude and appreciation is a powerful way to create a positive reality”. That’s what I wanted to create! I was determined to create a positive reality for myself.
As part of my healing-from-burnout journey, I began counting my blessings and choosing to refocus on being grateful for what I had, instead of what I lacked. Each day I wrote down 3 to 10 things that I was grateful for in my journal. My discovery of research showing the benefits of a gratitude practice inspired me to be consistent with my attitude of gratitude. Although it was difficult for me at first, that mental state has grown stronger with use and practice.
Through a consistent practice of gratitude, I started experiencing a greater sense of well-being. I felt less depressed, less stressed, more aware and motivated, and increasingly optimistic. Upon reflection, I now see that by giving thanks, I was also receiving that which I was giving thanks for in even greater abundance.
If you’re burned out, chances are you have a Type-A personality. You’re always on the go; forever busy. You don’t slow down to actually receive. Yet there is something powerful about practicing gratitude, not as yet another item on your to-do list, but as an invitation to slow your pace and receive all the blessings in your life.
With gratitude, you acknowledge the goodness in your life. In the process, you’ll realize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside yourself. As a result, gratitude can help you connect more strongly to something larger than yourself — your higher power.
Are You Ready To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude?
As you acknowledge appreciation for what you’re given, the Universe sees fit to give you more to be grateful for. You’ll manifest more good things in your life. This has been true for me, and I have no doubt it can be true for you too. In fact, research shows that people who are more grateful are happier, more satisfied with their lives, and less likely to suffer from burnout.
What’s 1 thing you’re grateful for? Comment below.
It’s so easy to get started with a gratitude practice… by sharing below!
“That was dumb!”
“You can’t do anything right! What’s the matter with you?”
“What an idiot I am.”
Does this sound familiar?
If so, you’re not alone! This is something I, too, used to struggle with. In fact, my critical self-talk contributed in a huge way to my burnout several years ago. But I brought myself back. That’s why I’m so committed to supporting you in overcoming your inner critic and creating the life you want.
And if you have an inner critic that scolds, criticizes, and cuts you down all day long, you’ll want to keep reading.
The Reason Negative Self-Talk Can Burn You Out
Quantum physicists have discovered that your thoughts and words create your reality, meaning that your negative self-talk physically impacts you. Especially if you take heed and believe it!
Words carry energy and vibration, just like anything else. Harsh words and thoughts are the basis for disease and dis-harmony. When you criticize yourself and dwell in negativity, you trigger symptoms of stress such as physical and emotional exhaustion, forgetfulness, lack of focus, anxiety, depression, irritability, and anger… and you may eventually burn out.
This is the bad news. But now let’s take a look at the good news.
This One Practice Can Reprogram Your Self-Talk
Happily, when you choose different words and thoughts, you also choose to create a different reality. This is why affirmations are so powerful for reprogramming negative self-talk.
Affirmations are positive statements you intentionally repeat in order to affect your subconscious and conscious minds, and to support feelings of well-being. They also empower you. When used regularly, affirmations shift your mindset so you can overcome your negative self-talk and actually create the life you desire.
They work because your subconscious mind is 90% of your total mind; therefore, your subconscious has the greatest influence to bring about whatever it is you wish to create. And because your subconscious mind will never question new thoughts that you introduce into it, affirmations are the perfect way to replace limiting beliefs with more empowering ones.
So let’s get your subconscious working for you rather than against you.
3 Essential Elements Of Effective Affirmations
In order for affirmations to be as effective as possible for you, they need three key elements:
- Say them in the present tense
- Say them out loud
- Connect them to the emotion
Say Affirmations in the Present Tense
In order for affirmations to work most effectively, they must be worded in the present tense because change only happens in the present. This ensures that your subconscious mind goes to work on them right away, and it is easier to generate the necessary emotions and visualizations that support your affirmations.
Say Affirmations Out Loud
Speak the affirmations out loud because the spoken vibration of the words more directly creates your new experiences.
Connect Affirmations to the Emotion
Connect with the emotion of the words you’re speaking because the Universe responds to what you’re feeling and uses that to create your reality. When you read your affirmations out loud, allow yourself to feel the emotion attached to each, whether it’s excitement, gratitude, or another feeling. This way, it’s not just a mental activity; you truly embody the emotions inherent in each affirmation.
See how these three elements all reinforce each other to create a powerful affirmation?
5 Powerful Affirmations For You
To get you started, here are 5 powerful affirmations you can say to start creating the life you want. They are:
- “I am powerful.”
- “I am a contribution to others by being my authentic self.”
- “I am beautiful and lovable, just as I am.”
- “I love the person who I am.”
- “I am worthy of receiving love and care from myself and others.”
Say them at least once daily, and preferably twice or more. Being consistent will enhance their effect. Read them out loud while tapping into your emotions and having fun with them. Fun is especially important! The more joy and fun you bring into every experience, the more you will attract joyful and fun things into your life.
Notice that these 5 affirmations are powerful because they are in the present tense. They are also most effective when you speak them out loud while connecting with the attached emotion.
And when you sign up for my email list, you’ll receive ongoing support and tips just as valuable as these affirmations.
Affirmations Can Heal
Positive affirmations can support you to heal on all levels: body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
When you choose to be kinder and more loving to yourself by incorporating affirmations into your day, you’re supporting yourself to heal by becoming more mindful of what and how you want to do, be, and feel. You’ll be amazed by the healing that can occur when you take charge of that which is within your sphere of influence.
We say some harsh things to ourselves. Sometimes, we berate ourselves over and over – causing us chronic stress that can lead to full-on burnout.
I encourage you to update your self-talk with more positive and empowering thoughts, in order to transform limiting beliefs into limitless ones.
What’s 1 of your favorite affirmations? Let me know in the blog comment section below.
Post YES below if you’re going to start using these affirmations today.
I look forward to hearing how affirmations support you to avoid burnout and create the life you desire.
If you search Google for advice on how to avoid burnout, you’ll find a lot of articles with many tips and strategies.
The problem is, when you’re already stressed out and teetering on the edge of burnout, you don’t really have the energy to learn and apply a myriad of strategies. What if they don’t work for you? Then you’ve got to start over, only then you’re that much closer to burnout.
Here’s the truth:
Avoiding burnout takes one word.
I know what you’re thinking.
It can’t be so simple.
But it really is. Let’s take a look.
This Is The One Word That Can Keep You Out Of Burnout
If you’re like most women, you’re probably used to doing everything you’re asked to do – and do it very well – but each time you add on a new commitment or responsibility, you heap more stress into your life… and chronic stress can lead to burnout.
I bet my experience will resonate with you: in my local community, I served on a couple of boards and chaired several committees. I kept agreeing to more assignments. Before long I had active roles on more than a dozen committees. Many of my waking hours were consumed with committee and board tasks. No matter how early I started or how late I stayed up, I never caught up.
Ironically, I had started my own business to give me flexibility in my life – but because I kept saying Yes, I had no time left for myself.
One morning I was so exhausted that I grabbed a bottle of what I thought were eye drops and dripped the liquid into my eyes. Imagine my shock when it turned out to be the wrong medication. It seared my eyeballs. I almost blinded myself.
Thankfully, after a trip to the doctor’s office, I recovered. But I was forced to acknowledge that I had seriously overcommitted myself. And I was no longer willing to keep saying Yes to everything being asked of me.
By now you can probably guess what the one simple word is that can keep you from burnout:
Short and sweet, right? But there’s a catch.
You have to be willing to say it.
When You Say One Thing But Mean Another
Isn’t it astonishing how many of us successful women say Yes when we really mean No?
You want to decline. You practice saying it out loud: “No”.
But when the time comes to say it, you can’t. There are many possible reasons: you don’t want to be disliked; you feel guilty; or, you believe you should be helping others. Perhaps you don’t value yourself and your time.
Then, once again, you find yourself saying Yes when your entire inner voice is shouting NO!
If you’re challenged to say No to other people, you’re not alone. Many successful women I know have this issue.
When you say Yes when you really mean No, there’s usually more going on beneath the surface. Perhaps you want to please others, or you feel so guilty about saying No that Yes slips out in its place.
Nearly blinding myself because of a mistake made as a result of chronic stress taught me how important it is to say No when I need to, and to only say Yes when I really mean it.
Not only does this keep me in integrity with other people, and myself, I was able to stop feeling depleted and resentful. I made it my mission to learn how to say No… and Yes, when I truly wanted to… and to let go of my people-pleasing behavior.
I don’t want you to reach the point where you’re so exhausted and close to burnout that you nearly blind yourself, like I did.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take right away to shift yourself from overcommitted and on the path to burnout to back in balance in your life.
How To Go From Yes To No
Though it sounds counterintuitive, the best way to begin to say No is to actually acknowledge the times when you want to say it but are tempted to say Yes. The act of acknowledging a behavior actually frees you from its grip. Once you acknowledge these Yes/No times, you’ll find it easier to say No when you choose to.
Be sure to celebrate each time you say No. Each celebration will build your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be saying No easily and gracefully – as well as saying Yes with confidence and certainty because you mean it.
But what about those commitments you already made? How can you gracefully release them?
You can do what I did:
Reach out to have conversations with the people you said Yes to. Tell them you want to re-negotiate your agreements. You don’t need to give a long explanation. “Some changes have come up” is good enough.
Seek a win both for you and the other person, so they know you’re negotiating in good faith.
Have a clear vision of the outcome you desire. Then go for it!
The Importance Of Saying No
I can’t stress enough that when you aren’t able to say No to others, you end up saying No to yourself. In essence, you aren’t valuing your own time. And when you don’t value your time, you end up without the resources to take care of yourself and to create the life you desire.
How can you create what you desire if you’re always saying Yes to other people instead of what’s most important to you?
You end up feeling resentful, annoyed, and frustrated. You also end up depleted, drained, and on the path to burnout.
To help you, here are three tips about saying no:
- When you say no, an explanation is not required… nor necessary. Giving an explanation can also sound like an excuse.
- No apologies are necessary. Be strong and confident when you say no… be empowered.
- If you want to know how to say an empowered no with love, try this: “I would really like to support you; however, right now I’m not able to.”
Learning to say No can change your life…and prevent burnout.
I’m Here For You
I know it can be hard to break a long-time pattern of saying Yes even when you’d rather say No.
You may find it challenging to say No at first, especially if you’ve already agreed to a commitment. However, once you make yourself your first priority, you’ll experience how life-giving it is to say Yes to you. Your first priority has to be to yourself.
As a self-care expert, I support women to help them learn to say No: no to overcommitment, chronic stress, and burnout. My own experience coming back from severe burnout has given me deep empathy for women in your situation.
It’s time to say Yes once more – to yourself.
Post your response to any or all of the following questions in the blog comments section below…
What’s your #1 challenge with saying NO?
Give me a YES if starting today you’re going to look at where you need to say NO!
What’s the 1 place or relationship where you’re going to start saying NO?
For ongoing advice and strategies to keep you in balance and out of burnout, be sure to subscribe to my email list. This is one time you won’t want to say No! 🙂