How I Use My White Privilege to Stand for Love, Compassion, and Racial Equality

What do you think of when you hear the words “white privilege”?

They make some people shift uncomfortably in their seats. I think this is because it doesn’t get discussed enough.

In this social climate, following the recent tragedies of racial injustice — George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — it’s time to unpack white privilege.

It’s important to not only understand what white privilege is but also how you can use it as a resource in the stand for equality and justice.

What Is White Privilege?

White privilege is defined as “institutional and cultural preferential treatment and exemption from racial and national oppression” for white people (Racial Equality Tools). 

Unfortunately, in a society as free as ours, racism still exists. People of color experience prejudice that white people don’t. And it’s black people, like Tamir Rice, Atatiana Jefferson, and Eric Garner, who have suffered from racial discrimination.

As a white person with white privilege, I move through the world differently and in many ways unhindered as compared to a person of color.

Examples of White Privilege (You May Not Know About)

White privilege exists in ways you may never have realized before. It exists in seemingly minor and mundane things:

  • Finding makeup in your skin tone
  • Finding hair products for your hair texture
  • Reading books and watching movies with characters that share your life experience.

White privilege can also determine how people perceive you — judgment based entirely on the color of your skin. I can walk around my neighborhood without people thinking I don’t belong. When a police officer pulls me over, I don’t immediately fear for my life. I have the privilege of carrying on with my day without thinking about how people will perceive me because of my skin tone.

But what if you’re Black?

Shola Richard, a workplace civility activist, explains how he always brings his daughter and dog when walking around his neighborhood. When people see him, he’s just like any other “loving dad and pet owner.”

But everything changes when he’s alone. Instead, people see him as an “athletically-built black man in a cloth mask who is walking around in a place where he doesn’t belong.”

We see instances of white privilege every day, yet some white people close their eyes.

Why Some White People Stay Silent

What if your white privilege can help you create the positive change you want to see in your community? Click To Tweet

The concept of white privilege is uncomfortable for most white people. 

A common criticism is that not everybody who is white has overtly benefited from white privilege. And many white people who achieve success believe it’s entirely because of their hard work.

Here’s what Teaching Tolerance has to say about it:

“White privilege is not the assumption that everything a white person has accomplished is unearned …  Instead, white privilege should be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one’s level of income or effort.”

Built-in advantages, like employers choosing a resume with a more white-sounding name or being approved for a home loan because you come from a “white neighborhood.”

White privilege can be difficult to digest. You probably feel ashamed or guilty. 

But what if you can turn that shame into determination? What if you can use white privilege as a resource — a resource to help you stand for equality and compassion? What if your white privilege can help you create the positive change you want to see in your community?

This is how I do it.

How I Use my White Privilege to Stand for Racial Equality

I Call Out Injustice When I See It

When I see tragic headlines, like the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin, I call it out.

I do my research. I talk about it with my family. I share it with my friends across social media.

We must shine a light on injustice and stand for positive change and accountability.

We have a voice and our voice has power. 

Use your voice to raise awareness and stand for equality.

I Teach Love and Compassion

I can never fully empathize with the hardships that a person of color experiences. But this inability to fully empathize does not mean I should do nothing.

What I can do is use my platform to teach self-love and self-compassion. Because your circle of influence starts with you. When you learn how to love yourself and be compassionate to yourself, you can slowly push that circle outward.

You have more power to help others. 

You have more space in your mind and heart to lift other people.

You can take that compassion and love for yourself and share it with others.

And in these times of social unrest, we need compassion more than ever because positive change is rooted in kindness and a willingness to help others.

I Empower YOU So You Can Empower Others

In my articles, I often talk about self-care. And I do my best to address women who are busy professionals and entrepreneurs.

The landscape has changed for women. We’re feeling overwhelmed with life more than ever.

But when we neglect our health, everything collapses. When women are burned out, unfulfilled, and unhappy, society declines.

That’s why  I use the various experiences and knowledge I’ve accumulated to empower you through self-care. Because self-care is what encourages you to be:

  • Physically healthy
  • Mentally sharp
  • Emotionally resilient

I want you to feel powerful so that you can make beautiful changes in your own life and have the strength and resources to create positive change in other peoples’ lives.

I empower you so that you can empower others.

In the comments below, use your voice now to share one thing you’re doing to create positive change in your own life and/or the lives of others.

Become an Ally

Spreading awareness about racial equality starts with becoming aware yourself. Begin with educating yourself about racial equality and anti-racism. After you do this, you can then learn how to use your resources to spread equality and compassion. 

And if you’re called to be an activist, you can use your white privilege to your advantage as you ally with those who suffer from racial prejudice and discrimination.

To learn more about racism towards people of color, here’s a list of anti-racist resources for becoming a white ally. If you haven’t already, help spread the message of Black Lives Matter and sign this public open letter to end racism and stop police brutality.

Also, sign up for my email list to receive valuable and actionable tips on self-care and living your best life — because creating positive change in other people’s lives starts with how you treat yourself.

Why Productivity Is the Key to Managing Your Energy (Optimize Your Energy, Part 2)

Managing your energy is a lot like managing your finances.

If you want to be in good financial health, learn how to budget your money. If you want to do the things you desire, learn how to manage your energy.

But now that you’re in quarantine, it’s so easy to be wasteful with your energy.

Hitting the snooze on your alarm five times. Scrolling on your phone throughout the day. Staying awake past midnight. Watching TV as a couch potato, instead of exercising.

We’re experiencing a new phenomenon where coronavirus-related stress is affecting our energy and motivation. 

Behavioral health therapist Dr. Jane Pernotto Ehrman calls it coronavirus quarantine fatigue. “This kind of fatigue drains our motivation,” she says, “We just want to go lie down on the couch and do nothing. Because of these difficult situations, we’re in a kind of shock and we don’t know what to do.”

Being stuck at home makes you more vulnerable to these energy sappers. And although they may seem minor, they can snowball into a serious problem. 

Because if you don’t get a handle on it, you’ll encounter more than a dip in your energy and productivity. You’ll experience:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Racing thoughts
  • Poor focus
  • Signs of burnout

Poor energy management keeps you from creating and living the life you want. Last week, we learned how self-care can boost your energy. Now, I’ll show you how to budget your energy levels with a few productivity tips.

(And yes, all these tips can be done at home!)

Ready? Let’s begin.

How to Manage Your Energy Using These 4 Productivity Tips

#1 Master Your Environment

Ever tried focusing when your desk is in shambles? How can you work when piles of paperwork and unwashed mugs sit on a light coating of dust?

It’s more than distracting. It’s inefficient.

Each time you look for an unfiled document, you lose energy.

Each time an unwashed mug grabs your attention, you lose energy.

Each time you have to shuffle your clutter around, you lose energy.

Don’t let unnecessary clutter sap your focus, energy, and creativity. 

Before you sit down to work, take a few minutes to declutter your space. If you’re now working from home due to coronavirus, a dedicated workspace that is clutter-free is even more critical to preserving your focus. When your space is free from distracting elements, you can better focus on the task at hand.

#2 Understand Your Peaks and Dips

Ever notice how at certain times of the day, you’re ready to conquer the world? And then at other times, you’re ready for a power nap?

That’s because your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day — understanding how they rise and fall is key to optimizing your energy. You can do this by listening to your circadian rhythm.

Your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day — understanding how they rise and fall is key to optimizing your energy. You can do this by listening to your circadian rhythm. Click To Tweet

“Your circadian rhythm,” according to the National Sleep Organization, “is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals.”

Everybody’s circadian rhythm is different. It’s why early birds feel most productive in the morning and night owls work better during the evening.

Understanding your circadian rhythm helps you learn how to manage your energy levels throughout the day. You’ll want to save your cognitively demanding tasks, like writing or planning, for when your energy is highest. Similarly, you’ll want to save your less demanding tasks, like answering emails, for when your energy dips.

What does your circadian rhythm look like? How can you use it to structure your workday for maximum energy and productivity?

#3 Clean Up Attention Residue

If you still believe that multitasking is efficient, think again. Studies show that multitasking is actually wasteful with your energy and productivity.

Dr. Sophie Leroy observed that each time you switch between tasks, your focus experiences a type of lag. “This is what I call Attention Residue,” she says, “when part of our attention is focused on another task instead of being fully devoted to the current task that needs to be performed.”

Let’s look at an example.

You’re working on a project, but you’re notified of a new email. You check it out but reread it a few times because your mind is still stuck on the project you were just working on. After you respond to the email, you return to your project. You take a few moments, however, to figure out where you left off and your next step before getting started.

This is just one example. If you’re transitioning from working in the office to working at home, you’re exposed to even more distractions — laundry, dishes, and children just to name a few. Switching back and forth between tasks is often tempting but it wastes bits of your energy. To help you clean up attention residue, use task batching and time blocking.

Task batching is when you group similar tasks, like answering emails or editing a paper. Time blocking is when you dedicate a slot in your calendar to complete a specific task. 

These strategies will help you be more mindful of how you’re spending your energy and where you’re directing your focus.

#4 Start Outsourcing or Delegating

Here’s the reality: there’s no way you can do everything yourself.

Trying to do everything yourself can lead to coronavirus quarantine fatigue and feeling overwhelmed with life.

Your time and energy are limited. But that shouldn’t discourage you from getting your priorities completed. Instead of doing everything yourself, start relying on others.

Outsourcing or delegating your responsibilities is an efficient way to manage your energy while getting things done.

If you’re a business owner, there are several business operations you can outsource:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Bookkeeping
  • Copywriting
  • Customer service
  • Human resources

Outsourcing these processes frees up your time and energy for things that you enjoy, like serving your clients or business development.

You can even delegate or outsource at home. Your spouse and children can help out with the household chores. Or instead, you can hire a housekeeper to tidy your home while you’re at work or a cleaning service to come in periodically.

Your energy levels are finite. But when you start outsourcing, you tap into the energy pools of other people. This neat productivity tip gets your priorities done without overextending yourself!

Productivity is Only One Part of the Equation

As I mentioned above, this article is part two of a two-part series on energy optimization. (Link to Part one at bottom of article.) The productivity tips I shared help you better utilize your energy. But productivity tips do little when your energy baseline is low from exhaustion and stress.

Productivity is only one of two keys to optimizing your energy. The other key is self-care.

As you work on better managing your energy, remember to take care of your body. Regular self-care can expand your energy baseline, improve your mood, and protect you from coronavirus quarantine fatigue.

To help you build self-care into your daily routine, take advantage of my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

This practice has been shown to:

  • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
  • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
  • Reduce or even stop worrying

Click here now to claim your free gift of my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

Go here to read Part One: Feeling Tired All the Time? Try These 4 Self-Care Tips (Optimize Your Energy Pt. 1)

Unexplained Fatigue: 2 Tips (From an Intuitive Empath) to Help You Cope

I have been working from home for as long as I can remember – at least 30 years! When COVID-19 forced most of the world to stay home or work from home, it didn’t change this for me. 

What the appearance of COVID-19 did change for me is that I began to feel so tired all the time. I went to sleep earlier and got up later, thinking I was pushing myself too much. However, the more I slept, the more I felt that I needed to sleep. I didn’t feel ill or anxious in any way, therefore I was uncertain as to what was happening. And I was experiencing pain that periodically shifted from one location in my body to another.

I needed an answer to this unexplained fatigue and fast!

Seeking Help to Heal From My Unexplained Fatigue

So, I had a healing session with a colleague. Through that experience I got in touch with how I was taking on other people’s stuff and it was manifesting as physical sensations and pain. My colleague helped with some healing, but it was still there. As an empath, at times I can feel what others are experiencing emotionally. What was odd about this was that I didn’t feel any angst on an emotional level, yet there it was in physical form. This was the first time I was aware of this happening. 

For the past couple of years I’ve been using some practices that empower me to help myself. These come from Access Consciousness, an organization known worldwide for creating transformational life changing tools and processes to empower people to know what they know. 

As a result of this recent empathic experience, my coach reminded me of an Access tool called “Who Does This Belong To” that allows me to distinguish between and release unwanted thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are not mine. This tool is simple and easy, so I began practicing it in my daily life. And it has made all the difference for me. No more pain! No more unexplained fatigue!

I was so glad that I had finally asked for support. It is so important in these challenging times to ask for and to receive support from others, because it could be just what we need.

I realized that I had this incredible experience right now because living in the midst of a pandemic, emotions are amplified with heightened fear, heightened contraction, and heightened anxiety. And I wonder how many other women have been having similar experiences without being aware that they are taking on other people’s stuff.

Because an empath is someone who is so highly aware of the emotions of those around them, that they actually feel those emotions themselves. Empaths are intensely aware of others, their pain, and what they need emotionally. 

This is the number one trait of an empath. No matter what someone else near them is feeling, even if they aren’t showing it, empaths are likely to pick up on it immediately, actually feeling the emotion as if it were their own, like they were a sponge.

No matter what someone else near them is feeling, even if they aren’t showing it, empaths are likely to pick up on it immediately, actually feeling the emotion as if it were their own, like they were a sponge. Click To Tweet

But it’s not just emotions. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, empaths can feel physical pain, too — and can often sense someone’s intentions or where they’re coming from.

Have you been so busy that you haven’t had time to even acknowledge the physical, mental and/or emotional experiences and sensations you are having? If so, right now is a great time to pay attention to what’s going on in your body. And then get really present to that. 

According to Dain Heer, co-creator of Access Consciousness, “98% of your thoughts, feelings and emotions actually don’t belong to you.”

If you’ve been dealing with greater than usual fatigue or feel that you may be picking up on the emotional, physical or mental angst of those around you, check in with yourself and ask, “What is mine?” and “What am I taking on from others?” 

Then try the Access Consciousness tool called “Who Does This Belong To” that worked so well for me. 

Just ask, “Who does this belong to?”

If you feel lighter, then it’s not yours. 

If it’s not yours, say “I return this to sender with consciousness attached.” 

Do this whenever you feel emotional, physical or mental sensations and you’ll feel much lighter immediately. 

For more context around this, click here to see it explained by Dr. Dain Heer, co-creator of Access Consciousness.

You may find, after asking, “Who does this belong to?”, that the thought, feeling, or emotion does belong to you. If so, now more than ever it’s important to really get curious, to slow down, to check in with your body, and to ask questions.

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself:

  1. “What am I feeling?”
  2. “Where in my body am I feeling it?”
  3. “Is this real?” (This is helpful for times when you place a meaning on something, which may not be true. This question keeps you from holding on to uncomfortable emotions over something that isn’t so.)
  4. “What is this telling me?” (When you ask your body this question, it may respond with a word, a phrase, an image, a sensation…)
  5. “What does my body need from me?” (This question may get a similar response from your body as the previous question)

It can also be helpful to journal these questions, taking note of the responses you get and the actions you will take next. When you slow down and tune in this way, you are able to connect with your amazing body wisdom and get in touch with what your body needs from you.

I check in with myself daily. At times I forget, like when life gets busy. However, I have a way of reminding myself with a daily alarm. As an empath, it’s important to recognize my sponge-like nature. And it’s important to squeeze out the sponge every day! So instead of allowing it to detract from my life and my clients, I can use it in ways that contribute. 

Practices like “Who Does This Belong To” and body check-ins are just a couple of the tools I work with. My vast coaching toolkit is a great support to my clients. 

Although these tools are a great start to working with unexplained fatigue, anxiety, overwhelm and other symptoms, sometimes, more support is required. 

If you’re ready to get out of overwhelm so that you can thrive during this time, I’d love to help you. This week I have two spaces available for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session. 

In this 60-minute consultation you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session.

 

Getting Downright Real: What Self-Care REALLY Means

Everywhere you look, you can learn new ways to practice self-care — books, blogs, videos, podcasts. You’ll find catchy headlines like… 

10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself 

5 Self-Care Tips That Will Revolutionize Your Life 

20 Daily Habits to Upgrade Your Self-Care Routine 

Self-care is trending, and for good reason. It helps you stay grounded, empowered, and most importantly — free from signs of burnout.

However, the media is skewing our perception of self-care. What comes to mind when you hear the word “self-care?” You might think of spas, scented bubble baths, or a shopping spree. 

The media offers only a limited version of self-care. There’s so much more to learn about what self-care really means.

The Truth: What Self-Care Really Means

You might believe that self-care is an indulgence — eating that extra red velvet cupcake, blowing your money on that new makeup palette, or staying out late to socialize. 

More often, this is treating yourself rather than practicing self-care.  Self-care is about respecting your mind and body. It’s more than rest and relaxation. It’s also challenging yourself to grow into the person you want to become. It’s about setting personal goals and achieving them.

While self-care can be enjoyable — a relaxing massage or sugary treat — it can also be difficult and uncomfortable.  

Self-Care Is Not Always Pretty or Fun 

Self-care can be unglamorous. Sometimes, it can be downright scary. 

It might test your limits. It may cause discomfort. But that’s sometimes necessary if you want to respect your body and achieve your goals.  

Yes, self-care might look like a deep-tissue massage after a stressful work week. But it can also look like: 

  • Getting honest with yourself about your finances by creating a budget 
  • Having a challenging conversation with your significant other because you’re unhappy 
  • Letting go of a toxic friend because their negativity is affecting your well-being 
  • Heading to the gym, despite wanting to lounge at home 
  • Seeing a therapist to unearth your suppressed emotions and insecurities

Some of these situations nudge you to travel outside your comfort zone. You may want to retreat and hide from the world. 

But, you see… 

That’s the truth about self-care. It’s the uncomfortable things you choose to do that help you to grow.

How to Implement Real Self-Care In Your Life

You might still be grappling with this new definition of self-care. It may be different from anything you’ve read before. To help you come to terms with this revelation and apply it in your life, I propose the following tips: 

#1 Make Real Self-Care Non-Negotiable

Do you want to know the secret to making self-care stick — even the activities you don’t like doing?

Make it a daily habit.

Self-care isn’t something you do when you feel like it. It isn’t like scheduling that two-week vacation each year. 

It’s a daily commitment.

It means doing both the things you want to do and the things that you don’t want to do every day

Self-care is indulging in a scented salt bath and walking 10,000 steps. It’s dressing up to feel beautiful and going to bed on time for a restful night’s sleep.

Most importantly, self-care is understanding the relationship between small habits and life-changing results over time. However, this positive shift happens only when self-care is non-negotiable in your daily life.

#2 Get Clear On Your Values

Instead of thinking of self-care as a list of things to check off, try seeing it as a lifestyle that aligns with your values. 

Take a moment to pause and reflect on your values.

If your current values are focused on health, how would that affect how you practice self-care? Yoga and resistance training would make sense, but indulging in a decadent slice of chocolate cake would not.

What if one of your values is around being an empowered career woman? Self-care can look like attending a conference to improve your skills. Staying out late and compromising your sleep, however, would likely conflict with this value.

Real self-care is different for each woman. Your values might be different from mine. What’s important is that you identify what your values are and how you can cater your habits to manifesting them.

#3 Use Self-Care as a Compass, Not an Escape

Have you ever skipped a workout and treated yourself to a night in with Netflix and pizza instead? Or put off working on a project because you felt that you deserved to grab drinks with your friends?

If you do this routinely, you might be using self-care as an escape — an excuse to avoid your responsibilities.

This is not self-care. This is avoidance and procrastination… and can actually cause more stress than relief.

Rather, self-care activities align with the life you’re hoping to achieve. If you want to be more healthy and energetic, then exercise will serve you well. If you want to get that promotion at work, then staying productive without procrastinating aligns with that goal.

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination.

Share below the one thing that you know you need to do. Then let me know, is this the day you’ll take action on it?

Self-care is like a compass — the self-care habits you build will lead you to your destination. Click To Tweet

Get Started With Self-Love

Remember what I mentioned earlier about self-care being uncomfortable?

Here’s a question I have for you: Do you love yourself?

If you answered no, you’re not alone. Many women struggle with insecurities and low self-esteem. You might even feel that you’re undeserving of love from yourself.

But here’s the thing.

Self-care is both physical and emotional. You can apply a face mask to achieve glowing skin, but that does little to radiate genuine love towards yourself.

When you look in the mirror, I want you to love the woman looking back at you. To help manifest this in your reality, sign up for 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 and 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. It’s Free!

Perfectionism Can Burn You Out (But The Remedy Is Surprisingly Simple)

“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Are you the queen of perfectionism?

I was.

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. 

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… Click To Tweet

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
  • Meditate
  • 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. 

6 Ways To Overcome Burnout-Related Pessimism

The relationship between pessimism and burnout is like the classic “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” question.

Paradoxically, pessimism is one of the signs of burnout. Yet it’s also one of the conditions that, left unaddressed, can lead to burnout.

At first, pessimism may present itself as negative self-talk. Your normal perspective of seeing the proverbial glass as half-full may wane to a persistent glass half-empty attitude. 

And at its worst, pessimism can move beyond how you feel about yourself and extend to trust issues with coworkers and family members, along with a feeling that you can’t count on anyone.

Pessimism, along with its close counterpart cynicism, is an early warning sign of burnout. You simply can’t feel positive about what you’re doing when you’re overwhelmed by everything coming at you in your life — and it’s easy then to misdirect your feelings of anger and disappointment about this toward, well, pretty much everyone. 

Pessimism, along with its close counterpart cynicism, is an early warning sign of burnout. You simply can’t feel positive about what you’re doing when you’re overwhelmed by everything coming at you in your life Click To Tweet

Though you may normally feel enthusiastic about tackling new projects and taking on new hobbies, when pessimism takes over you’re unlikely to seek out new experiences because you believe there’s no point. You’re sure there isn’t any joy or interest to be found. And that belief sets up a vicious circle that mires you deeper in pessimism.

And pessimism isn’t just a mental state. It also produces stress hormones, so your physical health takes a hit too. Chronic activation of your stress-response system along with the overexposure to stress hormones can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including: anxiety, digestive problems, headaches, and heart disease. 

Which came first, burnout or pessimism? Truthfully, when you’re in the throes of burnout-related pessimism, you probably don’t care which came first. You just want it to be better. 

So let’s take a look at the six ways you can overcome pessimism and start to regain your cheerful outlook on life.

Pessimistic woman bursting gift of a balloon

#1 Stop negative talk. Start positive talk.

Speaking negatively about others or yourself will rob you of your optimism faster than ice melting in the desert. Stop the negative talk. Start positive talk. A tool that can be used to reprogram negative self-talk is affirmations. 

Affirmations are statements you repeat in order to affect your subconscious and conscious minds, and they power up your positivity. How do they work? The subconscious mind is 90% of your total Mind and therefore has the greatest influence over whatever it is you wish to create. By repeating affirmations out loud, daily, they influence your subconscious mind and help replace limiting beliefs with more empowering beliefs.

#2 Cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”

Sit with a notebook and a pen, and take time to write down all the things in your life you’re grateful for. No matter how small it may seem, it’s important to acknowledge what’s good in your life. Perhaps it’s appreciation for the comfortable bed you slept in last night. Or the scent of rain-soaked flowers that wafts in through your windows. When you look for things to appreciate, you’ll find them everywhere. This will increase your optimism and positive self-talk.

#3 Focus on the possibilities, not the impossibilities

You become pessimistic when you focus on what isn’t possible. All you see are huge obstacles in your way. You feel overwhelmed by problems, and can no longer see yourself as capable. 

Instead, focus your mind on the possibilities. Envision yourself overcoming even just one difficulty. Mentally walk yourself through the challenge, seeing yourself as capable and successful.

#4 Read inspiring stories

Remember how inspired you felt when you learned the stories of some of our most cherished heroes who persisted and achieved their dream? Recapture that feeling – read about Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, or Eleanor Roosevelt. Or whoever inspires you!

#5 Open your mind for new possibilities

If you’ve closed your mind to new possibilities, you can plunge yourself into pessimism. Be open to creating or allowing new perspectives to show you a variety of ways things could work out. You may discover that solutions to problems or life challenges come in unexpected ways that never occurred to you before. Prepare to be surprised and delighted!

#6 Get my complimentary “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice”

This practice has been shown to:

  • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
  • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
  • Reduce or even stop worrying

Get my complimentary “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice” here.

It’s Time To Regain Your Optimism

Being mired in the dreariness of burnout-related pessimism sucks the life out of you. You look ahead to the future and see…blah. Nothing inspiring. Your hope is gone, and you don’t seem to be able to get it back. 

I know; I’ve been there. 

But here’s the thing. 

Because I turned around my burnout with its relentless pessimism, I know you can too.

Use the tips I’ve given you. And stay connected, because I’ve got more good stuff for you.

You don’t have to face your pessimism and burnout alone. I’m here to help.

 

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