Who are you when you’re at your edge?
When you’ve got your mind in numerous places and you’re feeling pushed, stressed and like there’s not enough of you to go around?
Who are you when it seems that everyone wants a piece of you and no-one is willing to wait? When any answer you give just doesn’t seem to satisfy?
On most days, we deal easily with the multitude of priorities. Many people thrive on them and without them they’d be bored.
We often enjoy the complexities of conflicting priorities and the challenge of achieving and completing projects on time, to budget and to the highest quality.
But we all have our limit, the edge we reach when we’re finally depleted.
The person we become when that last question, demand, email or spilt milk is enough.
Who do you become then?
The most outwardly responsible leaders can find the responsibility of self-nourishment their greatest challenge.
If we’re not regularly taking care of ourselves – topping up our cup, refreshing and resetting, nourishing and nurturing, we will eventually hit our edge.
It can feel like a shocking jolt, or a long slide into exhaustion.
Running for the finish line, we tell ourselves it’ll all be fine when we get there…to the end of month target, the final week of school term, the project milestone, the next hire, Christmas..and on it goes.
But each time we get there, we rarely give ourselves a moment to refresh before stepping up to the next starting line.
The problem with this approach is that if we don’t consciously invest in nourishing ourselves as we run the race, our capacity and ability to engage, influence and build trust along the way is diminished. If we wait for the holiday to rejuvenate us, we’ll reach our limit long before then, stealing from one bucket to top up another, never giving anything our full attention.
Close to your edge may look like…
Giving your word to things and forgetting to deliver
Dismissing people harshly without realising it
Thinking about home when you’re at work, thinking about work when you’re at home
Feeling resentful, blaming or judging others more than usual!
Expecting others to make things right
Unable to unwind at night.
If we keep up the race without the pitstops to refresh, we’re headed for something much more detrimental than a missed target.
Dr Joe Dispenza, lecturer on neuroscience and author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, shares that most people wait for a wake up call before they wake up, but why wait?
Changing our patterns and learning to self-nourish can be one of the most challenging paths to take in this pressure cooker lifestyle. Who’s got time for self-care?
Failing at the impossible work-life balance rainbow in the sky, many people give up on self-care or alternatively, stick to their rigid routine.
Taking time to reflect on where the gaps are in our own Wellbeing Wheel, and then consciously choosing to top ourselves up in the areas that are important to us at the time, is my answer to work-life balance.
Rather than needing to have all areas of our lives working perfectly in balance, choosing where we want to invest our focus is what makes a real and meaningful positive difference when it comes to self-nourishment and self-care.
The Wellbeing Wheel was a piece by piece puzzle that came together for me as I took my journey from corporate burnout to holistic wellness.
The highest mountain to climb for me was this…
How do I keep giving all that I want to give, how do I keep contributing in the way I’m called to, and stay well, vibrant and healthy (physically, emotionally and mentally) at the same time?
How do I invest all of myself the way I want to, and not deplete myself?
Each time I thought I had the answer, it wasn’t the whole story. I discovered that the answer is a constant and complex web that requires us to take responsibility for ourselves in a way that is quite unfamiliar, even to those who consider themselves the most responsible.
Wellbeing is a very personal journey that begins with the willingness to let everyone else off the hook and step into 100% responsibility for knowing what we need and making time for it.
It’s a day by day choice that allows us to keep showing up as the best version of ourselves, leading, contributing to and empowering others from a full cup.
Maybe today is the day you take some time to reflect on the areas of your life you’d like to top up.