You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your sanity to achieve your goals
When it comes to ambition, it’s easy to let big visions overshadow our needs.
In fact, burnout is reaching epidemic levels in our workforce. In 2019, some studies estimated that more than two thirds of employees felt symptoms.
Unrealistic demands and a lack of work-life balance can be partly to blame, but so too can the acceleration of ambition.
In fact, it’s likely that the times when you’ve experienced the most severe burnout are, ironically, the times when you’re most trying to move your life forward to a healthier, happier, and more stable place.
You want to achieve a greater degree of financial freedom, then you are in for it.
You want a promotion, then you are embarking on a new project.
You want to take your brand to the next level, then you start to put all of your attention on media, tracking, and content.
None of this is problematic on its own, but what is starting to happen is that we assume our ambitions should be all-consuming. We know that big dreams take a lot of work to sustain them, but when does all of that hard work start to reach a tipping point and negatively impact our mental well-being?
More importantly, can we ever really justify this?
The answer is no.
Progress at the expense of your sanity is not real progress. It was the continuation of old patterns of behavior that got you stuck in the first place.
Sometimes the reason we don’t quite achieve what we want to be is not because we are incapable, but because we cannot push ourselves beyond our capabilities, beyond our abilities. limits and up to the limits of our long-term tolerance; it’s just not a sustainable way to exist.
Here’s how to determine if your goals are actually healthy for you.
How to determine what is a good goal for you
How do you select your goals?
If you’re like most people, you imagine what would look awesome and somewhat enjoyable or profitable, and find where those two things blend together.
You’re probably thinking about your elevator speech, your bio update on social media, what other people might think when they see you doing this or that.
However, none of this takes into consideration the daily routines and activities you need to engage in to achieve and maintain that goal. This is what to think about first.
Think about what your average day would be like and go from there.
If this aligns with your highest mental, emotional, and personal well-being, you probably have a lasting plan.
Decide what will do for you.
If you don’t decide what will be enough for your life, you simply will never be satisfied.
You have to make a decision on what you want your daily life to look like; what you absolutely must achieve to thrive and what you can do without; what you want to have or earn, and what you don’t like.
The clearer you are about what is enough for you, the more you will be able to begin to live by your own standards and find deeper (and genuine) fulfillment.
Get out of other people’s heads.
Instead, tune in to what you are feeling.
Rather than focusing on how others perceive your successes, instead focus on how they you feel while doing them. It’s your most accurate gauge of what you’re doing for the show, and what you’re doing because it’s genuine desire.
Set limits with yourself.
No matter what you do, be sure to set limits first.
We often feel that we need to set boundaries with our families, colleagues or clients, when in fact it is something that we have to do individually to begin with. When we set up routines when we are or are not available, what work we are or are not willing to do, etc. we end up teaching everyone we work with how to deal with us.
If we don’t respond to emails by 9 p.m., people quickly learn that we’re not available at that time. However, this limit begins with our own self-discipline, not waiting for everyone to magically stop texting you when you don’t want to be contacted.
Either way, you need to set the tone and pace for your own life and then honor it.
If you stick to it, others will too.