Back in June, I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Change Your Story, Change Your Life podcast with Louis Di Bianco. As I listen back to the interview, I am intrigued at how Louis walks his guests through the journey of their story and how a pivotal time in their lives led to a complete change. It's interesting how a journey can become so distracting, that we could potentially miss important breakthroughs, signs of things to come, or even an important message that we were supposed to receive at that particular time.
As an Impostor Syndrome survivor, my journey to success was riddled with self-doubt, fear, and feeling like I simply could NOT slow down. I worked. And worked. And worked, for the majority of my professional career; hoping that others around me would see my value, and were fooled into thinking that I deserved to be here, in this job. I carried this same exhausting work ethic into my roles of a wife and mother, as well. With the mix of Impostor Syndrome messaging, cultural implications, and the naive young girl inside of me who just wanted to 'be good' so that she could put her family back together; it was no wonder that I ran myself into the ground and my health started to deteriorate. My UCON (unique cocktail of needs), The Perfectionist/The Expert/The Superwoman, just wanted to show the world that 'success' was the answer to all of the breakdown from the past.
Check out the full interview at http://changeyourstorypodcast.com/imposter-syndrome/
What was the breakthrough that I finally discovered? What finally gave me the permission to slow down? The realization that it was NOT my job to fix everyone in my family. I needed to understand that choices made by my parents and my brother were NOT my doing, therefore I am not to carry the burden of trying to make it right. I also learned, that running myself into the ground was NOT helping ANYONE. I had to learn to slow down, and take care of ME, in order to be able to show up as my best self in all my roles. I needed to fill my cup first, before I could graciously pour into anyone else's. As it turns out, self-care an important component to effective leadership.
Mercer/Sirota echoed this sentiment in their Oct 2017 article titled, Leadership, Stress and, the Importance of Self-Care. Dr. Patrick Hyland, writer of the article, noted, "Feeling stressed by your management responsibilities? If so, you’re not alone. In our latest norms, we found that just 67% of leaders and managers think the level of stress they experience at work is manageable; the other third was unsure or overwhelmed. A similar percentage said they struggle to maintain work-life balance. Just half of leaders and managers feel they have enough time to do a quality job, and only 48% feel they can detach from work. These results suggest that anywhere from a third to a half of leaders and managers are struggling to cope with the challenges of their job." (https://www.sirota.com/blog/leadership-stress-and-the-importance-of-self-care/)
Dr. Hyland goes on to offer 4 ways of recognizing and avoiding burnout:
1) Recognizing the warning signs: don't ignore the signs of chronic stress and fatigue in your mind and body
2) Rest and recover: create healthy boundaries to detach from work after-hours and on weekends
3) Reflect and reorient: challenge your thoughts and approach to work to identify where the stress comes from and inquire within yourself whether your overworking is truly necessary
4) Rebuild a More Resilient YOU: design a self-care plan that fits within your schedule and taps into the source of resilience within your own experience
In my book, Own Your Brilliance: Overcome Impostor Syndrome for Career Success, I share a step-by-step guide that includes self-awareness and care practices to stifle the negative thought patterns around the Impostor Syndrome experience. You see, the Impostor experience could play a role in driving the overachiever into burnout mode. The messaging is , "Don't stop. Don't slow down. Idle time is wasted time. If you stop, they will figure out that you're not as qualified as they thought, and will find someone else to take your place."
Sound familiar? Well then you must listen to this podcast and get your hands on a copy of my book by going to www.amazon.com/B07CBBNVT8.
You don't need to succumb to burnout to be successful. There IS a better way.