A friend of mine was chatting with me about fears and struggles in life — how these are a part of us, each and every day. Fear of loss of friendship, family, money, possessions, confidence —we have many fears. Struggles: we don’t see the way through, we don’t have enough, we can’t complete what we’d hoped we could.
Our professional life is the same. That realm is no different.
Those fears lead to insecurities, concerns, and overwork. We take on too much, then we — inevitably — fall behind. We ask ourselves why we can’t finish these 8 projects, respond to 80 emails in a day, be in 4 hours of meetings each day, and work on that side project that we told ourselves we’d get done two Wednesdays ago. Then we push ourselves even further because we think “I need to do more to catch up.” So we burn both ends of the wick and don’t realize what’s burning up.
Why are we surprised? We see this cycle in life enough, but it catches us off guard.
These then hemorrhage into all areas of life. There is a union of our lives; the idea of separate folders or silos of life is a misnomer. Work is not the only thing affected by work: it is family, sleep, health, and community. Our kids, parents, spouses, and siblings are all affected, too.
When we borrow energy, thought, or capabilities in one area of life, that pulls from other areas. Whether intentional or not, whether we tell ourselves that we’ll pay back that other area of life — with interest! — or not is beside the point. We can only manage that for so long.
Let’s sober up. Don’t sacrifice one, because you’re hurting every area. This is your life, not a video game with a reset button. There’s a connectedness to life and if one area is flooded, shaken, or burned, that will impact all of life. You’re more important. Don’t forget this, don’t mess yourself over. You are you and you are valued.