Sometimes the day comes when you wake up and feel bewildered as to where you are. You just know that you are anywhere but happy. That moment is the tipping point of awareness that some things in life are just not working anymore.
When the day came for me, it wasn’t just a slight speed bump distracting me. It wasn’t a small problem that would run its course and be over, like my daughter not getting into the Ivy League school of her choice, or my son telling me he was quitting school to travel around the world on his skateboard, or, my sister informing me that our mother needed to move to a retirement facility for full time care.
No — An undefined, yet powerful feeling that I was “done” had overtaken me. I was beyond fed up and beyond something that a week’s vacation in Barbados would normally cure.
I was numb.
I only had the energy to climb back into bed and try to sleep. Even sleep was difficult because that nagging feeling of constraint wouldn’t disappear. The house was empty except for my shaggy dog Mollie.
I spent the morning not on the treadmill (an interesting metaphor), but drinking tea, watching repeats of Downton Abbey, and ignoring my texts.
I had everything I could ask for: President of a division with an eye-popping annual budget, awards and photo ops adorning the office walls, an elevated lifestyle, and all the trappings of a successful executive.
So what happened to me? Burnout?
What happens when we’ve reached for a goal that sounds full of the promises of happiness, but lost sight of that happiness once we’ve finally achieved the goal?
I had to ask myself, in this expanding window of self-awareness, what has driven me? Did I have to compromise the very things I valued in order to reach the top?
How do I make peace with the daunting, vaporized feeling that nothing I do is ever good enough, and that there is always more to do?
I discovered that the answers were inside of me. I just needed to give myself permission and the tools to uncover my truth.
If you are feeling this way, here are some questions and suggestions to ask yourself in order to uncover answers. Get a pen and notepad...
1. Pretend you won the lottery. Ask yourself what you would do instead of what you do now. Living your passion daily feeds your soul. Putting out fires rather than doing what you love is manageable when it’s not a daily occurrence, but when the scales tip the other way, and you become a full-time firefighter versus a weekend volunteer, it starts to eat away at your core, numbing your spirit and creativity.
2. Assess how you use your time. Do you feel you have enough to manage comfortably without adding stress? (No female executive or working mom ever feels she has enough time!)
3. How well do you nurture yourself? Do you even sleep well?
4. When did you stop enjoying your job?
5. List all of your gripes from anywhere in your life. Women are notorious for sidestepping their anger and rationalizing it away. Your anger can go away, but it takes you connecting with your authentic self and doing the work, once and for all, that will put you back in control.
Is it time for an exit strategy?
Finding what really makes your life satisfying and making a plan to actualize it, as well as monetize it, will make you more powerful in a nurturing way.
You already have a lot of power. What you need is to feel connected to yourself once and for all.
Wishes of Happiness,
Pegi Burdick, known as the Financial Whisperer and the author of It’s NEVER About the Money…even when it is has built several million-dollar businesses. After experiencing her own financial crisis in 2007, Pegi created The Financial Whisperer® Coaching Series which focuses on helping women understand their emotional pain around money and guide them to new levels of confidence in their financial affairs.