Add some mindfulness to the mix.
This week, a nonprofit reached out to chat with me about a fundraising position that I’m a perfect fit for. As we were chatting over a cup of coffee, I started hearing huge red flags.
“We’re looking for a passionate person who would have a salaried position. Expect to work 50–60 hours a week on average.”
“This position will be three different positions pushed together as we launch our capital campaign.”
“We’d want you to give up your writing and coaching if you accepted this position because you just won’t have the time.”
Seven months ago, I would have said yes without hesitation. Today, I shook the executive director’s hand and said, “Thanks for meeting with me but I don’t think this position is a good fit for me.”
So much has changed in my mindset since the day I walked away from a similar position several months ago. That day, I hobbled out of the office using a cane because of my overwhelming joint pain. I had panic attacks on a daily basis and crippling fatigue. It took a lot of mindset work and even more self-love to encourage my body to heal and my thoughts to stop racing as I recovered.
If you’re in the same place, here are three proven strategies which can help shift your mindset past burnout and into the joy that comes with choosing a career aligned with where you are now.
Honor Your Boundaries:
It’s important to take the opportunity to learn the difference between what you want and what you need. Only you can decide what your unique boundaries are and how they will meet your needs. For example, I need flexibility in my schedule so I can rest when I need it or visit medical specialists because of my health issues. This boundary is non-negotiable for me.
The practice of honoring these boundaries once you’ve identified them is like working a muscle. If you experience too much stress it leaves you open for injury. Stopping to strengthen your boundaries helps you use this skill to protect yourself from further harm. The best way to honor your boundaries is to practice mindfulness. When you’re aware of what you’re feeling in the moment, you can identify when you’re being pushed too far.
Ask for Help
We all have different ways of handling difficult situations. For many who have experienced burnout, it’s because there was a moment they decided it was possible to handle everything on their own. This will never be true. It is not a sign of weakness to reach out to others for advice or an ear to listen. In fact, it is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Help can be found from family, friends, and co-workers. It can also come from your church, civic group, or support group. Personally, my support system includes my therapist, spiritual mentor, and a business mastermind group. As a mindset coach, I’m part of the support system for several awesome female entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter how you find help as long as you’re mindful that you can’t hold the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Embrace Your Zone of Genius
In the simplest terms, your zone of genius is the place where work and joy meet. When you’re operating from this place, you’re outshining your peers. The ideas come fast, your stress level is low, and the execution of your plans is easy. Getting paid for working in your zone of genius feels amazing because it doesn’t even seem like you’re working.
It is much easier to align your energy and goals when you’re operating from a place of joy. The work that you produce has a greater impact on others and it is much simpler to identify when to ask for help. And when the offer comes for a position that is in your zone of genius but not aligned with your long-term goals, it is easy to walk away.
Shifting away from a mindset that sets you up for burnout can help you step into a life which brings you joy. Believe me, aligning your goals, energy, and mindset makes it so much easier to get up for work in the morning.