Yesterday I went to an event, a conference organised by a friend. It was a great chance for me to network and to meet some executives and business owners. These people could be my clients in that I’d love to speak at their organisations in order to reach more people about my message. I want to share with people my story of how I burnt out and how not to do that.
At the moment, I feel like it’s impossible. Thinking about the day and the people I approached to introduce myself, I thought about how these people don’t want to hear my miserable story about how I got sick. They think it will never happen to them. And I don’t blame them because thought the same thing. I thought my life would go on as it was and I’d just find a better way to cope. Or things would get easier as my kids grew up. But it didn’t. Things got harder and my health collapsed to the point where I could not function. I don’t think anyone really wants to hear about that. And yet it’s an essential part of my message.
I have been under a lot of stress lately. Especially last week and it’s showing up in my health. I visited my functional practitioner this week and the stress is evident in my body. In fact it’s evident in how I feel: exhausted. Too tired to really push myself out there into the world and to appear confident and capable of bringing a message like mine to the world. It takes strength to open people’s eyes to something they don’t want to see.
Yesterday as I sat at the conference watching the speakers, I thought “I can’t do this”. I’m just not strong enough. I can’t stand in front of these people and tell them it’s possible to live a life where we are thriving and enjoying our passions. It doesn’t feel true for me a the moment. Maybe that’s something that will resonate with people more. That I don’t have all the answers. But in seeing all these clever people who have achieved so much I felt small. I felt that I don’t have an interesting and successful story to share. What makes me special enough to get up on stage and talk? This is a question that is often asked by agents and marketing professionals and frankly I don’t have an answer.
Last month I sold about twenty books. I gained income for the first time in two and a half years. It’s a miracle and it felt amazing to collect money from friends and acquaintances who bought my book. I’ve received some great feedback in that many people find the story of how I burnt out compelling. Some are using the words “couldn’t put it down” which is fantastic. I’m super thrilled with the feedback and I am humbled and grateful for the support.
It’s such a pity that I feel so exhausted right now. How do I gather enough energy to recover from the stress of the past few weeks and still push my career forward? I feel like giving up and just resuming next year. I am so behind on all the demands of the school. There are about eight things I haven’t done and I’m so worried about forgetting something. I’m trying to organise a party for my six year old in ten day’s time and I’ve done nothing but the invitations. She’s so excited that she’s literally bouncing up and down and counting the sleeps. And I’m just not sure where I’m going to get the energy to offer her something worthy of her enthusiasm.
It’s just that I had such expectations. After publishing my book, I had visions of myself doing talks a few times a week and spreading my message to people so eager to buy my book. And here I sit at home, trying my best to muster enough energy to take my kids to a party later. My tank is empty and I have nothing left for my career right now.
I have realised that I need to slow down right now and recover from the stress of the past few weeks. I know that I’ll never get as depleted as I did before because I’m much more aware and I see it coming. I need to spend extra time on self-care and making sure my tank is refilled. That means saying no to some things and ensuring I put my well being first. I find that hard and frustrating since I’m so keen to be actively in my new job but it’s a reality that there are times when stress knocks us backwards.
It’s ironic that the conference I attended was one for diversity, about celebrating our uniqueness. I didn’t feel very special and unique at all but hopefully that’s just a factor of being a bit run down. Hopefully next week I’ll be stronger and able to conquer the world again. Hopefully I will have gained a bit more self-belief and pick myself up to do this work I’m called to do. But for now, I’m focusing on self-care and taking one day at a time.Follow me: