Is Too Much Success Burning You Out? When to Use the “Happy No”

 In Avoid Burnout, mindset

Set boundaries

I find it mildly ironic that I’m reading a book on boundaries and in the four weeks since I’ve started, I’ve been interrupted so much while trying to read it that I’ve only reached page 40. It seems like a really good book and I had hoped to impart all kinds of wisdom to you on how to set boundaries to be more productive, but alas, I obviously have more work to do in mastering that area of self-awareness!

Why is it that we allow ourselves to get interrupted, distracted and side-tracked? Most of us have pop-ups letting us know we have new e-mail, LinkedIn requests, or any other combination of social media interruptions. Lately I feel like I’ve developed some form of attention disorder. (I just quickly googled it, and I don’t). So if not that, then what’s going on?

If I do a quick scan of all that I have going on in my life – my own client work, writing projects, kid’s activities, selling our home/ buying a new one – I’m not seeing anything there that isn’t fuelling me. I’m enjoying it all. There’s not one thing I want to delegate, not do, or push until later. I’m maxed out and then some, but just because I’m loving all the pieces, doesn’t mean I’m not heading for burn out. Just ask my chiropractor. So is it possible that too much success can burn us out?

Let’s get back to Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. The book’s cover says: “When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life.” You can get the book and read about the ‘how’, but let’s start with ‘what’. What are you saying no to? And if you’re enjoying everything right now and, like me, seem to be living off adrenaline, of the things you actually enjoy, what are you going to start saying no to?

I’m hitting this same pattern with my clients lately. Most of my clients are high achieving, highly satisfied professionals who are dealing with a huge volume of ‘work-work’, but also have a full home life. And we want to do everything. But even if it’s all good, I think we’re going to be even happier if we start to say no. So that’s my challenge to you. Do a quick scan of your happiness and see if there’s something you can gracefully take off your list. Let’s call it a Happy No. It goes something like this: “As much as I’d enjoy taking that on for you, I happily have to say no.”

Wishing you much success,

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