A client that I have seen off and on for many years has held positions in large corporations, been a political strategist for a president, and managed the philanthropic endeavors of a Forbes five hundred company. He has been on a trajectory that we planned together and tweaked for over thirty years. I’ll call him Will for this blog. Will has come a long way in his life and has gathered awards and kudos along with large paychecks and apartments in several cities. At his core, he is a wonderful giving person, however, at times forgets what he originally came in to me for. Reviewing his notes we found his inability to set boundaries as one theme and his feelings at times of becoming mentally and physically exhausted.
A chaotic childhood,no personal space, and intrusive parenting gave him little time for himself. Recognition that he was raised to be a people pleaser did not translate into having great confidence. Boundaries were explained in session and his homework was setting healthy boundaries with family, colleagues, and friends. His initial discomfort with saying “no” slowly changed and his life continued on its path to success and fulfillment.
Burnouts, of the kind that Will was experiencing were the result of his habit of over extending himself to those with whom he worked with. This in itself does not create feelings of exhaustion but when Will let his daily regiment of working out and taking time each day to meditate to be compromised, he began to realize that if he wanted to keep his competitive edge he needed this time in his day to recharge his batteries. The motto that he acquired early on of “Drink while you pour.”, when forgotten, led to these periods of mental exhaustion and physical stress until he brought his routine back into balance.
The benefit of taking care of oneself whether working, serving others, raising a family, or simply living one’s life is the secret of successful people.