The Exhaustion Myth
Recently, I asked a client how she was doing in a coaching call. "Honestly," she replied, "I've had a challenging two weeks and I'm pretty exhausted." In her tone, there was a blend of failure and guilt. This feeling of failure and guilt likely stemmed from some assumption that if she was following all of her Sustainable High Impact strategies, she probably shouldn't feel so exhausted. As I dug deeper into her two weeks, it turned out she led several key events where she was deeply emotionally involved and had to fight for some new, non-status quo solutions, she had a team 360 feedback session where she was admirably vulnerable and open, and she prepared her team for a ground-breaking new product launch that will potentially transform her business.
As she finished reflecting on her past two weeks, there was a brief pause where she realized that although these two weeks were tough, they were full of huge impact. Suddenly, I noticed her tone and rhythm change from one of failure and guilt to one of achievement, satisfaction, and fulfillment. In today's quick-cure, instant-solution, give-it-to-me-now world we live in, we've started to notice a trend where people think they should never be tired or feel overwhelmed. This approach misses the fact that regardless of who you are or what you do, your physical, cognitive, and emotional loads create fatigue.
Can you imagine a professional athlete feeling like they were a failure at the end of a game because they were tired? Even with the most elite training in the world and while taking frequent breaks throughout the game, at the end of their huge challenge, they are exhausted. They embrace this fatigue as a well-earned product of the hard work they invested into a competition they wanted badly to win.
The key for you, as well as for any athlete, is to make sure that you can perform at your best up to the final moment of your key event. This is only accomplished with your critical mindset strategies (having clear intentions, reframing, embracing the suck, etc.), the proper oscillation of recovery strategies (sleep, breathing, movement, fun, etc.), the necessary nutrition strategies (eating for brain performance, hydration, etc.), the right movement strategies (activating the brain, stimulating your neurological systems, etc.), and the best preparation strategies.
Fatigue is a part of being human and usually a by-product of doing good and meaningful work. By being aware of the nuances of your fatigue, where it came from, what accomplishments and triumphs contributed to it, and how to quickly and adequately recover from it, you will no longer be afraid of it or allow it to destroy your mindset. Sustainable High Impact isn't about never being tired; it's about strategically being able to show up at your best when it matters most to you and those in your life so that you can Rule Your Impact.
As always, I would love to hear what you think.
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