Recharging the batteries
In order to be happy, balanced, joyful, and ready to serve the world, I believe that we must schedule and prioritize time for ourselves to unplug and recharge. I also believe that burnout happens when we fail to adequately fuel ourselves by participating in activities that bring us joy and peace of mind.
If I hold these two beliefs to be true, why is it so hard for me to justify scheduling time to recharge my batteries? Every time I put one of these life-energizing activities on my calendar I feel a pang of guilt that I am not working instead. And yet if I constantly work without recharging my batteries, I will burn out, shut down, and spiral.
I know I am not alone in this. So it begs the following question:
Why do we do such a poor job taking care of ourselves?
Jordan Peterson explains in his book 12 Rules for Life, that we are more responsible in caring for our pets than we are in caring for ourselves. Research shows that people are better at filling and properly administering prescription medication to their pets than to themselves. Given this startling but true fact, Peterson concludes that the reason we do not take care of ourselves is that we do not respect ourselves.
I want to take this a step further by saying that the real reason many of us struggle is that we do not love ourselves.
Not fully at least. If we did, we would not put up with the constant stream of negative thoughts that we tell ourselves every single day.
I’m not good enough.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not worth it.
Almost every single issue that has come up during my coaching sessions (both when I am coaching and when I am getting coached) stems from these three sentences.
If these negative thoughts are such a universal human experience, where did we go wrong?