I work with women everyday who have worked hard, powered by grit and determination to get to the top, only to arrive either unsatisfied, burnt-out or have lost interest in their work.
I’ve discovered common patterns that lead to this and I hope in sharing this you will thrive your way to the top, sustain your success and have more fulfilment.
1.Driven by goals
Female entrepreneurs and leaders work hard, push through all sorts of internal and external roadblocks, obstacles and crises to get to the top – they are accustomed to overcoming challenges.
When there, they realise that attaining the goal they thought would change their life – did no such thing.
Steven Berglas calls this success-induced disorder, Supernova Burnout. He says, it affects successful people who find their vocation is no longer rewarding.
Aren’t our goals meant to bring satisfaction? Happiness?
Well, here’s something REALLY interesting
Reaching our goals may bring disappointment or worse..
According to Dr George Pransky, there’s two type of suicide victims, those that commit suicide because they CAN'T accomplish their needs, wants and desires, and then there’s suicide victims who commit suicide because they accomplish them and they were so disappointed they committed suicide.
He says, the reason they were so disappointed is because the goal didn’t bring the fulfillment they craved. Without the fulfillment already in you, you're not capable to appreciating the things that you desire. The biggest driver for this? Number #2
Tip: Learn how to find fulfillment regardless of your circumstances
I feel this is the biggest anchor to pull women down! I've done this for most of my life and didn't even realise.
When we're over-invested we make our wellbeing, esteem, worth or happiness linked to the outcomes of what you’re doing.
For example, signing a big client, bidding for a job, doing a ‘good' job, and feeling stressed or anxious because you think if you don’t get this you’re happiness is at stake. Your ‘worth’ is at stake. Your ‘success' is at stake.
How often have you been down, angry, upset when you didn’t get the outcome you wanted? How long did you feel that way?
You create an imaginary link between the outcome and your wellbeing.
This creates a lot of tension in people. It’s unlikely to see someone who is stressed who doesn’t have a high investment in the outcomes in their life. You start thinking that your happiness depends on it, then all of a sudden you get anxious because that’s at risk to outside events.
Not only that, it pulls you off your game.
Imagine Usain Bolt at the start of a race, if he began each race thinking that he needed to win this race for his salary, or how important it was for him to win this because of the money involved, or the endorsements…it would put pressure on him and prevent him from having a clear mind to win the race.
When we’re heavily invested in our outcomes, stress, anxiety and depression naturally follow.
Tip: What are your investments?
3. Your Mood Profile: Stress, Anxiety & Depression
Entrepreneurs will often say that anxiety is part and parcel with the work.
When stressed our body releases stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol to help us either fight or flee the stress (i.e threat) in our environment. But most of our stress today is psychological, we’re not surviving war, famine or extreme temperatures.
We are activating our survival response based on our to-do list, the expectations of others, pleasing people, perfectionism, guilt and so on.
High stress levels are linked with depression and anxiety along with a whole range of stress-related disorders like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Depression doesn't always look like sadness, and can include symptoms like sleep difficulties, irritability and changes in weight. Depression and burnout can look similar and medicating people may not be the long-term solution but helping to overcome the underlying traits that predispose you to burnout
Anxiety isn’t always panic attacks, but feels like pressure or excessive stress. There is a lot you can do within your diet to reduce your symptoms.
These symptoms will lead to entrepreneur burnout or adrenal fatigue syndrome, and can pull you OUT of the game completely.
It’s no fun to operate a business or lead a team when you’re struggling with your mood, and it’s certainly a roadblock to your best performance and creative ideas.
Tx: Find better ways to overcome (not ‘manage’) your stress. If you feel you may be depressed, seek help now!
4. Abandon Self-care
High-achievers are passionate by nature! Let’s face it, they work 80 hours per week instead of 40. They keep going, even when faced with health problems and/or relationship problems. They give it their all!
Unfortunately they cut out the things that maintained their boundless energy, big dreams and enormous enthusiasm for success at the start.
Before you know it, you end up selling your soul to never ending deadlines and being the go-to person for everyone else’s needs. Many women believe that things will get better after the deadline, that you'll have time to rest (or sleep) after you cross something off your to-do list but that opportunity never arises.
Exercise stops, weight increases, exhaustion sets in and you feel emotionally drained and hopeless.
You spend less time doing the things that relax you! When you're relaxed you access the right-brain that's associated with creativity, problem solving and intelligence.
I’ve found traditional stress reduction and self-care routines like meditation or a mani pedi aren’t so helpful for high-achieving women. Why? Because you’re different, you’re job choices, lifestyle and personality are intense and it’s that intensity that makes you who you are..but it doesn't mean you don't find something that's stress reducing (mostly in the form of rest).
Tip: Infuse as many stress-reducing habits into your life (Restore Plan HERE)
5. Empty Fuel Tank
There’s no way to get through a long race without re-fueling, but high-achieving women normally push the limit.
That’s your tendency in everything you do. It’s got you to where you are, but it’s not going to get you to the next level of success or to thrive at the top.
Without refueling there’s simply no way to get relief from the stress that has been accumulating for years, and your body runs out of steam and you hit burnout or worse. The basic blocks to refuel:
Sacrifice these and it's a steady energy leak until your spark has completely fizzled out. Grab the “Energy Toolkit” HERE
There's a saying, what got you here won't get you there – if you've been over-invested, sacrificing your self-care & running on empty, your success isn't sustainable. Make the necessary changes now!
I’m a Naturopath, Transformational Coach, Mind-body Medicine Specialist & Speaker, and I love supporting modern women who are overworked, busy & burnt out.
Free Step-By-step plan designed for women in business.
Where exhausted & anxious professional women regain their ENERGY & Confidence
So they can live the life they truly want.