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Choosing a burnout resistant life

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So much of being burnout resistant is about choice. Choosing the road less traveled. Choosing to go against the grain or against the tide or even against what everyone else in your life is doing or saying is the right way to live and be successful. So, if choice is at the crux of living a burnout resistant life. How then do you do it?

📌First you have to acknowledge that you are at choice. This is important because it tells you that you are actually in control of something that you often feel is out of your control.

📌Once you know that, you then need to know what your options are. What is your current lifestyle, way of working, way of living your life bringing you (both good and bad)? What would the alternatives look like? What might different choices give you that you don’t have now?

📌Acknowledge that inaction is a choice. Specifically, you are choosing to stay with the situation as it is today. You are choosing the status quo. So non-choice is in fact a choice.

📌Weigh the options.

📌Decide to make one step in the direction of what you want and need to change. Experiment with it. Know that your choice is not final or set in stone. You can make adjustments. So, decide what is no longer serving you. What is no longer working and then experiment with 1 small step in the direction of a change you want to make.

Sometimes the choice we make will not make sense to others. It does not have to make sense. Choose the road less traveled. Choose the frumpy one.

Here is the transcript for the audio file:

The other day I had a dream about two different dresses. The first dress was very tailored and looked very chic, something out of a Vogue magazine. People around me when they saw me in the dress thought, “oh my goodness, this dress is perfect”. “It looks so good.” “It just fits you so well. It's just so tailored and exactly what you should look like. The funny thing about this dress was the fact that as I wore it, I was so uncomfortable and felt so completely not myself. I just hated this dress. I hated the experience of being in this dress. And then, I tried on another dress. This dress was kind of frumpy looking. It had a lot of ruffles in all the wrong places. It just was not the dress that you would see coming down the runway. All the people on the sideline looking at me in the dress said, “Oh my goodness that dress is horrible.” “It looks terrible on you.” “Oh my goodness it's so ill-fitting.” “I would not wear that if I were you.”

The funny thing was, was that as I was wearing this dress, the ill fitted one, I felt comfortable. I felt like myself. I felt like I was who I was supposed to be. I felt amazing in this dress. At one point I was given a choice between the dress that fit like a glove and was tailored, and that people gave me accolades (about) and the dress that people weren't giving me accolades for and (that) looked frumpy and hideous. At first, I chose the dress that I thought that I should choose, the one that everybody else said that I should want. It wasn't until I tried the dress on and audibly heard myself say, “I hate this dress.” “I don't want it”, that I was given the opportunity to actually wear the frumpy dress with the full knowledge that the frumpy dress was actually my dress. That was the one I was supposed to have chosen. So, what's the moral of story? What are you talking about here? Are we talking about dresses? No, what I'm talking about is the lifestyle that goes with being burnout resistant.

The tailored dress is the one for the traditional thought process around how we should do things. It's the one for which you're getting the accolades and everyone's saying, “Oh my goodness, your life looks so good”. “Everything is going so well for you.” “This is absolutely the path for you.” Keep climbing the corporate ladder. Keep doing all of the things. Don't talk about how uncomfortable it is or how you don't like this. Just keep going because this really looks good on you.” “It doesn't matter that it's killing you and cutting into your skin.” “This is what you should do and the frumpy dress, the one that feels more like you, is really the one that is suited for you. It's the unconventional path of doing things very differently, doing things that look different to other people and are things that other people wouldn't do. (These are) things that feel to you like it's what you've always wanted but looks to everybody else, externally, like a hot mess of crazy. (It looks) terrible. Like Oh my goodness, why are you doing that kind of thing.

In essence you have to choose which one you ultimately want to be or do. Which one (do) you ultimately want to wear? What life (do) you actually want to live? You can live the life that from all external perspectives looks like the one that is the best one, the one that that just is glittering and amazing and gets the accolades. Or you can choose the one for which it's the road less traveled. It's the one for which you're not getting accolades and in fact you are being looked at with a side eye like, “what are you doing”? You can feel comfortable in your skin knowing that you're not doing the things that are hurting you. And (you are) not doing the things that are making it so that you are having to not honor your values of being yourself, not honoring your values of setting boundaries, not honoring your values of saying, “you know this doesn't really work for me”. But instead, you are honoring all of those parts of yourself, and you are doing what you know you need to do and that is really the burnout resistant life it is being able to choose the road less traveled and choosing the frumpy dress.

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