The Price of Being Comfortable

Mark ReaganBurnout, Stress Management0 Comments

The Price of Being Comfortable

I’m going to let you in on a personal secret.

The past few months I’ve been writing about stress and my past experiences with it, and now I’m narrowing in to also help people who feel burned out at their job since it goes hand-in-hand with stress.

I don’t want this to turn into a PSA about how bad burnout is (we KNOW it’s bad), so here’s what happened.  

I’ve gotten burned out too many times… but I realized over the past few weeks I had been getting burned out again, this time on coaching. On my business. On my future.

The Funny Thing About Burnout

The thing about burnout is that we might stop noticing we’re even burned out. If we’re constantly subjected to stress, we might… detach (and emotional detachment is a big sign we’re burning out).

We might even become comfortable with it.

It becomes, “That’s just the way it is.”

I had become comfortable with how I was feeling, so I stopped noticing it.

I didn’t realize it though until my girlfriend and I were driving to dinner. I was rambling about ideas I was having and some next steps I wanted to take, and I asked her:

“What do you think?”

“That you need to just do it. You keep talking about all this, and sometimes you just need to go for it. You’ve gotten really comfortable lately.”

She was right. I had.

The Deeper Reason

Burnout and the stress causing it are a symptom. The cause is something deeper.

As I talked about it with my girlfriend over dinner, she asked me some excellent questions (she could make a good coach!), and I realized something.

In my head, comfortable was the best life could get.

Growing up, my family was poor. My dad left when I was six, and my mom was left to take care of me and her brain-injured brother.

We had to be thankful for what we had. After a point, I learned that I couldn’t really “want” things growing up, so I stopped asking.

If we were in a “comfortable” spot? That meant we were living the dream.

I stopped allowing myself to “want.”

I had learned from a young age that I shouldn’t want better, so it’s not surprising that I got myself stuck back in comfortable, and slowly burning out.

When I figured that out, I decided to make myself uncomfortable.

No one wants to be uncomfortable in the sense of “I can’t pay my rent,” but there’s an “uncomfortable” that helps us to grow.

I decided to give myself permission to want better for my life, especially professionally and financially.

It feels weird to tell myself it’s ok to want more.

I’m not talking about wanting mansions and million dollar cars and that kind of thing, but wanting to be able to make a solid living off of coaching and speaking, see the countries and cities I’ve always wanted to, and more.

What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

Maybe you need to tell yourself it’s ok to tell other people, “No.”

That it’s ok to spend a little less time and work and more time with your family.

Or that you’re overwhelmed and it’s ok to ask friends for help.

What do you need to give yourself permission to do to create a better life for yourself?

 

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