Dear friend who feels like you need to do it all...

 Photograph by  @hopeglimpses

Photograph by @hopeglimpses

Dear friend who feels like you need to do it all,

I know you because I am you. You’re a do-er. You’re an action-taker.

If there is a deadline you set for yourself, you meet it. If people are depending on you, you stay up late or pull an all-nighter to get it done. If there is an issue, you pour all of yourself into it until you find the solution.

You do what it takes! Whatever it takes.

“Once it’s done, then I can rest.” you say.

But the demands don’t stop. There is always something to do.

People admire you for your work ethic and find they can count on you. So, you’re given more things to do. You evaluate each new request and decide it won’t take that long. You could squeeze it in! Soon, more and more projects, emails, collaborations, and demands pile on. You’ve said “yes” so you can’t just stop. Your integrity would be lost! You go the extra mile every time, because you want people to feel valued and everything you do be done with the utmost care. Then, some of the demands almost fall through the cracks! Phew - that was close! Good thing you still have some time. It will just require a little sacrifice on your end.

A night with no sleep. A relaxing bath that wasn’t taken. A book that wasn’t read. A healthy dinner that wasn’t prepared. A much needed prayer that wasn’t said.

You try to keep all the plates spinning. You burn out. Why?

Over the years this has happened to me again and again. Kristin has even been witness to a handful of these burnouts.

Let me start by telling you that having a business bestie is just about the best thing ever! <3 Having someone to point out where your actions are causing you to miss the blessings, even sometimes the rest, that God has for you is invaluable! This way, you can get out of your own way, see past what you always thought you “had” to do, and see what God actually says!

Through lots of self-examination, loads of prayer, and a dozen or more truth talks (*cough* lectures) with my business bestie - I finally realized that all along, I had been telling myself 3 BIG lies.

Whenever I would tell myself these lies, it would always lead to burnout. Which made me far more susceptible to the enemy’s attacks and would sometimes also lead to sickness and even bouts of depression.

Listen carefully to these lies, my friend, so that you can avoid the traps I fell in and break out of them for yourself to begin living in God’s truth!

 

Lie #1: Sacrificing sleep isn’t that big of a deal.

You can make it up, after all, right? WRONG.

Sleep isn’t like a bank that we can make extra deposits one day to use another day. If you don’t get enough sleep one night, you will pay a penalty.

Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, reduces emotional intelligence (yikes!), and lowers your constructive thinking skills which you NEED in order to bring your best to your business! It also elevates your blood pressure and can lead to a higher risk of chronic health problems.

In fact, I remember that whenever I stayed up all night, the next day all I could do was sleep and sleep and still not feel fully rested. If I had a meeting the next day, I would try to bring my best, but it was hard. My eyes would be bloodshot and not even all the makeup in the world could cover the tiredness in my face and the cloudiness of my mind.

Maybe your problem isn’t sleep. Maybe it’s another area of taking care of yourself. Sacrificing anything that we need for our physical health is never ever EVER a good idea.

If it brings our body the rest, fuel, and energy it needs - we need to place it as our highest priority. BEFORE work.

That means we need a full night’s rest. We need adequate hydration each day. We need to be fueled up with healthy food and not miss meals. We need to take periodic breaks to give our mind and body a rest from being at the desk all day. And we need to get out of our chair and exercise!!

 

God says: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

Friend, He wants us to honor Him by taking care of our bodies.

When we do, we’re able to give our best to the times we set aside for work, and we’re no longer damaging the very tool we need to take care of the most, in order to make our highest contribution to the world. Instead we are alert and focused. Best of all, we aren’t as vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks when we take good care of ourselves.

 

Lie #2: It won’t take that much of my time to do. I can squeeze it in!

This is such an easy lie to embrace. Because often this doesn’t seem like a lie. You look at the project and determine it really will only take a small investment of time.  

What we often fail to realize is that every “yes” is loaded. We’re automatically saying “yes” to a lot of things: Yes to the mental energy of remembering to do it. Yes to scheduling it in. Yes to dedicating time to it. Yes to adding one more thing to your to-do list.

And, when you say “yes” - you’re automatically saying “no” to something else. And if you already have a packed schedule, it could mean you’re saying no to some things that should NEVER be compromised: No to sleep. No to any free time to yourself. No to time with your husband, kids, or friends. No to preparing a healthy meal and instead settling for fast food.

Be careful, my friend, about falling into this lie. Even if a project would only take 15 minutes - that’s still 15 minutes that distracts you from your true purpose or takes away from the quality of your life. Is that worth it?

Ask God before you answer.

And, if you don’t know, but find yourself saying “I can squeeze it in”, then by default you probably already have your answer. Instead of squeezing more things in, God wants you to create more white space in your day.

Wouldn’t it be nice to relax for once? Wouldn’t it be nice to take a walk or bath without a million things still left to do on your list for the day?

We need to do the things that will give us a mental break from work. Spending time with family and friends. Taking a bubble bath (one of my favs). Curling up in bed with a good book.

Create more white space for the simple joys of life to flow through. Give yourself the mental breaks because you don’t always have to work! Say no to the projects that aren’t aligned to your purpose, so you can say YES to fun!

 

God says: There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10

 

Lie #3: I pray all throughout the day. That should be enough, right?

This is probably the BIGGEST lie I told myself.

When I was weighed down with so many demands or problems, I would feel as though I had to spend all the time I had (and time I didn’t have) to take care of these demands.

Every day, I would work and ask God to strengthen me as I was working. I would pray all throughout the day, but still I was heading to burnout.

Instead of taking the time out to lay everything down at His feet, I would power through my mornings and get to work right away before I was even dressed for the day. I felt like if I wasn’t working, it wouldn’t be solved.

After all, it seems counter-productive to stop working in order to get ahead. Right?

But it works!

Being still, soaking in God’s presence each day and giving Him your burdens to carry is a valuable gift that He wants us all to have: to come to Him BEFORE things get to be too much and to lay it all down at His feet instead of trying to do everything on our own.

We need this time with Him each day. It’s essential to our lives and our businesses. It’s the biggest determining factor of how big our business can actually get. Are we trying to carry everything on our shoulders? If so, we will only get so far. If we give it to God, He will multiply every effort that we make.

When you set time aside each day for Him, He gives you peace that only He can give. Having His consistent presence with you limits how far down you can sink when the circumstances of your business/life seem out of control. In your quiet time, He will give you the answers you seek. In the overflow of your time with God, you will know just what to do.

 

God says: Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22 & Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

 

Friend, when you see these 3 lies for what they are, and allow God’s truth to rule over your life, a beautiful thing happens. It becomes less about you and more about Him. You’re healthier and happier in all ways - physically, mentally, and spiritually. And best of all, He is able to do incredible things within you, because He is at your center.

You realize that you don’t have to do it all, because God’s got you.