Monday, December 19, 2016

To the Burned Out Leader

Oh, sister... or brother... my fellow volunteer for any organization where you are in any type of leadership role... I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I'm not sure where this post is going. I'll just say I have been struggling. Struggling to stay positive. Struggling to stay afloat. Struggling to wrap my head around where my head has been. Struggling with decisions that I have struggled with for over a year. I'm SOOOO there.

To my fellow burned out leaders... you are not alone. I guess that's the message. You aren't alone. You aren't the only one that feels like you can't answer one.more.question. about any topic that you have answered 30 million times. You aren't the only one that wants to scream "Use Google! I mean, really, how do you think I found it? I'm not a walking encyclopedia. I'm not a plethora of information... that's Google's job. I did it... so can you!" Okay... that IS a little snarky and mean, right? But, you know what I mean. You've been there. If you haven't, you're a saint and I am humbled in your presence. 

This was pertaining to an embarrassing moment, but I can apply it to the way I feel today.  "Well, if it's not bad enough you need to go cry in a cave, what are you worried about?" 

Instead of making a resolution this past year, I made a phrase my motto. I decided if it wasn't so important that I would stake claim and die on the metaphorical hill, then I'd let it go. For the most part, I feel I have kept that in focus.  "Is this the hill I want to die on?" There are very few things that are worth dying for.

For 2017.. I want to add one more life phrase "Is it bad enough to crawl into a cave and cry?" Don't think I'm going off the deep end... I'm trying to shock myself to keep perspective. However, as a very wise 8 year old told me "Sometimes you just need 30 seconds to whine and get it all out." There are solutions for most problems we face. Even if they are tough decisions.

I can think of a few things that are that bad, but most things aren't.

Where do we go from here? What works for me, may or may not work for you... These are the steps I plan to go through... think about it... what will get you back to the land of the living... YOU are important enough to make yourself the priority. Even if it means everything doesn't get done.
  • Allow yourself 30 seconds to whine. (or 20 minutes sitting in your co-leaders car ranting and griping and whining and sighing)
  • Allow yourself to sit in the cave and cry it out... but make sure it's cave crying worthy. 
  • List your blessings without thinking. What are your top 3 blessings. Is this where you are spending your time? 
  • Learn to say "no" and learn to let go. 
  • It's okay to take time for yourself. Do it. 
  • It's okay to tell people you aren't available 24/7. Do that!
  • Re-evaluate the roles you currently have. What can you stop doing? What can you ask for help with? What are you doing just to do it and it really doesn't need to be done? 
  • Don't take on any new projects, until you regain your strength... and then evaluate it to see if it's something you REALLY want to do...otherwise...don't!
  • Schedule some time to catch up with a friend or have time to just laugh. Continue to make this a priority. 
I'm not going to tell you not to quit doing something you are struggling to enjoy. Life is too short for that. But, take a moment. Sleep on it. Think about it. Are you really willing to give up the good parts along with the bad parts?

Bring on 2017... I'm ready... fresh year... additional life phrase... clear perspective on priorities. Let's hope I can keep them. 

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