Conquering Chaos

Ep 2: From Burnout to Balance - Enacting Change to Live a Guilt Free Life

April 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Conquering Chaos
Ep 2: From Burnout to Balance - Enacting Change to Live a Guilt Free Life
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Conquering Chaos
Ep 2: From Burnout to Balance - Enacting Change to Live a Guilt Free Life
Apr 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Erin E Hooley
Burnout is no stranger to business or parenthood. In this episode, discover how to beat burnout by mastering it's opposite - balance!
Show Notes Transcript

Burnout is no stranger to business or parenthood. In this episode, discover how to beat burnout by mastering it's opposite - balance! As we live a life with intention and clear priorities, while setting up healthy boundaries, we can work less and accomplish more.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar ecommerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire is providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company, pull up a chair or drop in some ear buds and let's conquer some chaos today.
Speaker 2:
0:30
I remember as a young mom having all of these high expectations for myself and for my children, and our oldest daughter, Bailey. And she was just so sweet and so easy. And then hunter comes along and he was so quiet and loving. And then Landon came around, child number three, and I don't know what it is about number three, but he shook our family up. He shook us up good. And everywhere he went, there was this wake of madness and trouble that followed him. Someone was crying, something was broken there, some type of chaotic madness followed him everywhere he went. And so now when we're in Brazil and we're presented with this opportunity for him to go to preschool for the first time, and on one hand I'm going, oh, this will be so great because I can have this, this one on one time with Peyton who's number four, um, and give him this outlet to be able to have a more structured day.
Speaker 2:
1:24
It was a Montessori type school. And I thought, okay, this could be really great opportunity. But on the other hand, I'm completely nervous and terrified as to what could potentially happen if he shows the best of himself at school. And so I remember the first day bringing him to school and they had this drive through drop off where the teachers would come down, they'd take the kids out to minimize the, the emotional upset with parents lingering at the classroom and everybody crying. And he literally was dragged out of the car by three adults. He's clinging to the seats, he's screaming. I mean, we're not talking about a few little crocodile tears. He was having a massive, massive breakdown. Now they're telling me it's the first day, don't worry about it. This happens. And I'm thinking, okay, I'll give this a week and maybe we'll see if there could be some type of a light at the end of this, this tunnel.
Speaker 2:
2:21
Well, a week goes by an hour into the second week and even the third week and every day was the same thing. He was screaming, he was making a scene, he was hitting, he was kicking and I was beyond mortified at one particularly exhaustive morning drop off. I remember parking the car around the corner and getting out of my car to go and sneak over and take a peek into his class to see if you really was calming down or not. I remember going over and kind of peering into the classroom and looking at all these kids and they're having a great time. The teachers having a great time and I realized that Landon's not even in the classroom. And so now I'm like, oh great. He's probably in the principal's office. He's like three or four years old and we're, you know, his future shot, you know, it's over.
Speaker 2:
3:09
No hope for this kid. And I walk around the corner and I see one of his teachers whose lovingly and yet sternly having this conversation with him, with him on her lap. And I knew better than to interrupt in that moment because I could tell that there was some understanding. You could see it in his face. He was really listening intently to her. And I thought, Huh, what is she saying that nobody else has been able to say? How was she able to reach him in a way that nobody else has been able to reach him? So I waited until she brought him back to the class and then she came and she met me outside and I just burst into tears and I said, what? How? How did you just do that? How did you calm him down in a way that nobody else seems to be able to calm him down?
Speaker 2:
3:54
We ended up having this incredible life altering conversation for me as a mom, as she started to ask me some questions and she said, Erin, when you're at home and he does something wrong, what do you immediately do? And I said, well, I put him in timeout. And she said, okay, well what does that look like? I said, well, I'd take him by the hand and I put him in his room and I say, sit on this bed and don't get off. And she said, okay, for how long? And I said, oh, I don't know, 10 minutes. And she said, okay, and what's the percentage chance that he has of actually doing what you ask? Staying on his bed, not getting off for 10 minutes. And I said, 0% chance of success, right? I mean, he's not going to listen. Within two minutes I'm going to be holding the door shut on the opposite side, saying a little Lord be with me, prayer that I don't kill this child.
Speaker 2:
4:46
And she said, okay. So next time you give him something, I want you to give him a little step, a little something that he can achieve. So he knows what success feels like. Cause right now all he knows is failure. Constantly letting people down, constantly coming up short, constantly failing at everything that everybody's giving him. But if you give him a little bit of success, then he's going to start to want more of it. His ability and his capacity to listen and to follow through and the desire is going to grow. And not because he's a repeat or a clone of your other children, but because he learns and wants to be successful in his own unique way and that completely altered my parental brain, my mom brain and I thought, oh my goodness, I've been looking at this so wrong. And as I started to implement that a light switch, I mean it was just like day and night this child became because of this inspired and in tune teacher, one of the best students of all of my children and he remains so today.
Speaker 2:
6:01
Now what does this have to do with ourselves within the way that we run our homes and in the way that we run our business? Pretty much everything. It has everything to do with it. How often do we set ourselves up to fail? How often do we base our success off of how much it looks like someone else's success? How often do we give ourselves goals that we can not possibly achieve and then we're constantly let down by our performance for constantly disappointed in ourselves. We're constantly depleted and we feel completely burnt out. I think that every mother and every business owner understands the feeling of burnout. It is detrimental to our progress and it's so hard to pick ourselves back up again and to feel that energy and that rejuvenated spirit to keep continuing and pushing forward past that low point. There's this thing called mom guilt, right?
Speaker 2:
7:01
And we all have these, all of these emotions that come up when we hear that that term mom guilt would is that it comes down to shame and what an ugly word that is. Why should we ever feel guilt and shame when we're doing our best? We need to put that mindset to rest. When we first moved back to the states and we moved to Texas and I'm relaunching my business and I'm, I'm spinning all of these plates in the air at the same time, all these balls are up in the air and what did I do? Well, I decided it would be a great idea to be room mom, not just for one of my kids, but for all four of my school age children. I signed up to be the room mom for every single class because to me I thought, well, nobody will question my priorities as a mother even though I have this business that I was constantly downplaying because that was something to be ashamed of choosing rather than having to take that path.
Speaker 2:
8:00
Right, and I just had this constant Shane and I'm dragging around going, okay, I'm going to prove myself. I'm going to show everybody that my kids are what matters most to me. I'm going to show everybody that I can still be a great mom. I'm going to show, I'm going to show, I'm going to show, I'm going to show, I'm going to show, and the reality is I was so concerned about looking like super mom to everybody else that I didn't consider if my kids saw me as super mom, what did they think about my performance? What did they think about how I was showing up for them? We rationalize and we look at these things that we choose to do and the ways that we choose to spend our time and we say, okay, well it feels better if I say that I'm doing this for my children, but the reality is my kids don't care that I spent four hours in the teacher's lounge, but they do care that when they get home from school, now mom's so backed up because she was cutting out pieces of paper for four hours that instead of being present with me now, she has to be catching up on her emails or shipping out orders.
Speaker 2:
9:03
I had to come to the point where I cared more about the perception of my children and the way that they saw my efforts and showing up then in the way that their teachers or the parents of their friends saw my efforts. Regardless of whether you work or not, we all have a definition for what this looks like in our own lives. Mom. Guilt is the notion that we must be everything for everyone at every given time. It's completely unattainable. We set ourselves up for failure because we are focused on what other people perceive us to be rather than what we are really striving to be. The reality is I am never going to get approval from all of my peers. All of my peers have different opinions of what success looks like, of what good parenting looks like, of what keeping a house up looks like and loving your spouse looks like in all of these different things.
Speaker 2:
10:01
Self Care, self love, the way you cook, the way you shop, the way you eat, the way you dress. All of these things is all subject to people's perspectives and people's opinions. Why am I concerning myself with the opinions of all of these people that matter less to me than the people that reside in my own home? You want to talk about a fast track to burnout. You start with putting your value or measuring your value based off of the perceptions of the people around you. We can't be everything for everyone at every given time, but we can be everything we need to be for the person or purpose in which we've delegated that time, but how do we do that and what does that even look like? It all really boils down to our ability to be present in everything we do present with our children.
Speaker 2:
10:53
When we delegate time for our children, present with our spouse. When we delegate time with our spouse and present with ourself and our ability to unplug, present with our work and present with our faith regardless of what we want to accomplish, we can be present in each and everything we do as long as we allow ourselves to focus on one given thing at one given time. A big piece of this is time management. My goodness. When I was trying to be room mom to four children in their classes and when I was trying to run this business by myself and when I was trying to do all of these things, trying to be super woman for everybody else, the reality is I would crash and burn and completely fall apart. At the end of the day and I was serving no one. In fact, my family was getting the worst possible version of me.
Speaker 2:
11:47
Burnout mode is not attractive. Burnout mode does not accomplish great things, and burnout mode destroys families and relationships. Learning to say no, letting go of that sense of failure and that guilt is one of the most important and influential lessons that I have ever learned from room mom of four classes to none. Giving myself permission to let go. Freedom from guilt, we can really only carry a handful of things and do them well. So what matters to me and what matters to you may be different and that's perfectly okay. The judgment that we give one another and the judgment that we receive from ourselves, it all stems in insecurity. Someone's ignorant words will not hurt me if I am confident in who I am and what I'm trying to accomplish. If I am confident in my priorities and what that looks like for my family.
Speaker 2:
12:49
And likewise, I will not be so quick to judge other women when I am confident in myself because I won't feel threatened that their path and that their priorities and the way that they achieved them looks different from mine. If you find yourself constantly feeling guilty or constantly going on the defense, trying to prove something, take a good hard look at the root of what's causing that. And if it's insecurity, then let's hit that one head on until you feel confident in what you're trying to achieve. The desire or need to defend ourselves stems from that same insecurity. My overanalyzing and over caring about what everyone else thinks or feels or perceives of me is literally a ball and chain and how far can you possibly run carrying that thing around? So how do we even begin to get over this? First and foremost, we start our days with intention.
Speaker 2:
13:49
Take five minutes to write down all of your to do's. Then look at them and realize that there's no way that you could possibly accomplish everything. So if something's going to fall off and needs to be the one that's the lowest on the priority list. So take the time to rank each of your to do's by priority. Take an honest inventory of how you managed your time at the end of the day and determine if your actions and what you accomplished for inline with the priorities that you set out for that day. If the answer is yes, you probably feel really good, but if the answer is no, don't lose heart. The biggest thing is if you recognize that the answer is no, then you have an opportunity to step into something greater than you are right this minute. That should not deflate you, that should not get you down, that should excite you.
Speaker 2:
14:40
We should always feel enthusiastic about taking on an opportunity to be better than we are. Right in this very moment. Discouragement is one of Satan's nastiest and one of his most effective ones as well. It shuts us down so fast. We get caught in that nasty comparison trap and we get stuck on this hamster wheel of I'm not enough. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not, I'm not. Here's all the reasons why I'm not and yet we don't take the time to realize what we're doing right and we don't feel energized to take control of the things that we can improve upon. At the end of your day, label your behaviors and test your own understanding of them to make sure that you're fully aware of how you can be perceived by the people that matter most by your kids and by your spouse. For example, I noticed that I have a big flaw.
Speaker 2:
15:37
My flaw typically resides in my right hand at all times and it's my smartphone. The reality is it is tethered to me like an incurable disease. It dings, it sounds, it vibrates. It goes off in any way and it pulls my attention immediately from where I am trying to be present into where it now he wants me to be. It's like a black hole of time sucking death. I know that may sound extreme, but how many times have you gotten on social media with the intent to post one cute little picture of your kid? Only to be pulled out of it two hours later and you don't even know what you accomplished. We must set aside time to disconnect in order to reconnect. So one of my black and white statements sounds like this. Imagine I'm playing a game with my kids or just having a conversation with them after they get home from school and in my hand my phone buzzes and I see an email has come through from a colleague, well I've already been at the Office for eight plus hours today and now I'm home and there's that pivotal moment where I can choose to flip that phone upside down and leave it on the kitchen counter so I can continue on with my children.
Speaker 2:
16:57
Or I can say [inaudible] as if I'm listening and start scrolling on my phone. The reality is the ladder was happening heck of a lot more than the first. So my black and white statement to myself would be, Aaron. It seems like work is more important to you than family because you are willing to sacrifice time with your family for time for work. When it becomes that black and white, when you call yourself out and you say, based off of your actions, this is what you're presenting to the world. I understand that this is what you say, but based off of what you do, if those two messages are not in alignment, it's time to make a change. So either you need to say, actually my priority really is work or in order for my priority to really be family when I'm with my family, I need to put work away.
Speaker 2:
17:59
These statements can often start with, it seems like it sounds like, it looks like, it feels like all of these emotional triggers where we say, okay, what's this is what I'm putting out into the world? Am I okay with that? Am I okay if that's what my child grows up thinking, am I okay if that's what my spouse truly believes, mio? Okay. If that's what I truly believe, and then you start to embark on a journey for change. Our ability to be self aware is one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves and everybody around us. Without self awareness, there is no change. There is no responsibility to be able to enact a change. So while it can be difficult to call a spade a spade, in those moments, it is absolutely vital if we are looking to constantly improve upon who we are.
Speaker 2:
18:55
The reality is burnout is the exact opposite of balance and if we can achieve balance than burnout becomes obsolete. Balanced doesn't mean that we have equal parts to every aspect in our lives. Five hours here, five hours there, five hours over there. That is not what balance is. Balance is the ability to be perfectly present during the time that we have allotted within each of the areas of our lives. If all I have to give my kids is one hour of my time, one hour of my undivided, uninterrupted time, they will appreciate that more than six hours of me constantly being pulled away. I was recently listening to a podcast episode by Adam Grant and he introduced this concept that I loved about rem sleep and rem work and the need that we have to be so uninterruptedly involved in what we do in order to be satisfied with what we do.
Speaker 2:
20:02
If you were to be asleep at any given night and every 15 minutes an alarm sounded to wake you up at the end of that evening, you're not going to feel very well rested. Someone's going to say, how'd you sleep last night and going to say pretty darn crummy. Even if it added up to nine hours, you feel pretty darn crummy. The same thing goes for everything else we do. How did you feel about your parenting efforts today? Well, when I was pulled away by my work every 15 minutes, pretty darn crummy. How did you feel about what you accomplished at work today? Well, I got interrupted by my colleagues every 15 minutes, so pretty darn crummy, just like sleep. We get the best of it when we're deep inside that really quality time. So how do we burnout? First we start our day with intention. We set ourselves up by writing down our priorities, ranking them, and then setting out to achieve them uninterrupted.
Speaker 2:
21:01
Setting clear boundaries for ourselves when it comes to each aspect of our lives, within work and within home and within relationships and within our ability to take care of ourselves. Set those boundaries, clear expectations and boundaries so that you can get deep into each avenue of your life. Take it and conquer it head on second, understand that the word no is a trade for time. Sometimes it feels culturally taboo to say no. We feel like we need to give somebody an explanation as to why we're saying no, but the reality is we don't owe anybody an explanation. Sometimes the answer's just no and when the answer is no, we have given ourselves back a period of time to accomplish something that is higher up on our priority list. I'll say it again. Our sense of balance has less to do with the amount of time we allegate towards any given activity as it does our ability to focus solely on that activity during that period of time.
Speaker 2:
22:07
We've allocated. Creating clear boundaries includes creating clear routines for ourselves so we don't end up putting our needs and the needs of our family members at the bottom rung of the priority list. Balance and freedom lie not in working more, but in working more effectively in working more efficiently, we can accomplish more and work less as we set up parameters and boundaries for ourselves and those we love. The biggest misconception that I want to obliterate from your mind right now is that setting boundaries is somehow tied to a lack of commitment. It is not setting boundaries is not a lack of commitment, but rather a commitment to productive work and a commitment to a balanced life as well as an awareness to lack of productivity when you don't set those boundaries. Living a life of balance is living a life of joy. It is giving our all to every aspect that we choose to prioritize within any given day.
Speaker 2:
23:13
I am a firm believer that change is necessary and as change happens in this regard, you will feel energized to work harder and work smarter within the time that you have allotted yourself to do so. And then when that time is over and you put it away, you will feel more love and more joy within your family as you choose to be present with them, fully present with them. And that includes alone time with your spouse and time for you individually. Take that time. Take the time to connect. Take the time to set your intention and live a balanced life free from the destructive consequences of burnout. Start with one thing, one thing today. Track your progress and celebrate the little victories along the way.
Speaker 1:
24:10
Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media at Erin [inaudible] leap or@aaronequally.com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and conquer some chaos.
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