When It's All or Nothing

I used to be an all or nothing person and I have to admit that it was pretty painful. All of that pressure, stress, and intense effort put into one thing is a great recipe for exhaustion and burnout. Only I didn’t know that, I just thought if you wanted something bad enough you just pushed yourself as hard as possible. After years of this, I realized that though I was getting things accomplished, I felt like crap. I was also measuring myself with a level of intense perfection. Not a pretty scene and it became clear to me that there had to be another way.

I see this “all or nothing” syndrome all the time in my clients. It usually comes in two forms. The first are my clients who know exactly what they want and when it doesn’t happen immediately they give up. The other group are my clients who think they have to give there all to just one thing; like their job. They put so much time in they are burnt out and exhausted. They have no time or energy for what they really want. “All or nothing” is a good dream squelcher.

The good news is that there is a remedy. First and foremost, you must allow the time and space for the goal to happen. We can’t force everything in life and giving up too soon means we are stopping circumstances from working in our favor. This part takes belief that it can happen.

The second part of the solution is creating a plan that is realistic to our lifestyle and creating steps that make sense to who we are, what we are about, and where we are at in this moment. Sometimes the steps we create are too large and don’t mesh with the other circumstances in our lives.  It’s no mystery why they don’t work. Being realistic means creating a framework, steps, and a time frame that is achievable to you, even if it takes a little longer.

When you feel doubt and discouragement creep in. Start looking at your why. Why do you want this thing? Why is this important to you? In your “why” you will find lots of answers about your passion, what you really want, and why you need to keep going. Your why will help you get past the nagging question of “how” can I make this happen. It will also make you realize that it is an imperfect process that doesn’t have to occur in a measured time for you to be happy.

You can give 100% at your job and still allow yourself to enjoy the rest of your life. If you are looking to work on a side project or go back to school, the key is balance. Find ways to give your all in the time allotted for work and allow yourself some times during the week to rest. In this rest time a plan will form, that will help you create a new schedule that let’s you shine at work and work on your dreams at the same time.

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