EP1: Life on MY Terms - Time to Take Control
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
In this episode, I chat about my burn out, how to live Life on YOUR terms, and steps you can take to start getting unstuck.
Hi everyone and welcome to the first episode of “Life on MY Terms.” For those of you that don’t know me, let me take a moment to introduce myself. Wife, daughter, mother, marathon runner, marketing leader, entrepreneur - your “yay” girl, trying to brighten the days of everyone that I come in contact with. Most recently I began my new journey as a health, life and run coach, which is what brings me to this point. I decided to start this podcast after suffering a MAJOR career burn out. Have you been there?
You don't have to settle - it's time to live YOUR life!
The thing about career burn out (or any burn out for that matter) is that it bleeds into your entire life; it affects everything around you. For me I was feeling
Depressed - having to put on a “happy face” was becoming harder and harder. I didn’t want to socialize, not even with my family, which I LOVE spending time with. People kept asking me, “What’s wrong?” While I tried to talk with certain loved ones, it fell on deaf ears I believe due to a lack of empathy and just “gotta hang in there” kind of messaging. I mean, they didn’t mean any ill will, but it made me feel even more trapped.
Stressed to the point it was manifesting itself in nightmares, insomnia, and major anxiety attacks. Imagine going to bed nervous for no real reason and waking up a ball of anxiety? Brutal. Not to mention that I was having to work every Sunday and sometimes on Saturday as well. I currently have about 5 sleep aids at home that I was having to rotate just to be able to get 6 -7 hours of sleep to function the next day. I had never really understood anxiety before until time and boy, I am so sorry for everyone that is dealing with it chronically.
Lack of motivation - I started dreading work on Saturday night. Forget the Sunday scaries. Mine started way sooner. Just me trying to pump myself up for the week to come. What about beyond work? I am a marathon runner - lover of movement and taking care of my body. I was skipping workouts and emotionally eating ice cream in the middle of the workday. And as you will learn on the pod, sugar only amplifies the feelings of depression.
For me, my burn out was brewing for a year. Looking back there were a lot of signs. Firstly, money. Somehow our society is always chasing that millionaire's dream/life. Just burning the midnight oil b/c we are taught that those that hustle and work themselves to death make it BIG. For me, if I wanted to keep growing my company, I needed to keep taking on clients which often meant more work for me. And so that cycle began - me pumped to get a new client and then 24 hours later, sitting resentful of the decision I had just made.
Next, the waves of exhaustion - like physically not feeling able to focus on a video call b/c my tank was drained. I learned a lot about the human body in this process of burn out. We, as humans, only have so much in our tank. We need to really begin to understand what drains us b/c those drains deplete our tank drastically. For me, it was constantly having to take calls due to client emergencies - fixing things. People not pleased, complaining. Drained all of my energy and left me feeling like poor Walle the robot on low-power mode.
And then the cortisol overload kicked on. Spikes in my blood pressure and heart rate, not to mention the bloating that I was suffering from. Fight or Flight was in full swing, almost the entire time I was not sleeping.
This all came to a head while running the London Marathon where I cried the entire time - not from the physical pain of the marathon, but all the pent-up energy coming out. My body had had enough - it was time to make a BIG change.
This experience forced me to stop - and start living life on my terms. I was in search of purpose and meaning for all aspects of my life. It was not an overnight thing for sure - almost a year in the making and still in progress, but nevertheless, I am on my way to getting there.
What does it mean to live your life on YOUR terms?
Life on your own terms means the ability to live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means being able to enjoy quality time with your family, while also having a purpose-filled career that provides financial freedom. It also means having the time, freedom and flexibility to pursue the things that matter most to you, whether that is travel, volunteering, fitness, or any number of other hobbies or interests.
When I sought out to take control and start living life on my terms, I wanted to be surrounded by people, experiences and opportunities who desire to be more, do more, and live more.
The truth is - Many people go through life without a purpose or plan. They feel stuck in their jobs, believing that the only way to provide for their family is to work long hours. Some people are so overwhelmed by the bills they have to pay that they have no extra money for the things they truly enjoy.
Others are working jobs that they simply don’t enjoy, feeling unhappy each and every day. Many moms make the decision to stay at home and raise their children, but they don’t feel fulfilled because they aren’t using their professional talents and skills.
I know that there is another way: you don’t have to stay stuck in a job you hate or work crazy hours in order to keep the lifestyle you desire. You don’t have to settle for a relationship that doesn’t serve you. You don’t need to be just like the girl in your fitness class. You don’t have to be a prisoner to food. It is possible to live a life that you love – a life on your own terms.
And when you live life on your own terms, you will be a more fulfilled and happy person. You’re likely to be a much better spouse, parent, friend, coworker - a better human. You’ll be able to contribute more to those around you.
You might be thinking, “Well, that sounds great, but how? Where do I even begin?” Good thing for you, I’ve created this podcast series to help you pave the way. I know what struggle feels like, and I am here to help. Here’s what you can expect - and some thoughts to get started now:
First, what can you look forward to on the pod?
When I was struggling immensely, I needed help. I read a ton of books and listened to experts and what I found was there are several trends that we see over and over that affect our life where we feel stuck: relationships, health & wellness, money, career, and self-esteem/respect. Each week I will be chatting with experts and real people who have advice to help you take control of your life - help you get unstuck and move forward with whatever goals you’re seeking.
Next, what can you do today to get started.
First thing is first, start to identify the “problem.” Maybe you are seeking healthier habits. You are eating poorly and often are rushing around, getting fast food all of the time. You have no energy and are gaining weight. Get that on paper - and reframe it “I am going to be my most healthy self.” From there, what are the steps you may need to take. Jot as many of those down as you can. Once you get them down, circle the ones that you can solve quickly and begin to plan for how you may bring those to life, one by one. Then pick one to start with. For example, maybe meal prepping is one. Take that as your first action item (it is important just to focus on one at a time so you can a) change the behavior and b) make it a habit). We are looking for small, consistent changes, nothing drastic. Take a couple of weeks to get your bearings with your meal prep, and start to document how you feel. From there, you might also realize you need more support - what and how should you be eating? Do you have any issues with food rules? Do you know what foods give you the most energy? You can write those down as milestones to solve, but know and appreciate that you are already making yourself 1% better because of the meal prep.
So get ready - this will be fun. New episodes air on Friday’s. If you have any questions - or want to send over a future topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember, living life on your own terms means having purpose and fulfillment in your life, as well as having freedom and flexibility to do what matters most to you. It's important to do this because how you feel about your life and work affects not only you but also everyone around you.