Jan 1

The Burnout Epidemic: Lifting the Veil on the Compulsive Drive to Achieve and Produce

 

Stressed out

There is a voice inside many high-achieving women (and girls) that demands, “Go! Go! Go!  Do not slow down.  Do not stop.  Do not rest.  There is more to do!”  Just the thought of slowing, even for a moment, is terrifying because the fear threatens, “What if you cannot get going again? What if this time, is the time, it all falls apart? NO! You cannot stop, you cannot rest.  It is too dangerous!”

The echo left behind is sourced from an old, untreated wound that believes it is never enough.  External accomplishments are meant to silence the self-doubt that always seems to be pushing and driving–demanding more, more, more.  Caught up in the whirlwind of intense, chaotic activity there is little time for grounded reflection.  We write off the overwhelming stress and anxiety as a by-product of the “successful” life we are leading.  Pretending we believe things will be different once we close the big deal or land the next promotion.  But, the reprieve never comes.

In moments of despair, we may wonder why all of this accomplishing and achieving can’t seem to eradicate the sinking feeling that something crucial is missing.  It is as if, at the center of a life that reflects our culture’s definition of success, there is a barren, aching emptiness screaming, “This can’t be all there is!”

To touch into this feeling, this knowing for too long, is to walk through the doors of chaos and possibility.  Maureen Murdock gives voice to this soul disconnect and its source in, The Heroine’s Journey:

“Our heroine has learned to perform well, so when she feels a sense of discomfort she tackles the next hurdle: a new degree, a more prestigious position, a geographical move, a sexual liaison, another child.  She soothes her feelings of emptiness by massaging her ego with further acts of ‘heroism’ and achievement… There is a great adrenaline rush associated with the achievement of a goal, and this ‘high’ masks the deep-seated pain associated with not being enough.  She hardly notices the let-down after her goal has been won, she is onto the next one.

This obsessive need to stay busy and productive keeps her from having to experience her growing sense of loss.  But, what is loss?  Surely, she has achieved everything she has set out to do, but it has come at a great sacrifice to her soul.  Her relationship with her inner world is estranged.”

Deep in our bones we each feel the pull to answer the callings of our heart and soul.  The question is: Are we willing to turn toward ourselves? Are we willing to admit that we matter? Can we acknowledge that our needs, wants and desires are worthy?

The world is experiencing great change and women are being called to discover and declare new ways to live and lead.  Do you feel this calling?

If you are ready to live a more fulfilling and vitalizing life, if you are ready to embrace the most powerful parts of yourself, then I welcome you to connect with me at rachel.keener@newvisionproject.com or 828.318.6908. We will do an initial call, free of charge, to see if a single session or personalized program series makes sense for you.

Please keep in mind that the best results are typically created when the reasons for the work are triggered by important periods of change, a need for personal growth or persistent feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration or the perception of being stuck.

In the words of the great Sufi mystic and poet, Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.”

Reiki Master in Asheville, NC

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Writings

Leave a Reply