Your energy is scattered.
I can say that to you without even knowing you.
You’re working your 9-5. You’re side hustling. You’re showing up for social things (even if they’re on zoom.)
You’re feeling tired. Even on the nights that you get eight hours of sleep, you’re dragging.
I see you. You’re showing up for everyone except for the most important person. Yourself.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I learn this lesson. I learn it repeatedly. Over and over again.
Mantra: “I deserve to put my wellbeing first and keep my energy for myself.”
Whether you work in marketing or not, here are three ways to stop giving away your energy.
1. Take a break from social media
Social media is a huge part of my day job and I STILL NEED A BREAK FROM IT.
If I can take a break from it, so can you.
Your liking shit left and right. You’re scrolling as fast as you can and thinking you’re taking some time for yourself, but in reality, you’re expending energy that you could use on you.
Whether you’re using social media professionally or personally, I urge you to delete the app from your phone when you find yourself mindlessly scrolling.
I delete the apps from my phone daily and redownload them when I need them. That might sound excessive, but I’ve found that it is super important for my mental health.
For the professionals, batch your social posts so you’re on social media once a day or once a week. And if you can, enlist help so it isn’t all on you to engage.
2. Stop setting the expectation that you’ll get back to people right away
I feel this immense pressure to respond to people right away. Not only is it not sustainable, but it’s a huge pressure to put on yourself.
I had someone tell me that boundaries can be like a sliding glass door. When you have the energy, you open the door a little more. When you’re at your limit, you slide the door most of the way shut or completely shut.
This is where I tell you to find what works for you specfically. You can get all of the advice in the world about what is “professional” and what isn’t. You could get feedback from your friends that you take too long to get back to them, but the truth is that all that matters is that you are feeling good day to day and that you’re communicating effectively when your sliding glass door is open. If people fall off the bandwagon because of your boundaries, that doesn’t mean you change your boundaries. It means you allow people to react the way they do and keep doing what’s right for you.
3. Say no to things
I’m still learning how to say no. Professionally, it feels next to impossible. Especially when you work for someone else. You’re taught to suck it up and get the work done. While I am not telling you to stop working, I’m telling you to negotiate with your coworkers and boss.
I came from a people pleasing place when I first started my career. While I found myself really “succeeding” I also found myself lacking a life outside of work.
My life is more than just being productive. I deserve to visualize what I want and need in life professionally and personally.
When I attempted to stop people pleasing and start communicating the truth of my limits and expectations, it wasn’t an easy thing. Feedback can become a little more harsh, people can be a little impatient, but if you’re at a company that cares about you as a person instead of just you as a work horse, they will learn to improve the conditions to fit your needs.
We ebb and flow. We fail and succeed. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in this life, but let me tell you that success shouldn’t come at the expense of your well-being. It should coexist. So redefine what success means to you and align with the people who feel similarly.
The people who are addicted to the chaos and the external validation won’t stick around, but you’ll feel more confident and like you’re showing up for yourself.
Note: when you’re first trying these things, it might feel like you’re being selfish. Don’t let the perception of selfishness keep you stuck in patterns of people-pleasing and exhaustion.
Build a sustainable life for you and the people around you will thrive as well.
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