When I got home last week, after spending several days on the beach in southwest Florida reading books and looking at pelicans, I dove right back into the deep end of work. My week away was refreshing. And then, within a day or two of my return, I was all bottled up with stress again.
I found myself applying burnout-culture tactics to my stress. I swamped my need to de-stress with the expectation that there was a simple solution: Want to succeed? Hustle harder. Aren’t getting results? Double down.
Sometimes that’s good advice. In this case, it wasn’t.
I thought I was failing at the thing that I’m supposed to be really good at: Renewal. But then I tilted my head and squinted my eyes and took a moment to see my stress in a different way. Not as indication of failure, but as an invitation deeper into my relationship with renewal.
It got me thinking: For renewal to take root and become a lasting presence in my life, one that empowers me to have a lasting impact on my world, I need to nurture it with an accurate culture of expectations.
Burnout is seldom a tactical problem solved by the application of more efforts. The threat of burnout is reversed by cultivating an alternative paradigm, one that honors the wild and relational being that you are, a being who needs space to experiment with the rhythms that sustain you. Not just in this moment, but throughout the many and various seasons of your life.