Long long ago, I was an English teacher in a grammar school where I would have to teach 5 – 7 hours straight. To say I was exhausted at the end of those days is putting it mildly. Sure, I was a lot younger. Still, I felt I was completely wearing myself down and there was no way I could do this until retirement.
I quit – for several reasons, but this was certainly one of them.
Fast forward 15 years. I got into 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring. Far less draining, working with just one person at a time, right?
Wrong. I could still feel equally exhausted – and not just because I was now 15 years older.
I used to think there was something wrong with me. That I was probably too sensitive, too introverted, didn’t have solid boundaries and therefore I couldn’t work with people, let alone groups.
Today, I’m still working 1-on-1 with people and teaching groups. And I’ve learnt there is nothing wrong with me, and I needn’t be drained by the work I do.
In fact, I can be energized by it.
In the people business it is easy to over-give. Many who are in that line of work are natural givers, natural helpers. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, you need to keep things in balance. In your training, I’m sure you were told many times to ‘lean back’ when working with a client or group. But in the heat of the moment, you forget. You lean forward, you give, you work, you … solve. Because you feel responsible – more so than you should.
For me, that became my cue. And if feeling drained in your work is an issue for you, I suggest you start paying close attention to this cue.
When you get into problem-solving mode, you are working too hard. You are, figuratively speaking, trying to live the other person’s life.
You can’t, and you mustn’t. You are in fact not doing your best work when you get into that mode.
Your job is to empower people, to help them believe in themselves, to activate their learning and growing capacities, their capacity for self-healing. You’re definitely NOT doing that when you are in problem-solving (and working-too-hard) mode.
Now the cause of getting in that state, is usually lack of trust. Trust in yourself, trust in the process, trust maybe in the capacities of the other person. Maybe they’re showing resistance, maybe they’re passive, maybe they’re angry. Maybe they have come to you with a problem you have in your own life, and so you get thrown into a space of fear.
Remember this is not about you and your story. So get out of your own story. Recognize the fear. Understand that fear disconnects you from your soul – your biggest inspirator!
You’ll know when you are working from the soul space – you’ll feel inspired and energized, not drained.
Is this going on for you? It needn’t be that way – and I can help you. If you want to find out how, let’s talk. Click this link to book a complimentary discovery call.