In many women I work with, I see two seemingly opposing forces at work.
On the one hand, they crash and burn in existing systems.
Their longtime adaption has started taking its toll. They can’t take a breather. They are utterly depleted at the end of a working day. They feel frustrated, overwhelmed, unable to influence processes, outcomes and also: the behavior of others.
On the other hand, they would love to make a change.
In concrete terms, this often comes down to: smaller scale, shorter lines, more self-determination, less rigid structures, less consultation. But how should that change come about? When I ask, invariably they fear that taking it on themselves will bleed them dry, .
And I get that! That would be like fighting windmills, right? If you’re the only one, or at least the only one opening her mouth? And it’s not as if they’ll thank you for it. You will not make yourself popular. It will cost tons of energy, and for what? Mayhem, and just more stress.
So they just continue in sub-optimal conditions. Guard themselves as best they can. Learn to deal with it somehow.
Recent criticism of mindfulness training (which I have taught a lot and will be offered again in the course of this year) that came up was: you should not teach people how to deal ‘better’ with a sick system. In this way you shift the responsibility for a disease-causing system onto the individual.
I wholeheartedly agree. My hope and aim is that people become more resilient – whether it is through mindfulness training, coaching or therapy. And thus become part of the necessary change. Because they now have room to think about that change, and make proposals. Feel stronger when they say “no.” Know how to gather support.
Dear professional: please don’t get stuck in frustrating systems that deprive you of your autonomy, freedom of movement, ability to excel and your pleasure.
Let me tell you where the key lies for change without burning out.
It’s self-care. Self-care as we have defined it as a professional competence in the training where I work. At all levels of Maslow’s pyramid.
Invest in yourself. Make yourself the center of your life (we often haven’t learned that, but it’s not too late for that!).
No idea where to start, or how? I have 3 options for you
1. You can join my online retreats every quarter. A day dedicated to self-care. An upgrade of your system. Re-calibration.
The next one is on March 27, and there’s still space. Find more information here or sign up directly here.
2. For more profound and more sustainable results, we work 1 on 1. If you wish, you can request a free strategy call here.
3. If you are a (mental) health care, social work or educational professional and live in the Netherlands, you can join my 3-day training Mind Yourself. Find more info here.