Are you holding yourself to an impossible standard?  How do you set priorities among everything you do and want? What you measure is what you get, so be very careful what you measure.

There’s Only One You

Usually, the phrase “there’s only one you” is a tag line in great feel-good movies that remind us that our own uniqueness is precious.

There’s another side to that phrase, though.

My overwhelmed, stressed-out clients carefully partition your to-do lists among “work” and “family” and “volunteer/church” responsibilities. Many of us tend to create strong mental walls between those to-do lists.

Of course, whenever we can fully focus on one sphere of responsibilities at a time, we are much more likely to be productive in that sphere. That’s a no-brainer.

Nevertheless, all those responsibilities are being carried by the SAME PERSON.

You.

There’s only one you.  And if that “you” is doing your best to carry more than you realistically can, that you will feel overwhelmed, stressed and inadequate.

Do you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and inadequate?

What You Measure Is What You Get

Here’s my 2-step process for getting a handle on the overwhelm you feel when you’re carrying a ton of responsibilities:

  1. Make a list of everything you feel responsible for in your life. Everything that rests on your shoulders.
  2. Now, ask yourself this question: If your trusted best friend came to you with that list, and said, “I’m exhausted and stressed!” what would you advise them to do? Listen hard, here.

Better yet, actually bring that list to your trusted best friend. Ask for their candid advice. An outside perspective can be immensely helpful, here, if you’re willing to listen.  Here’s where you want your best friend to start their analysis:

Is that a possible list for one human being to carry all at once?  Is it possible even for a human being as awesome as you are?

Finally, what yardstick are you (or your friend) using to measure the possibility of that list?

What you measure is what you get. Hands, yardstick, notebook.

Photo by Tamarcus Brown in Unsplash

The yardstick of a “you” in crisis mode, working flat out at top speed? Or the yardstick of a “you” that enjoys moments to breathe, to connect with a child or a friend, to dream, or to satisfy your curious or creative impulses?

In business, they say, “What you measure is what you get.”  With this in mind, be careful not only what you measure, but what yardstick you use to measure it.

There's only one you, and your uniqueness — and the energy  you have to express it — are very precious, indeed.

— Beth Genly is the chief Burnout Recovery Mentor at Burnout Solutions, and co-author (with Dr. Marnie Loomis, ND) of Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back.