Fatigue and self-acceptance
Persistent fatigue is your opportunity to say something stupid, do something wrong, lose your temper, forget details, and destroy your health. (Adapted from Harvard Health)
Driving to success may drive you past tired to persistent fatigue. If it does, success is at risk.
Your desire to please others may drive you to exhaustion. However, exhausted people-pleasers don’t please any one.
Worst of all, in a world preaching self-acceptance, those living in persistent fatigue clearly reject themselves. They reject the limits of humanity.
I suggest persistent fatigue reflects short-sighted, fear-based, self-rejection.
Doing something new may defeat fatigue. For example, if you’re social, leave work and spend time with friends.
Give yourself permission to take a 10 minute mid-morning and mid-afternoon walk. Slow your pace, breathe deeply, and take in the sights.
Visit your doctor. Chronic fatigue may indicate sleep or other health issues.
If you let your hobby slip, find it again. If you don’t have one, finding one may help.
Most importantly, accept who you are. Freely embrace the limitations of your humanity. “No Limits,” at best, is a good marketing slogan. Don’t believe it.
What suggestions do you have for those with persistent fatigue?
Wonderful insight and advice.
Rich, thanks for the good word. Cheers
Just what I needed. Thanks, Dan!
Hey bps.., a good word is an encouragement. Cheers
One of the chief causes of work-related stress is persistent fatigue. I think sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves. As beautiful as it is, Rome was never built in one day. Instead of trying to complete huge tasks or projects in one go, we should acknowledge that we need to break them into small tasks and learn to prioritise. It is better to hit fewer targets than miss a wider range of objectives because of tiredness and stress. This also helps us become conscious of the most important goals. Also, by delegating certain tasks, this frees us from doing all the hard work that causes fatigue.
First, thanks for bring stress into the discussion. My reading validates your point that stress causes fatigue.
Thanks for sharing your insights. I’m glad when I see you in the discussion stream.
Great article. Stress definitely can take the life force out of a person (its done me so many times over). One of the things I am doing this year is making short term goals, which will lead up to the long term goals. I won’t get these overnight, but I will sure learn to appreciate everything I have along the way there. I also learned that its okay to take a few steps backward to take a few steps forward. If Idid something positive that day, its a step forward towards where I want to be.
Thanks for your comment and thanks for sharing your own story of making short term goals.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Sorry, I love corny jokes.
If you let it, work can consume you, mentally and physically. First you have to acknowledge the issue and then you have to ‘want’ to correct it. I’ve done the first and am working on the second. It’s amazing how much better you feel when ‘you give yourself permission’ to be human!
Thanks Dan, your Posts are very practical.
Thanks for sharing both your insights and part of your personal path toward permission to be human.
I absolutely agree that people pleaser truly do not please any one. It is their strategy to create their position. I always think why please please and finally I come to conclusion that it is the fear. Fear of incompetence, fear of insecurity, fear of failure blob…….
Accepting what you are is easy to say but very difficult to do. It takes a lot of courage to show others what you really are. But when you do that, you become good human beings whom people can trust. And I think that is the point where real success starts.
I agree to your point that taking 10 minute mid-morning and mid-afternoon walk with slow pace and deep breathe provide soothing effect.
In absense of self acceptance, fatigue starts. When you accept what you are, fatigueness disappers. I have seen the people who excessively please are real enemy to themselves. They compromise so many things in life that they do not realise it. They believe in position and power acquired by pleasing bosses. These kind of people are true friend to none. So, to be trustworthy you should accept what you are and not somebody else.
The takeaway I’m grabbing is your last sentence. “To be trustworthy you should accept what you are and not somebody else.”
You opened a whole new door of thinking with that short sentence.
Thanks for regularly sharing your insights with the LF community.
Best Regards to you,
Ajay is a featured contributor on Leadershipfreak. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/ajay-gupta
The rest is as important to music as it is to success. Excellent message Dan!
A good word is good! Thanks Alan. Cheers
You can check out Alan’s bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/alan-hill
You hit a nerve for me Dan thank you! For many years I have been making things appear far too easy for those around me. Always msytified at my “success”, I never really let any one see the work that goes into the accomplishmnets which I have achieved. I have terrific teams of folks with which I work but again they do not see the complexity of the coordination of their team efforts to bring projects to com[letion.
Bottom line it has been a tremendous level of stress for me. Through this past year I have come to realize that those around me should see more of that “magic” that has been happening; be more exposed to the stress and complexity of what really occurs. More importantly and this speaks to your point specifically, this has been wearing me down.
So my goal for this year, and the earlier the better, now that I have recognized some of the issues that have driven me to my level of fatigue, is to develop q more effective system to be organized and to share with folks what is really going on behind the curtain.
So, to that end if any one has any suggestions as to how I more effectively use technology (hardware, software etc) to achieve these goals, I would sure appreciate any of that feedback. I keep looking for a journaling/diary/scheduler/todo/notes/contact manager program that would allow me to be less harried, less stressed and be able to document and share more of the activities for successful project and job completion.
Thanks to you and your readers/commentators for a year of insight and wisdom! Happy New Year, good luck, good success and good health! Thank you all!
All long term readers of LF know I enjoy the comments. In addition, I love the personal stories I read here. Thanks for sharing both insights and your personal goals.
It is an interesting challenge you face. In some ways others never know how much we are putting in because they seldom see the things we are saying no to so we can focus our energy on a specific project.
On the other hand, if you are a hard worker you may come off as a braggart by letting others see the effort you put forth.
Perhaps keeping your public calendar up to date would help?
Perhaps other readers have insights to share.
“I never really let any one see the work that goes into the accomplishments which I have achieved.”—Why? What is that about?
Sidecar point: There was a brief TV series called ‘Dead Like Me’ where the lead character, a 16 year old girl, her life stretching out ahead of her and she walking in a busy downtown looks up and sees a flaming toilet seat reentering earth atmosphere from a space station. It hits her and it kills her instantly. The rest of the plot evolves from that scenario, being taken before your time. Too dark?
Not to be too glib, but Gary, what if that flaming toilet seat hits you. Or, perhaps more sanely, what if you decide to move on to another organization. You don’t want leave your current organization in the lurch, that is not being a true leader.
Your idea to share is a great start, maybe go a step farther and start grooming others to do parts of your work. It sounds like you also seem to maintain tight reins on the work, let loose if you can.
Definitely delegate more.
Proactively, a great stress tool is the Instant Calming Sequence by Cooper. It is a here and now tool that can help you unwind a little.
Gary. Your story definitely resonates with me, and I suspect with a lot of engineers. I think that part of the solution is increasing transparency, which also helps with the “hit by a bus” scenario for our organizations. The organization that I work for and others, are moving towards the use of social media or social media like internal tools, for communicating about and more importantly, documenting both the work being done and knowledge. I would encourage you to investigate this for your organization.
However, tools are not enough by themselves, if only we and our teams use them. It sounds like you may have a situation where you need to, at least in part, lead those above you as well as peers, to more innovative thinking. If so, keep reading LF and other blogs regarding leading change. The answers are out there in others stories of their situations and solutions. Blogs like Dan’s help us focus our thinking. And if you’re not following Dan and other leadership thinkers on Twitter, I suggest that you add that to your leadership toolbox.
Best wishes for success.
Dean, thanks for jumping in.
One of the energizing activities that decreases fatigue, frees the mind, increases energy and creativity, facilitates more reflective problem-solving and decision-making is by using mindfulness techniques. There is a great deal of research on this and there is a rich heritage that supports their use. Two of my favorite recent readings in this regard are by Daniel Siegel, ‘The Mindful Brain’ and ‘Mindsight’.
Whether people use breathing exercises, meditation, music or other ways to still the mind and body for as little as 10 minutes a day, I have experienced and heard great results from others. I have coached many leaders who at first show resistance (‘it sounds new age’ etc.) and who have gone on to embrace different ways to regain their energies through use of such mehtods.
As always, right on the money. Another issue with chronic fatigue is that it saps our creativity, which reduces our value as innovators.
Very good point. I’m believing “to sleep” is important thinks for human brain and energy. Certainly sleeping is big secret for hapinness working life or students life or for everyone else. Thanks for this post.
I contend if we all spent only 30 hours a week doing the really important things at work(in a totally focussed way), then we would quickly work ourselves out of jobs. Fatigue is inefficiency disguised as work. I usually get tired because I didn’t do what i was meant to. Putting some sort of time parameter around all tasks is a great way to defeat fatigue and move into hyperspace. Recently my wife and I decided to get up an hour earlier; we get more done, to a better standard and outcome, sleep better, and feel less tired.
Still getting up at 10 a.m. Is a real effort!
“…persistent fatigue reflects short-sighted, fear-based, self-rejection.”–golden nugget there Dan, thanks for that perspective.
Work recharges the bank account and also helps us feel productive.
Sleep recharges the body, need it every day.
Recreation recharges the spirit and the mind. It recreates your essence and gives a fresh perspective.
I snowboard…nothing like carving down some fresh powder, weaving through the trees to get you refocused and not thinking about work…a tree coming at you at 20 mph refocuses you quickly!
Find something fun that you can be as passionate about as you are in your work and you are a very lucky person!
Thanks for jumping in here. In addition, I love seeing you pop around the comments leaving encouraging thoughts and helpful insights. Thanks for all you do.
For some reason I never saw you as a snow boarder. Dang, a surprise around every corner.
Doc is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/doc
Great post and great suggestions. I coach job seekers who feel they cannot take any time off from the search or they will miss an opportunity. Gradually they get so stressed and discouraged that they break down. Then they are willing to take my suggestion that they take the weekend off, go see a movie, get out of town, read a book, take a nap (!) – anything but stay in the grind of looking for work! And miracles then happen: they are refreshed, have a new perspective, get some great ideas about who they could contact, and generally find the world to be a happier place. I remember my coach telling me this same thing and when I acted on the suggestion, I always realized that my “down time” was equally important to my success as my “work time.”
Your point “exhausted people pleasers please nobody” is spot on. Learning how to set healthy limits is a part of self development.
Here is a post I saw on Twitter that expands on your posts. Hope you like. “When does selflessness become selflessMess?”
Thanks for adding value to this discussion. I’m sure Scott appreciates the mention of his blog. I respect his work too.
Best to you,
Kate is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. YOu can read about her at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/kate-nasser
This is an area near and dear to my heart. Simply put, our opportunity for high performance comes ONLY from our ability to RENEW ourselves. Before reading Tony Schwartz’s work The Power of Full Engagement some 8 or 9 years ago I wouldn’t have gotten the FACT that it is “More important to manage your energy than your time.”
Many of the people I coach believe as I did, “You simply work harder, longer, whatever it takes.” In the short run that’s fine. Long term…DOESN’T work. We work longer because we are less efficient/ effective. This continues to snowball until our energy level becomes dangerously low…and our immune system becomes more compromised.
Renewal doesn’t have to take a long time. Understand your cycles and at least every 90 minutes take a break. Get some fresh air, deep 4 count breaths in and 8 count breaths out, listen to some soothing music, take a walk…intentionally “change the station” in your head to an activity (5 – 15 minutes) that is very different from what you have been doing. Find some favorites and make them part of your ritual for renewal.
Investing in yourself is the single key to how well your relationships, your work, your home, your LIFE works!
When I’m feeling fatigued, a nice run, bike ride, or even a walk with the dog does the trick.
Fatigue is more about what’s going on in my head than in my body. (Usually)
P.S. “Loose your temper” should be “Lose your temper”
Thanks for the tips and the grammatical correction. I fixed it.
Uncanny timing on this for me – thank you!
Great basics we all need to keep in mind: How many people either just glaze over at the keyboard or, worse, get overwrought and hurt their health?
Thanks, like the site!
Thanks for pointing out that I’m heading in the wrong direction. It’s hard to accept that trying isn’t any better than taking a break and returning refreshed.
Great post. You have made good points and thank you for sharing helpful tips. Too much fatigue because of work may cause job burnout. If you do not want to experience job burnout, you have to defeat fatigue? How? Think about why you are tired. Is it because of your work in general? If yes, ask for a leave. Go on vacation. Spend time at home with your family. This would help you relax and rest your mind. If you’ve been working too hard to get something, is it worth being tired all the time? Is it urgent for you to have it? If not, take things slow. You would be able to do things better when you’re not rushing. But if you’re just too tired while at work, take a time-out. Go out of your office and have a nice, relaxing walk in the park. Bottom line, if you’re too tired to work, STOP and RELAX.
sorry – wouldn’t be happy with the condemnation “those living in persistent fatigue clearly reject themselves. They reject the limits of humanity.
I suggest persistent fatigue reflects short-sighted, fear-based, self-rejection.”
as a worldwide certified instructor for the Stanford U’s chronic illness self mgmt program, your statements alone are able to increase if not cause fatigue!
causes of fatigue include dehydration, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, anxiety, emotions, pain, shortness of breath, tense muscles, + on… complex beings we are – 300 words or less of inaccuracy doesn’t help anyone toward health and wellbeing.
I’m thankful you stopped in to extend the conversation. I’m thankful for your insights. The most important part of my blog is the conversation. I hope people realize the things I write are not universal truths, just my personal observations. There are always alternatives and more things to say.
A blog of 300 words or less could never cover the intricacies of fatigue or self acceptance. A book couldn’t either. However, as I stated above, your comment adds value. It too is incomplete. Never the less, it enriches me and perhaps it will enrich my readers.
Read VIA Twitter love it! Just as I convinced myself laying down would actually help me be more productive. Great confirmation.
breath deep… :=)
Great article; when we keep rejecting ourselves and NOT accepting ourselves for who we are. Keep competing with others and comparing ourselves that is definitely a set-up for fatigue. Thanks!
Olga, thanks for the good word. I wish success for you. Cheers, Dan
I’m literally experiencing what is stated above, thanks a lot for your advices. I agree with fear-based (my fear is to fail on the path to success) and self-rejection (I have to work hard on myself to get rid of my bad habits).
But why short-sighted ? I’m aware success is on the long run.
Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you are on the path to success. Everyone is unique; with unique strengths and weaknesses. Awareness of who you are and your unique strengths and weaknesses is the first step toward finding your path. Best to you, Dan