Understanding Exhaustion

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. – Will Rogers

The Broken Path:

My very first blog post was on the topic of exhaustion. I knew my story and how I got to that point, but I didn’t understand why. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of time and perspective, I can see why it happened much clearer than ever.

When I was a child, my parents wanted me to act in a certain way to receive love. But, I felt inauthentic having to suck up for love. I wanted my parents to love me unconditionally, and that never happened. So, I became rebellious and “acted” like I didn’t need my parents, but I hadn’t healed that broken part of me that still craved my parents’ love and attention.

Instead, I sucked up to all kinds of other authority figures, especially at school and work. I wanted validation, and because I didn’t receive it, I worked harder and harder thinking that would do it for me. But, I didn’t realize that I was unconsciously repeating the same pattern that I had going on with my parents.

MY Cause and Effect:

  • Act in a certain way —> get love from parents (NO!)

  • Act in a certain way —> get love from teachers, bosses, and supervisors (YES!)

Can you see the dysfunctional thinking here?

I was unwilling to act for my parents but I was willing to act for teachers, bosses, and supervisors. Still, I submitted and sold myself out. Unsurprisingly, no matter how hard I worked, I never got the love I wanted from my teachers, bosses, and supervisors…or even my parents.

Interestingly enough, this parallel experience taught me that if I would’ve given my parents everything they wanted from me, they would’ve likely not respected me any more than my teachers, bosses, or supervisors did. Rejection would’ve come no matter what because I was sacrificing my authentic self to please others. And, It’s nearly impossible to gain respect while acting inauthentically, even if it’s for “all the right reasons.”

It’s taken a lot of work and I’ve had plenty of support along the way. Most of it I had to pay for, but it was well worth the investment. Because I’m the the single most important element in my life. And, I can proudly say that I’m worth it!

How I Healed:

I worked with many different types of professionals: therapists, coaches, teachers, healers, etc. I can’t say that one was better than the other, but every type of healing worked in different ways.

Overcoming my limiting beliefs about love was the most important step when it came to exhaustion. I had go back to the source and accept that I couldn’t control how ANYONE felt about me. And, that “performing” for love was manipulation. The best way to gain love and respect was not to act but to be authentic.

The only one who could genuinely make me feel good is…me!

And the only one who could truly validate me is…me!

How to Recover From Exhaustion:

Support is a key coping strategy. You’ll need support to reach your authentic internal compass, aka your intuition. You can check out my past entries for more info on support.

Once you are in touch with your intuition, check-in with yourself:

  • Ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”

If you’re doing things ONLY to gain validation from people, then you are never going to get what you are looking for. Make sure that your actions are self-motivated. You should do things because they teach you something, give you perspective, or lead to growth.

  • If you are doing something for yourself because it genuinely feels good, then congratulations, you are on the right path!

  • If, however, you are doing something only for others, then you need to dive deeper to understand what you are looking for. Is it love, safety, security, etc? See if you can give those things to yourself.

  • Ask yourself, “does this feel good to me?”

This is a confusing question at first because you’ll often hear about how Walt Disney worked so many hours and slept so little (aka exhaustion). But, the key to understand is that he worked hard on things that he loved. So, working harder on things you hate won’t give you personal fulfillment.

NOTE: In my case, I was doing things for others and they did not feel good!

New Cause and Effect:

  • Be authentic —> Do things that GENUINELY feel good to me

*This model leads to more energy and more personal fulfillment because I start with an empowering state of being, and then I am able to have fulfilling experiences.

Closing Thoughts:

The moral of the story is that of you are do things for validation, then you will likely be exhausted. But, if you do things for yourself, you will experience a life that that is self-renewing and oh so satisfying!

Amor y canela,

Monica