I’ve been struggling lately. I feel run down, burnt out, stressed out, and maxed out. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “too many tabs open” when it comes to constantly feeling like your brain is going a million miles a minute. Between being a wife, mom, working a demanding corporate job, and running an online business I feel like my brain never gets a rest. Usually that’s okay, but lately it’s taking a toll. I often find myself just sitting in front of my computer staring at the screen unsure of what to do next. This is NOT typical for me. Usually I’m pounding through my to-do list with gusto.
My mindset has been off in all aspects of my life. In an attempt to get back on track this week I listened to a female entrepreneur podcast. I couldn’t even tell you which one it or what the main topic was because I was trying to do too many things at once. One concept contained to play on repeat in my head. The concept of leaning in.
For many of us we associate the context of leaning in with our careers as coined by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m all for chasing career aspirations, but at this particular moment in my life leaning in looks a little different.
I am starting to apply leaning in to my daily life. Whatever it is I’m doing in the moment. Leaning in for me is about being more present. If you know me, you know that multitasking is a way of life for me. And I know it is for many women. It’s a means to survival of the daily demands we are subject to. I’ve come to learn that there truly is a time and a place for multitasking. Recently I’ve been giving everything 30% effort because I’m trying to give my effort in too many places at the same time. I don’t WANT to be giving only 30%, and frankly for several months I’ve felt like I’ve been giving everything 100%. With the feelings of being unfulfilled looming around me I realize that’s simply not the case.
I am now focused on leaning in to whatever it is I’m doing in that moment. So while writing this post I’m not also checking my Instagram feed, checking emails as they pop in and responding to the 6,000 Facebook notifications on my computer. When I’m playing with or watching my son, I’m not also scrolling social media, responding to macros, and replying to emails. I want to “lean in” to each moment in life as much as possible. That means with my husband too. When we finally get some down time together I want to lean in to that precious time with him.
Lately I’ve been feeling completely unfulfilled which is pretty crazy considering I have a lot of sources of fulfillment in my life. I’m a mom, I have a great job, strong marriage, and successful online business. A simple truth remains – you get out of life, relationships, jobs what you put into them. If you are only putting in 30% that’s what you are going to get back. Now, in my mind I’ve been giving 100% to all areas of my life, but that just isn’t humanly possible. The truth is that no matter what I’ve been doing lately something else is ALWAYS on my mind and often times I’m working on multiple things at once. Too many damn tabs!
I will always be a multitasker, and frankly, a pretty darn good one, but I’ve learned and realized there is a time and a place.
And don’t be afraid to lean in to the unknown. There is so much beauty and growth in our journalese through life. This one is particularly difficult to me because I am a type A planner at heart. I always have to have a plan. A plan for what’s next. Sometimes that’s just not possible and that’s ok. Sometimes you have to lean in to those feelings of uncertainty to find clarity.
I know there are so many women out there that can relate to this. We have so many balls to keep in the air that we often forget or don’t allow ourselves to lean in to one task or certain moments as much as we should. My challenge to you is to slow down a little, take a breath, and lean in to whatever is important to you.
When you are working out – focus on that – use that as your time to block out the rest of the world. Don’t scroll Facebook or Instagram in between sets. Just breath. Be thankful for the ability to exercise. When you are with your child lean in to experiencing the world through their eyes. The days are long, but I hear the years are short. I certainly don’t want to look back and wish I wouldn’t have been multitasking so much when spending time with my precious baby. Lean in with your husband/friends/family. The more you give to your relationships the more you will get from them. Lean in to your career and dreams. You are uniquely you. Don’t ever forget what you bring to the table.
I truly believe if we are putting our best selves out into the world good will come back so I’m going to keep doing that. I’m going to slow down, and give everything a little bit more of “me”, even if that means things take me just a little bit longer.