The Dreaded Backslide

Dec 29, 2023


Verb.  To revert to a worse position.  Sound familiar?  Unfortunately, it has become all too familiar for me as of late. I was doing what I would consider a good job of managing my life, priorities, commitments, and opportunities.  My board service had come to an end for one organization.  I had opted to step away from another commitment that was draining me.  I was starting to boundary my time and be more intentional in my commitments and relationships.

Outside metrics were looking favorable…

Or were they?  In the midst of all of this, some old feelings started to creep back in.  I am leading a group of entrepreneurs to Utah in early February and out of nowhere an old nemesis returned.  I was bombarded with your presentation isn’t good enough.  Another old acquaintance parked itself in my mind and reminded me that I am not qualified to lead a group.  I probably need to be the one in the group.

And that would have been enough until…

One of my least favorite un-welcomed guests sowed up, the everything to everyone clown.  I hate him.  He tells me that I have to have every answer.  I have to do every thing.  I can’t let my guard down or his buddy, imposter syndrome, is lying in wait.

Any of this sound familiar?

The truth is that my presentation is great and the trip to Utah will be an amazing time of collaboration and growth for all involved.  I am qualified to lead a group. the life experiences on my journey have not happened on accident.  All roads have led to these opportunities to share my burnout story so others don’t have to get so deep into it.  But I am not cured of burnout. I am a work in progress.

We are all a work in progress…

What I discovered is that we need some guard rails to make sure that the backsliding stops.  And much of that is simply asking a few questions.

  1. Am I struggling with imposter syndrome?
  2. Is my self-talk, the things I say to myself when no one else is listening, true, helpful, and kind?
  3. Am I taking on too much?  Do I have too many commitments?
  4. Am I resting?
  5. Am I spending time in quiet reflection and allowing my brain to rest?
  6. What is one choice I can make to create some margin in my life?
  7. Are you trying to be everything to everyone?  Spoiler- you can’t be!

These are tough questions…

And I hope you will give yourself some grace. We are not robots.  We were not meant to live a robotic life.  Choices abound.  Some of the choices we make are good and some are not so good.  Ultimately those choices shape our trajectory.  So we have to pay attention and be vigilant.  The great news is that we all struggle with backsliding.  Every one of us.

There is hope…

Hope that good days are ahead.  Hope that we can grab some wins.  But sometimes that hope seems too far off.  If you feel that you have backslid too far and don’t know what to do about it, let’s have a conversation.  I have a coaching client who was in this same boat a year ago.  Hope was short.  Despair was high.  We dug in and did the work to emerge on the other side with belief that good days are ahead.  They didn’t feel they could do it alone.  And often we can’t.  So don’t suffer in silence.  I believe in you!  And i believe in your ability to right the ship!


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