“Stop doing the things that don’t fulfill you.” I saw this quote on Facebook and knew I had to talk about it on the podcast. Because this is something BIG that I learned after years of being a business owner and a mom, and because when you learn something good you want to share it with others! You don’t have to feel stuck. You can start doing the things that fulfill you.
I have to listen to my energy when I’m in a burnout or going through a rut, feeling drained and feeling like I don’t want to go to work because there’s a specific project or client that just isn’t fulfilling me and I just don’t want to do it. It’s bringing my energy level down and as soon as I cut out that piece of work that’s pulling me back, I’m productive and excited to work. So what is your energy telling you?
So here’s some examples in my own life that might help you to better understand this. The first years of motherhood I really tried to do the pinterest mom thing, it wasn’t me but I was trying to keep up with my friends and their kid’s birthday parties. It was draining trying to outdo other moms and compete with their parties. Another thing is baking, I don’t really love it. I’m totally fine with pre-made cookie dough but felt like I had to do the “from scratch” thing because it was what all the other moms did. All things PTA and school volunteering is also just not me. All of these things do not fulfill me, I was just doing them to escape the mom judgement.
You can probably start to see some examples in your own life and you’re probably doing them because of others’ expectations. And I can probably guess that it’s not fulfilling you. In business it might be saying not saying no to a project and not cutting ties with clients because of fear of losing their business or getting bad reviews. So what? You’ll replace them with someone who values you more.
So think right now, what are some things you’re doing only because others are doing it? Then pay attention to your energy levels: what makes you feel drained, burnt out or feel like you don’t want to work anymore? Pay attention to your energy and do the things that make you feel excited or alive. Try to fill your time with things that are closer to your purpose and let go of things that are draining you.
Until I learned how to say no and let go of draining things, I was not aligned in my purpose or what I really wanted to do. The transition from photography to coaching was tricky to navigate because I’ve been a photographer for years, it’s my identity and it pays the bills. But I feel more fulfilled through coaching so instead of just quitting photography, I had to analyze my schedule and pull back on brand shoots so I can work in more coaching sessions. You don’t have to feel stuck and we can work through good solutions. Your energy will be restored and you will find your purpose.
We want you to feel fulfilled, not overwhelmed, irritated, fatigued, stressed out, depressed, exhausted. All these feelings are signs you’re in stress overload, peak burnout and draining unfulfillment. We need to start paying attention to those signals and warning signs, so listen to your body and find a way to change up your day-to-day.
Some things you can do if you are in that depletion or burnout:
1. Stop saying yes to everything
We like to people-please but we need to go back to our boundaries episode, and I have to keep reminding you that you have to set boundaries. You can’t pour into anyone else if you’re pouring from an empty glass. It doesn’t matter if we’re volunteering for 10 things but we aren’t even going to be helpful. You have to take care of yourself before taking care of others and the first step to putting yourself first is setting boundaries.
2. Outsource, delegate, hire
Another thing we talk about all the time. What are you waiting for? If there’s something you’re overwhelmed with, outsource it right now. Maybe that’s laundry, cleaning, answering emails or bookkeeping. You have to start asking for help.
If you don’t have time for what matters, stop doing the things that don’t. SO SIMPLE. What can you let go of, what can you let out of your life? You have to start prioritizing the things that make you feel fulfilled.
4. Let go of toxic or unfulfilling relationships
This has been really hard for me over the last decade. I don’t do breakups, I’m loyal and want the best for my friends so when I realize I’m in a toxic relationship, it really hurts me. I poured everything into a friend, giving a lot and not taking much. You don’t have to continue to feel that hurt and you can walk away.
Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 9 years ago, and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a full associate team. We shoot 50-75 weddings a year, and thrive on kindness and service. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses about running a small business and marketing.
October 12, 2021