The "N" Word
I don’t agree with the old adage “Tis better to give than receive.” In my 25+ years of working with human service professionals including teachers, nurses, and therapists, I have seen too many of these helpers experience burnout. Many employers are only too happy to see their workers give 100%+ of their time and energy. But if you are giving 100% of yourself in the workplace, how can you have any energy left over for the rest of your life?
A philosophy that works for me is: “I give to others, but NOT at my own expense.” This sets the stage for a win-win scenario. In the workplace, I do the very best I can. And yet, when I feel unrealistic expectations are being placed upon me, I acknowledge that—always to myself, and to my employer when possible. I brainstorm ways I can work smarter, and not harder. Using this process recently, I was able to increase my productivity to 138%, and I am working less hard than I was before!
In order for this transformation to happen, I had to use the “N” word. Initially, I felt very angry about the expectations that were being placed on me, and I felt bullied because I couldn’t meet the demands. So, I finally said “No.” I refused to continue working over my lunch hour or to see clients back to back for 4 hours with no breaks. I started taking time between clients to breathe and rest my eyes. I began setting intentions each day to attract joy and miracles.
Finally, after several months, things began to shift, and I no longer felt as if I were drowning. I knew I was doing better when my creative Spirit emerged and ideas for supporting my peers and making my work more joyful began to emerge. Coming from a state of joy not only benefits my clients, it helps me attract what I want and dispel what I don’t.
If you have the sense that you are giving to others at your own expense, please take time to evaluate your situation. What are some ways you can begin to say NO? If you need support in this process, I would be honored to assist. The time and effort you spend on this endeavor will be well worth the effort!