PUT YOURSELF FIRST
Too often we put others before ourselves. Too often we put others before ourselves the really aren’t ready to receive our help or aren’t willing take full advantage our help. Too often we work ourselves into the ground for other people to the detriment of our own health.
How are you going help those people when you are burnt out?
The answer is quite simple, you’re not.
Probably my biggest flaw and mistake made as a gym owner and PT in my earlier years was that I was too much of a people pleaser. I wanted to ensure everybody was happy in whatever way they needed to be happy.
This is how I figured out that trying to please everyone was impossible and only lead to people still being displeased and me very tired. I figured it out in various ways…
Not Everyone is Going to Like You
I was actually doing a great job in ensuring every single member was happy whether they needed me to aid that or not. Sounds great, right?
Well what happened when a member wasn’t happy and I was unable to fix that? I was the guy that pleased everyone. So to have a displeased person under my care wore heavy, real heavy. It also ended up occupying far too much of my time, time I could have spent on others… or myself.
What have I done wrong? Maybe I am not skilled enough? Maybe my programming is no good? I bust my arse for them, maybe they’re just an ungrateful jerk?
Maybe Stu… maybe it is just not the right fit?
Not everyone is going to like you or like what you do. You are not going to get on well with every person you cross. And that is okay. In fact, it is just fine!
Harper and I have been reading a book called ‘Thelma the Unicorn’. The book is about a pony that wishes it were somebody else, a unicorn. With a stroke of luck she ends up covered in pink paint and glitter and becomes this famous (imposter) unicorn! In quick, she realised that she doesn’t need to be someone else to be happy, she just needs to be herself.
But one part in particular stood out to Harper. Thelma was worldly famous, with adoring fans celebrating her every move. But she also came across people that were simply just mean. They teased and insulted her. Harper asked,
“Why are some people mean to the unicorn? Why don’t they like her?”
I was glad she asked this question as it is a lesson that took me 27 years to learn.
“Firstly babe, some people are just mean, you just ignore those people. Don’t ever waste your time with mean people. But also, not everyone is going to like you or like the things you like.”
This shocked her a little.
“Why?” She asked.
“Well… you really don’t like playing in the dirt do you?”
“Well, some kids love playing in the dirt. So you may not be that interested in playing with that person hey?”
“And that’s okay! Because you know what? There will be lots of other kids that enjoy playing in the dirt with them, while you will be happy playing with kids that are playing dress ups. You’re not all going to be into the same things.”
Her little brain clicked. She got it! I’ve read this book back to her quite a bit because the messages in it are so great. When so many kids are beginning to doubt themselves because of the punks on social media, a message like that could just be the key to help them realise that all of the social media negativity is just noise to be ignored.
2. While I Was Pleasing Everyone in One Place, Others Were Missing Out
One person in particular. My wife.
All of that time I wasted on incompatible people could have been time well spent with her. Not to say that she received zero attention, as being two people each running a business finding balance was always going to be hard.
But I would openly admit that there were times that I would have wasted effort on people that would have benefited more from someone or somewhere more suited to them to the detriment of the promises made to my wife.
Who is more important?
Yes of course the number 1 priority of the gym is to provide our members with a service they deserve and the happiness they deserve from it. But if you have all of the right systems in place, the right people in place, and you love your job, then making the right people for your business happy should be effortless.
3. I Wore Myself Out.
Making the people that love what we do happy wasn’t hard. Trying to make the people that didn’t love us or what we do happy was exhausting and time consuming. Trying to help my wife with the things she needed help with on the little time I had left available was not good enough. Trying to help myself was impossible.
What happens when you burn out?
You have no energy.
You have a short temper.
You don’t have patience.
You can’t be bothered eating properly.
You don’t exercise as much as you should.
Getting out of bed is harder.
If you don’t make a change you are sending yourself down a slippery slope on the pathway to high stress and and poor health. If you are always stressed and if you are of poor health you are of no use to anybody. All of those people you wish to help, you can’t. If you don’t have the energy for yourself how could you possibly have energy for anyone else? How can you give all you need to give to those people? You can’t.
As hard and as scary as it may be to have to stop lending help to the people that need it, if you haven’t got your health in check you are never going to fully give them what they need. Once you have got your health in check you will have the energy, time, patience and clarity in massive abundance to serve those people you so dearly wish to help.
If trying to please everybody is burning you out then you have to learn to say no to the people that really don’t suit what you are giving. Because when you do, you will have more of the time and energy available to give to those that are grateful for it and those that need it from you most.