When you’re driving and the car’s temperature gauge indicates it is overheating, what do you do?
When you realise the battery is not recharging, what do you do?
When you’re running out of fuel, what do you do?
When you realise the breaks are getting worn out, what do you do?
If you’re like most people, you probably:
Stop driving so the car can cool down
Check the battery and check the alternator, repairing or changing the faulty element
Find a petrol station
Change the breaks
If you don’t and you destroy your car, you can buy another one.
But what do you do when you are overheating?
What about when your energy levels are not recharging?
And when you are running out of fuel?
What about when you are not finding it possible to break and slow down when needed?
Our bodies, fortunately, also send us signals of how we are coping, alas we have to create our own dashboards (there isn’t really an app for that. Yet.) to monitor ourselves and learn to read the signals. We can rely on people around us, however they are seldom objective, no matter how good (or bad) their intentions and it is not always fair to ask them to look out for us.
If you are overheating, are you realising it and slowing down? Or are you accelerating? The work culture often celebrates people who are stressed, swamped, underwater, even though this indicates insufficient time management. And negative stress (distress), in turn, creates more fear and impedes our ability to… manage our time.
If your energy levels are not recharging, how much are you respecting yourself? How much sleep are you getting? Are you eating the right food? Are you doing activities that bring you energy? Or do you lack the energy to do sport, cook, read or do anything else that is meaningful in your spare time? Are you able to understand why your energy is not being recharged and make changes? If nothing changes in a system, the outcome will probably remain the same. Does this outcome work for you? If not, what can you change? Working with a coach can help you identify your blindspots and rapidly make impactful changes.
When you are “running out of fuel”, do you know where to go to fill up? Can you do so alone or are you counting on a partner, friends or family to provide you with energy?
When your brakes are not working, do you find a way to slow down? Or do you hit the accelerator?
If we crash our car or destroy the motor, we can buy another one. If we crash ourselves, healing takes time, can cost a lot of money and can cost us our relationships.
Keep an eye on the indicators to make sure you’re treating yourself at least as well as you’re treating your car. You deserve it (more than your car does).