February 25, 2021
We are going through some #upgrades at KD Coach LLC which required a change of pace with these newsletters. Even though I’m thrilled to roll out what I have in store for you (!!!)…I still bristle every time I have to acknowledge the rules of space/time and downshift in one area in order to build in another.
I mean, can’t we just clone ourselves?!
Of course, the answer is No. But that’s not really the interesting question. The interesting question is why is it so hard, why it feels so DANGEROUS, to pull back *anywhere*?
Why do we go into a meeting absolutely sure that we are not going to volunteer for a single other thing, but we leave with another to-do on our plate? Why do we have that one project that doesn’t align with our values, that doesn’t *really* build on what we are trying to create, and that fundamentally we don’t even like – and yet, we find ourselves still giving it our time and energy? We’ll write a whole grant that we secretly hope doesn’t get funded because we just can’t let it go. Letting go is too dangerous. Downshifting feels like quitting the whole game.
So – if this is you – you are not alone, my friend.
This is what I call Constant Vigilance.
And not the good kind.
This vigilance is not borne of a deep call to serve or of that transcendent place we access when ideas + execution are flowing full throttle. No – this vigilance is about fear. It’s about the constant refrain – “Am I doing enough?” It’s feeding the lie that says “If I just finish this, then I’ll be secure.” This is Constant Vigilance for our worthiness. A never-ending negotiation of our value.
And the game is rigged.
Institutions are built on exploiting a system of diminishing returns. This is why the first grant you got felt amazing, but the 3rd is somehow still not enough. We adapt to this system and ask, “Ok, so what is next?” And there is always something more. As long as you are willing to hustle for your worth, you will stay hustling. Constant Vigilance.
The problem with this – other than the fact that it is exhausting – is that your truly epic ideas NEED your time and energy. Not your leftover mental scraps at the end of the day. They need: 1) your formidable energy, 2) your clearest thoughts, and 3) your full commitment to seeing them through. And you can’t provide these ingredients when you are caught in Constant Vigilance.
When you are in Constant Vigilance, you are using your formidable energy to try and shove 36 hours of work into a 24-hour day. You are wasting your clearest thoughts on trying to anticipate how well you will be judged. And your commitment is to the game and the gold stars, instead of to your purpose.
You can stop this, and awareness is the first step. (You’re welcome ☺).
Here’s the thing – it hurts either way. You can keep going, keep hustling for your worth, and be exhausted and eventually burn out. Or you can stop, TODAY, and initiate the journey of self-reflection and career transformation that is scary AF, vulnerable, and sometimes painful – but leads to freedom.
It hurts either way.
Which path are you taking?
What are you doing that you know you need to stop?
What is it costing you to NOT let go?