Recently a young woman admitted to me that she was often “mean” to herself. That morning her internal bully–the one in charge of exercise and diet–berated her for sleeping in and missing a workout: You Jerk! Can’t you do anything right?
This was supposed to motivate her. It didn’t. Perhaps you, too, have noticed that such rigid expectations and unkind inner conversations are actually self-defeating. Trying too hard to make it all just right, all the time, turns us into candidates for burnout.
And in case you think this dried-up condition occurs only when one overworks at a job, reflect on the definition from Myron Rush’s book, Burnout: “The type of stress and emotional fatigue, frustration, and exhaustion that occurs when a series (or combination) of events in a relationship, mission, way of life, or job fail to produce an expected result.” Burnout can happen in any life role or area when we cling to unreasonable expectations and ignore this truth: Only God is perfect!
We gain relief from naggingly consistent disappointment when we “toss out” this misconception that people (including bodies, minds, and emotions) have the ability to be flawless 24/7. It’s just not possible here on this earth.
If you’re like me, you appreciate any reminder of this relief-producing reality, whether it’s through a friend’s story, Bible verse, funny irony you witness, bigger-than-life blunder you face, or speaker/book message. The book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life gives you 163 two-three minute devotionals to help you relax and enjoy your humanness. Check it out. http://tinyurl.com/DevoBook
By the way, if you missed your workout today, give yourself a break and “go for it” tomorrow.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.