The #1 Way to Avoid Burnout

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Burnout2

Today, I was doing my early morning bible reading in Exodus 18 when I was enlightened by Jethro’s advice to Moses.  Moses had been spending so much time dealing with minor complaints from the people that he had little time to handle more important things.

Jethro asked him, “Why are you trying to do this alone?”

Moses responded, “People come to me to seek God’s guidance.”

Jethro’s advice was simple. “Then get help and delegate!”

Getting help and delegating sounds simple and easy, doesn’t it? But a lot of people don’t do it. Even biblical heroes like Moses had to be reminded to let go of trying to handle everything. He had the best intentions, of course.  But over time, he was going to burn himself out.  If this scenario feels all too familiar, then you’re also probably someone who seeks to do everything on your own.

I used to be that person.  I was used to having a lot of responsibility at an early age, so it was hard for me to ask for help. However, as my responsibilities grew, I learned the importance of identifying reliable and knowledgeable resources to assist me. If you want a balanced, healthy life where you don’t feel overwhelmed and worn out, then you will need to ask for help and delegate when necessary.

Don’t fall victim to the misconceptions below:

  • Depending on others is a sign of weakness. This is false.  We need others to help us to do what God called us to do effectively.
  • If I ask someone for help, they may say no. Yes, this is true. But it’s okay if someone says they cannot help you.  People have obligations or conflicting priorities that may prevent them from being able to help.  Don’t take it personally.  Just ask someone else.
  • They won’t do the job as I would do it. Yes, this is also true.  However, we all have unique gifts and preferred ways of completing tasks.  Give clear and concise direction to ensure the job is achieved in the manner in which you would like.  Check in periodically to see if further clarification is needed.
  • I don’t trust people. Get referrals from trustworthy resources and give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.  They may disappoint you at times, but that happens to everyone. There are times when you disappointed others, even when you didn’t intend to.  Learn to practice grace and forgiveness.

Asking for help and delegating is essential for emotional, mental, and physical life balance.  God did not create us to do life alone!

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Purposeful Connections

PurposefulConnections

A few months ago, I posted a blog titled “When You Can’t See the Palm Trees”.  At the time, I was in a space filled with loneliness, doubt and regret.  If I’m honest with myself, I was having some real faith issues.  I felt disconnected from God, family and friends.

Though I was at a low point in my life, I never lost sight of the purpose that God birthed in me.  I was called to motivate and encourage people to live to their greatest potential.  I knew that I needed to form purposeful connections in my new location in order to reignite my calling.  As a result, I identified key connection areas (see list below) and became intentional about making connections.

  • Find a Church Home – Being connected with a church body is a critical aspect of growing as a Christian. As a result, my husband and I aggressively visited churches.  After several visits, we found a church that we felt compelled to attend.  We are now regular attendees.
  • Join a Life Group – After being former Life Group members, my husband and I recognized the value of being in an intimate Christian community. After making several calls to find a Life Group, we were placed in small group.  We have been blessed by the love and support of our leaders and fellow members.
  • Seek Personal Connections – Nurturing relationships are vitally important for establishing friendships. As I met various women, I looked for beliefs, experiences, and goals upon which to connect.  As a result, I see budding friendships forming.
  • Seek Professional Connections – Professional connections play a critical role in identifying opportunities for professional growth and development. I sought out professional conferences and networking events which exposed me to various learning and career enhancement opportunities.
  • Identify Volunteer Opportunities – The best way to get yourself out of a pity party is to volunteer with an organization that focuses on meeting the needs of others. I became involved with a great organization called 4 Kids. Their vision is a home for every child.

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When You Can’t See The Palm Trees

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My husband and I recently moved from a city we loved to pursue new opportunities.  We left beloved friends, a great church, and a wonderful suburb with the best neighbors one could imagine.  Though it was a hard decision to make, we truly felt that God was leading us to another state.

Once we arrived, I experienced extreme feelings of loss.  Though I was surrounded by warm weather, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful palm trees, I just couldn’t get past feeling a deep regret.  I tried to meet new people through group functions.  I attended conferences and networking events.  My husband and I visited several churches.  Yet, even with all of these activities, I still felt empty and sad.  I tried to hide it, but I missed the life I left behind.

I prayed to God daily and asked him “God, why am I here?”  The quiet voice I heard said “there are greater things in store for you, but you must trust me”.  Well, even though I heard that voice, I still had a hard time with the transition.  And I thought, “how am I going to encourage and motivate others when I’m feeling so discouraged?”

It’s in times like these that you need loving phone calls from good friends and family members, inspiration from God’s words, and motivational insight from a respected Christian Leader.  As I was watching Joel Osteen one morning, he said that sometimes God takes us through a season of being alone.  This is time we can draw closer to God, time we would normally give to another person or activity.  God wants us to embrace our season of isolation.  During these moments, we experience a pruning process so that we can bear much fruit.

Hearing Joel recite God’s word was life-changing.  I had a new perspective on things.  Even though I felt sad and I missed my old life, I had confidence knowing these feelings were temporary and God was doing a new work in me.

Focusing on people and things we lost can make us lose sight of the beautiful palm trees in front of us.  Center your thoughts around the benefits of your new situation.  It may feel uncomfortable for a while, but trust God to bring insight, peace and comfort right where you are.

2016, The Year to…GET IT DONE…

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getting-work-done

I’m claiming 2016 as The Year to… GET IT DONE…

I encourage you to make 2016 the year that you fulfill personal, career, and spiritual goals and begin walking in your unique purpose.  No more frustration with stagnant careers or relationships, while wishing for a meaningful and rewarding life.  It’s time to eliminate the obstacles holding you back. It’s time to begin mapping your journey towards purposeful living.

It’s time to GET IT DONE!

To begin, let’s look at what I call my 10 key Compass Principles. Why are they called Compass Principles?  These sequential steps are critical in helping you navigate your journey to a purpose-filled life while never losing sight of your destination.

  • Set Your Spiritual Foundation. This is achieved through constant prayer, reading God’s word, and seeking inspirational guidance.
  • Assess Where You Are. Ask yourself (and answer truthfully and candidly), “Am I living a purposeful life?”
  • Determine Where You Should Be (in alignment with God’s plan). This is called the Visioning Process.  Think beyond your physical sight or what you know. Be open to God’s inspired vision for your life. The best place for you to prosper may not be apparent to you at your current stage in life.
  • Identify Your Passions. Write down the things that fulfill you and give you joy, even if you are NOT paid to do them.
  • Identify Your Gifts And Talents. God gives us so many clues as to what our gifts and talents are. Ask some of those closest and trusted people in your life what are your dominant strengths.  Always allow prayer to lead you to the path of our Heavenly Father, who is the giver of all gifts!
  • Identify Your Opportunity Areas. Be aware of opportunities that present themselves where you move closer to your desired goals. For example, if you desire to be a public speaker, someone may host an event where you’re able to speak and share your gift, even if it’s a non-paid opportunity. Do not overlook small beginnings. They always lead to greater flourishes.
  • Identify Destiny Blockers. Ask yourself what is blocking you from living a purposeful life. Is it time? Money? Lack of resources? Specific skills? Whatever it is, it shouldn’t matter. There will never be a perfect time to start a journey into a purposeful life. There will always be something you think is “missing”. But you can overcome and eliminate all excuses by simply taking action and trusting in God. Excuses are parasites that will hinder or even stop your progress. God will fill in the gaps, no matter what you feel is missing.
  • Create An Action Plan. The old Benjamin Franklin quote still holds true: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Write down a plan to align your passions to goals (actions, timelines). This plan should include short, intermediate, and long term goals.
  • Embrace Purposeful Mentorship. Identify a mentor and/or accountability partner to assist, encourage, and hold you to your commitments.
  • Take The First Step. Be intentional about getting started. Move decisively towards living a purposeful life. Don’t worry if—or when—it becomes difficult or uncomfortable. As mentioned earlier, taking the first step is how you overcome the destiny blockers that hold you back. 

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And for my own personal favorite quote:

“You’ll never know what you can achieve until you take steps toward what you believe.” ~ Jewel Brodie-Reid

To start the conversation on how you can develop a comprehensive strategy to live a fulfilling and purpose-filled life, email me at Jewel@TheGemInYou.com or visit www.TheGemInYou.com.

Career Blunders to Avoid

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Career Blunders

Over the course of my professional life, I made good and bad decisions that significantly impacted my career.  Most of my good decisions were the result of what I learned from prior experiences, the influence of good managers, and advice from trusted co-workers & friends.  Most of my bad decisions were the result of a lack of business acumen, naivety to the politics of Corporate America, and failure to receive constructive criticism.  It took several years for me to figure out that my work environment wasn’t going to change to suit my wishes. I needed to change.

Below are just a few of my career blunders.

  • Failure to demonstrate leadership – Leadership is an important attribute that demonstrates the ability to guide and direct a group.  Early on in my career, I failed to take on leadership opportunities or speak up on various topics within project teams.  As a result, I was viewed as a shy employee who lacked the fortitude to lead teams.  I noticed coworkers who had started their careers with me were quickly moving up the corporate ladder as my growth opportunities remained stagnant.  When I compared their skills to mine, our educational qualifications were similar. The difference was that they had clearly demonstrated leadership skills in their daily interactions with management.
  • I soon realized that I needed to make an effort to demonstrate leadership. Consequently, I began assuming leadership roles on various project teams. Although I was somewhat introverted, I intentionally discussed topics in meetings to show my engagement and knowledge.  Lastly, I let my manager know that I was interested in opportunities that strengthened my leadership skills.  Doing these things helped resuscitate my career development and enabled me to transition into leadership roles within the organization.
  • Failure to work as a supportive Team Member – While highlighting individual skills and knowledge are very important, it is equally important to work as a supportive team member. Teamwork encourages cross-functional input that is essential to project success.  One of the mistakes I used to make was failing to assist coworkers on projects when asked.  My excuse? I always had too much work to do. Naturally, this didn’t endear me to my coworkers, and you can take a guess as to whether they reciprocated and helped me when I needed it.  As I look back on those days, I realized that no matter how much work I had to do, I always had an opportunity to assist my team in some manner.  Even small, sincere efforts demonstrate teamwork and support, and actions like these are what people remember when you ask for help with a critical project.
  • Failure to diversify skills and abilities – It’s good to be proficient in a specialized area. However, if you fail to diversify your skill set, you limit opportunities for growth and career advancement.  After graduating from college, I worked as an Industrial Engineer doing tasks such as time and motion studies, production management, and quality assurance.  While these were great skills to have, I knew that I didn’t want to continue doing these tasks long term.  As a result, I sought out training opportunities to diversify my skill-set so that I would be considered for other roles.  I was trained and certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt, which opened up roles for me in Human Resources, Healthcare, Market Research, and Education.
  • Failure to accept constructive criticism – Constructive criticism can be difficult to receive, but it provides useful insight into opportunity areas.  For years, I was never able to receive constructive criticism without becoming defensive.  Before the feedback was given in its entirely, I was already thinking about my rebuttal.  As a result, I missed out on a great opportunity to grow and develop professionally and personally.  Luckily, a manager explained to me that he wasn’t giving feedback to be critical, but to ensure that I was successful in my role.  This feedback was eye-opening for me.  Since that discussion, I resist the urge to be defensive when someone gives me constructive criticism.  I listen to determine how the feedback can be used for growth and development.

I didn’t always make the best decisions in my career. But I was committed to learning from my mistakes and making better decisions to make my career successful.  As a result, I’m now a Corporate Director of Process Excellence, who leads employees through a systematic continuous improvement method, and a Certified Life Purpose Coach® who coaches and mentors individuals to achieve their personal and career goals.

Are you making any of these career blunders?  What can you do differently to ensure career success?