Is burnout necessary?

I use the phrase “challenging but manageable” about every day.

It perfectly describes the intensity and focus I want when working with patients or starting the next business project. Being just on the edge of discomfort is the goal.

But being on the edge of your abilities can be a tricky balance. If you never push, you won’t accomplish the goals you’ve set out. You’ll stagnate and wonder why you aren’t moving. Push too hard for too long, and you’ll find yourself hurt or burnt out.

If you want to accomplish something big, a considerable investment of time and energy is needed. There are times you have to push and go all in. Just like the message David Goggins preaches, “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done”.

Still, It’s easy to get consumed in this mindset without taking a chance to step back and reflect. Because sometimes the challenging thing to do when you’re tired is to rest.

I’ve always been someone to go “all in” on an activity. My approach started with sports and has transitioned to clinical practice and business ownership.

My over investment of time and resources has often led to success! It’s also led to being sick on multiple vacations and scheduling appointments with a therapist. I’ve gone “over the edge” many times.

And I wonder if it’s possible to reach your athletic or professional potential without ever pushing too much. How close can you really get without falling? The crucial learning point is to have time for self-reflection before you slip or after you’ve fallen.

I ask these questions when I am feeling on the edge.

Is this task worth the investment?
Is now the time to push?
If I push now, when will I pull back?

I hope you are putting yourself on the edge of discomfort, giving yourself time to reflect, and enjoying the journey along the way.

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