What do you lose?

Aug 11, 2021

A friend recently reached out to me with two different job opportunities available to her. She was grateful for the opportunity, but these are life-changing decisions and she was having a hard time deciding what would be best for herself and her family. I’m sure you’ve been in that position. If I choose this path then these things will happen. If I choose that path then those things will happen. Each choice came with its own set of benefits and its own set of risks. When we compared the pros and cons of each job, they were about the same. The good of this one matched the good of that one, they were just different kinds of good… which makes it hard to make a decision. The conversation gave way to many, “yeah… but” arguments {insert “Yabits come at Easter Dad Jokes here}. We went rounds in the conversation. She and her husband went rounds in the conversation. She went many rounds in her own head… and was still stuck at making a decision. What was best? Which path should she choose? 


There is one more approach here we could take. One that flips the script a little… We know the good and the bad of taking one of these jobs, but maybe we need to explore the good and the bad of NOT taking one of those jobs. 


So often we look at all the what-if scenarios of the decisions we have at hand and we often forget to ask ourselves what if I do nothing? What if I don’t decide? A lack of action is action, so that decision should always be included when making new choices. 


For the sake of conversation, let’s say you’re toying with the idea of making some changes to reduce your stress. You have thought you need to be less stressed because we know that stress leads to increased blood pressure, poor sleep, weight gain, etc. You want to show up as a better version of yourself for your kids and your husband. You want to be a better friend and employee. That is all great! The problem is… it is HARD to reduce stress. Not because life is so stressful that it is impossible, but because we have to change the way we’ve been navigating our lives so we can decrease the amount of stress we carry. I mean, let’s face it, life is going to continue to happen all around you. However nice it may sound, you’re likely not going to be able to hole up in a cave for 3 months to reduce your stress load and then come back to reality as a changed person. So yes, you can want to reduce your stress, but you have to take action to make that happen. Those actions might be hard, but you can do hard things. Logically you know less stress is better for you, but it is difficult to make those adjustments nonetheless. You might have to push snooze one less time in the morning so you can do that meditation. You might have to say no to that request for volunteers at the church bake sale. You might have to watch one less episode of the latest show you’re binging so you can journal for a bit. You might have to get audible and listen to your books while you go for a walk or clean the house, instead of sitting down to read. You have options, but most of them mean you’re going to have to make some adjustments in your life... And change is hard. So just like in my friend’s situation… we’re stuck here. Keep on keeping on and hope that something will come to me, wait around until it’s too late and the job opportunities are gone (in your case, until the stress leads to an ulcer or heart attack, or an unnecessary blow-up on your child…) or it’s time to change your frame of mind. 


Yes, perspective is always key, so let’s change how we look at this situation just a bit… 


What does my friend lose by not choosing Job A? Or in this case, what do you lose by not relieving your stress? Are you losing out on more memories with your kids, or should we say happier memories? Are you losing out on that vitality that will allow you to play with your grandkids? Are you losing out on heart health? Are you losing out on sleep (did you know that you need 8 hours of sleep for your brain to be functioning at its best?)? Are you losing out on a true connection with your partner? Are you losing out on your savings (retail therapy anyone?)? You get the picture here… You lose a lot when you don’t embrace the things that your body, mind, and soul are asking you to do. 


You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. Time equals memories. Time equals experiences. Time equals opportunities for peace and happiness. 


So the next time you’re staring down a big decision, especially one that involves you investing in yourself and/or your wellbeing, consider not just what it takes to follow through, but what you lose if you don’t. 

If you want to give your family the best of you instead of what’s left of you, get on the calendar for a Breakthrough Burnout Session. Let’s explore the ways you’re missing out on being the best version of yourself and discover some solutions to changing that! 


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