September 21, 2018
Do you feel tired and over-extended? Or maybe even like you’re just keeping up with the demands on your life right now?
Most people embrace this as the way life is—running from meeting to meeting, always having a long list of to do’s at the end of the day that they never get to, or barely just keeping up. Do you see yourself living this way?
This over-extending usually ends in dysfunction or an outright crash.
I’ve been there myself…It started with not being able to function well in every area of life and ended in a full-blown crash in 2008.
Over-Responsibility Leads To Burnout
It all began when one of my close family members had a serious nervous breakdown, then my son found out that his marriage was over. As if all that were not bad enough, in that same month Bill Johnson was diagnosed with hepatitis A, which laid him up for six weeks. Consequently, I was tasked with trying to cover several of his speaking engagements (plus my own) in four different countries. It was freakin rough, to say the least!
It was the perfect storm—perfectly bad, that is—for an overly responsible person like me! I knew I was beyond my soul’s capacity to cope with this much pain because I started experiencing high levels of anxiety that taxed my mind and body like a plague. I absolutely crashed. It took me a year to recover and another year to find a new, healthy rhythm in my life.
I don’t want this to be your story, so let’s chat about how to not live over-extended and stressed out…
Your Pain Is Speaking To You
One of the things I learned in that horrible season is that pain of some sort is often the first indicator that our capacity is overextended. Pain is like the idiot light on the dashboard of our car, which indicates that something is malfunctioning.
The other day, a young man picked me up from an airport in a foreign country. While we were driving, I noticed a piece of black tape on the instrument panel of his car, so I asked, “What’s that black tape doing on your dashboard?”
“Oh,” he explained, “there’s a light flashing on my dash and I can’t afford to get it fixed right now, so I put a piece of tape over it so it doesn’t drive me nuts.”
“Drive you nuts! Pretty soon it’s not going to drive you at all,” I teased.
I have to admit that in my terrible season, I was just like my foreign friend. The trouble light was flashing on the dashboard of my life, but I just covered it up with a hundred reasons why I could not stop and fix it. Finally, my soul, mind, and body just shut down completely, leaving me to die on the highway of self-importance.
3 Keys for Not Burning Out
There were three things I learned from my dark night of the soul season, and I know these will help you to not burn yourself out too. Keep in mind:
- Be proactive in setting your boundaries. There are limits to what you can carry. If you violate those boundaries, you will become useless.
- Focus on what God has actually called you to in this season, and let go of the rest. You are not the savior of the world. There is always enough capacity, however, for everything God has called you to accomplish. Trust Him to take care of the rest.
- If your “trouble” light is on, don’t ignore it. Assessing your capacity and understanding your limits will prevent you from at some point blowing up your life.
Expanding Your Capacity So You Don’t Crash
On the other hand, one of the exciting things I have learned over the years is that you can actually increase your personal capacity. In fact, it is your ability to grow our capacity that causes you to become a truly wealthy person (experiencing God’s abundance in every area of your life).
This is something I talked about this week during our Poverty, Riches and Wealth Online Event. So many people showed up that it ended up crashing the servers (can you believe it?), so I made the recording available to everyone yesterday on my Facebook. You can check it out here.
If you’re anything like me then you may tend to need reminders on growing your capacity and not over-extending as you grow. This is a constant tension that I’ve learned to walk through in every season of increase. I’ll talk about this in depth in my new 5-week Masterclass. You can also get a limited-time discount on that Masterclass now. I challenge you to invest in yourself with this course, and I know that God will use it to grow your capacity for abundance!
Do you find it easy to get over-extended? What are some practical ways that you make sure you don’t live beyond your capacity? I’d love to hear what you think about this in the comments below!
Topics: All TopicsLeadershipWealth