You can’t outrun stress.
You can’t ignore anxiety.
And you sure as hell can’t quit your mission.
All you can do is BE.
I spent the last 6-days completely unplugged. This has become an annual tradition for my birthday—we pack up and head to Palm Springs and I detach myself from the online space.
This year’s trip was longer, and rather than just keeping my phone off, I deleted ALL social media apps.
And NO emails.
All of this because I’ve been experiencing an intense amount of stress and anxiety lately—heavier than usual, and quite unbearable.
As leaders, we take on the massive responsibility of leading our missions. That responsibility not only creates an impact on others—it also creates an impact on us. And that impact is not always positive. This is why it is important for us to take the time to regularly unplug and reconnect with what we need in order to continue fulfilling our missions.
I set the intention for our trip to go within and listen—just listen for the answers that I yearned to receive. I set the intention to find my next steps, ease my stress and anxiety, and come back home feeling calm and confident.
BUT NONE OF THAT HAPPENED.
Instead, I experienced a lot that I wasn’t expecting to experience. And through those experiences, I found my lessons—5 lessons that I didn’t see coming.
These lessons hold a powerful impact on anyone who’s taken on the responsibility of leadership, and as such, I want to share these lessons with you.
5 crucial lessons for leaders on the verge of quitting:
LESSON #1: You can’t outrun stress.
There was a part of me that simply wanted to escape my stress—to unwind under the bright blue sky, in the desert heat and shelf my stress. But upon returning home, the stress was there… waiting… lurking… begging to be experienced.
Which leads me to the 2nd lesson…
LESSON #2: In order to alleviate stress, you must reassess.
Stress is there to teach you something, and my stress is no different.
First of all, let’s break down the definition of stress:
a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
When we experience stress in our lives, we have the opportunity to reassess the ways in which we are contributing to our mental and emotional tension. Which means that stress is truly there to teach you something.
Through my current experience, I’m learning that the ways in which I’ve chosen to run my business are no longer working because they are no longer aligned with how I want to feel and what I want to experience. Through this insight, I have the power to create changes. I may not know what those changes are yet, but this insight helps because I am now choosing to let go of things that are no longer aligned with how I want to feel or what I want to experience in my business and my life.
If you’re experiencing a higher-than-usual amount of mental or emotional tension in your life/business, take this as an opportunity to reassess. What’s working and not working? What feels aligned and not-aligned? Once you identify the things that are no longer working or aligned, be courageous enough to let that shit go. Even if you don’t know what to do next… let that shit go. Create the space for something better to enter.
LESSON #3: You can’t ignore anxiety.
I honestly believed that if I gave myself a complete break, I would ease my anxiety. I had associated my anxiety with my work… but my anxiety was present and would show up from time to time during our trip. This is because anxiety isn’t attached to an outside source—it comes from within. And the only way to navigate through anxiety is to face it.
Which leads me to the next lesson…
LESSON #4: Navigate through anxiety by facing it.
Much like stress, anxiety is there to teach you something. And my anxiety has proven to be one of my greatest teachers.
Before going any further, let’s break down what anxiety really is:
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
Anxiety IS real—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is something that we experience both mentally and physically and is often the result of stress. What ISN’T real is the bullshit we tell ourselves that induce the feelings of anxiety. And in order to reveal that bullshit, you must face your anxiety.
We experience anxiety when we worry about the future—about an outcome or result that we have yet to experience. We let ourselves sink into worst-case-scenarios, what-if’s, and other traps that lead us into states of anxiety.
But ALL of that is bullshit! It’s not real. It has not happened.
In order to navigate through your anxiety, you must face it and see all the ways in which you are inducing it.
What are you worrying (or even obsessing) about?
What outcomes are you nervous about?
What are you feeling uneasy about?
Once you identify those things, get super fucking real with yourself by asking this one question about each item you identified: What do I know for certain?
I’m worried that my next event won’t sell out and I’ll be in over my head in debt.
What I know for certain is…
I have a solid team working with me for this event.
I refuse to quit.
I’ll work my ass off to make this happen.
I am supported by my friends and family.
There are many ways in which I can bring in more income.
This exercise will help you navigate through your anxiety by grounding you back into the present moment. If you’re experiencing ANY level of anxiety, do this.
LESSON #5: You can’t quit your mission.
Out of all the lessons I learned over my 6-day unplugged vacation, THIS was the most impactful.
We all have a mission in life. Whether you refer to it as your purpose, your calling, or something else… we ALL have our own missions. And as the leader of your mission, things can feel quite heavy at times.
We take risks. We go all in. We run the extra mile.
And quite often, we do not experience the results we want—not immediately.
This can feel disheartening.
You feel so damn connected to your mission…
You give it 1000%…
You work your ass off to make it happen…
And it doesn’t happen.
This is when many leaders quit. And to be completely transparent, I’ve been experiencing the desire to quit for some time now. But what I learned is that even if you do quit, your mission will still be there—engrained in your soul—begging for you to lead it.
You can’t quit your mission. It’s yours, and no one but you can lead it.
What you need to understand is that it will unfold as YOU unfold.
Every new level in your mission will demand a new level of YOU. So if you’re feeling disheartened or even stuck, this is an invitation for you to evolve personally so you can be the person who will continue to lead your mission.
I share these 5 lessons with you because I KNOW how tough the leadership journey can be. The amount of passion and love that we put into our missions is indescribable—and when things don’t go as planned, it can lead to feelings of overwhelm, stress, exhaustion, anxiety, and even thoughts of quitting.
But you can’t quit—you won’t quit. Perhaps this truth has escaped you, but deep down you KNOW you won’t quit. What you need is to better manage your energy so you can fulfill your mission the way in which only you can fulfill it.
Face your anxiety.
Give yourself the space to evolve for your mission.
If you truly were going to quit, you would have already. *wink
PS if you’re looking for a space that will support and encourage your evolution as a leader, CLICK HERE.