Energy Lost in Self-Loathing Cannot Be Spent Fighting the Revolution!

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A black frame is hanging on the wall. Inside it is a piece of white paper with a newspaper clipping pasted to it that reads in all caps:

A few years back, I went through a really, really intense period of burnout.

It wasn't just exhaustion. It was something crueler and more consuming than just being tired. It was like I was being followed by a mob screaming at me all day long about how I wasn't keeping up and how I wasn't doing good enough, and that I should just give up and face that I was a big, big failure.

In the middle of this, I happened to be visiting a friend's house for the first time. As I was leaving that day, I noticed that her roommate had framed a newspaper clipping next to the front door that read: Energy Lost in Self-Loathing Cannot Be Spent Fighting the Revolution!

It really caught me. In fact, I still have it with me on my phone. I look at it often when I need a boost or a pick me up or a rallying cry. It's become somewhat of a touchstone.

I was thinking about that quote this weekend, as I was sitting down and working on some of the strategic priorities for my coaching business. One of the priorities I wrote down really resonated with me: Being of service to oneself is essential to being of service in the world.

I feel that so profoundly. It's what brought me into the coaching profession, after all. And I see that quite frequently in many of my clients, who are people who care deeply about the world around them and want to live their lives in a way that lets them find their purpose and contribute to the greater good.

But there's also fear. I've felt it myself and heard from many of you that you worry that you're being selfish or indulgent by taking care of yourself, or by being too introspective, or setting boundaries around your needs and non-negotiables.

What I've come to understand is this: 99% of the times that I've regretted not being in the fight, not speaking up the way I want to, or not living in alignment to my beliefs and values is because my tank was too empty to do that.

So let me remind you that there's a reason why they tell you on airplanes to put on your own oxygen mask before you try to help anyone else. I hope this week you keep in the back of your mind that your health and happiness is a direct contributor to the health and happiness of the people around you. There's absolutely nothing selfish about it.