Start Dreaming Again
Tell me if this story rings true:
You wake up in the morning, ready to go, and charge ahead with your workday. You plow through phone calls, emails, and hard decisions and complicated leadership issues. And when you get home, you’re wiped out—possibly even a little snippy to your family. Your energy has been used up and there’s none left for yourself, your spouse, or your kids.
This has been an all-too-common cycle since the pandemic set in. Small business owners found ourselves running on fumes because we felt we needed to work at all hours (and to be fair, sometimes we DID need to!). We were trying to save our businesses and clients, with uncertainty blooming all around us. But, as the months went on, these new habits persisted.
It’s called surge capacity depletion, also known as using up all your energy with work and having none left over for anyone else. And it’s too common these days. Now the big question is, how do you overcome it?
I believe the answer is about setting aside the expectation that your work—the emails and calls and decisions—is all on you. While you may be at helm, and there may be tasks only you can do, you DO have support if you know where to look for it. There are lifelines in your relationships. In your vision. In your passion. In your faith.
For me, one lifeline is my belief in a God-strength: It’s a belief in a power beyond my own physical, mental, and emotional strength that allows me to endure—and to eventually take part in what is bright and beautiful after the pandemic has passed.
One particular Biblical passage (from Colossians 1:11) stands out to me as a comfort with this idea. It is from a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, which said, “We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy …”
No matter your spiritual path, I think we can all learn from these words. To me, this passage says that strength doesn’t have to be silent or lonely. Instead, it can be shared and joyful. Shared strength makes it possible to endure, eventually moving us past difficulties and into a brighter place. It is felt in the valleys and the peaks and in between.
To that same point, I think we can remember that we need to ask for (and give) grace to those we love most; the ones who may be on the receiving end of ourselves when the surge capacity depletion happens. We need to be unafraid to ask for THEM to share in our strength. We don’t want to give our best to everyone but them—and so we need to consciously reach for their support and infuse those relationships with assurance that yes, we are in this life together.
Moving past surge capacity depletion, strength-sharing with something greater than yourself, allows you to look more clearly at the future; to wonder what can come of this difficult time, in a positive and productive way—to start DREAMING again of where you want your business to go next. This pandemic won’t last forever and your dreams are NEEDED. They got you where you are now, and they’ll get you to a new place in the future.
The stability and restoration of our world won’t be a straight, upward pathway. But it will happen—it is happening. Allow yourself the freedom to look forward to the day things are different; to dream up a new vision or edit the one you used to have. Think bigger than you would normally! I advise my coaching clients to continue to be gracious and seek graciousness, and I would advise you the same way.
My wish for you is to find this grace for yourself, to tap into your shared strength and to dream out loud, in color, with hope. Dance is in your life for a reason, I believe. Business too. If you lean into your strength, what will you do next? The possibilities are endless!