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the pressure to perform can lead to burnout

I moved to Vancouver in September 2018 to begin my master's program. I was so hopeful for the future.

It’s safe to say that grad school dampened my spirit.

Moving to a new city away from everyone I’ve ever known, I had a whole new community to impress. Being one of the youngest people in my class, I felt the need to constantly prove myself. By February, I found myself crying in the middle of class nearly every week.

I am grateful for my education, but I don’t see it talked enough how much colonial academic structures impact holistic wellbeing.

While in school, I was constantly sick. I was taking supplements for stress, I would randomly break out into hives, I had constant headaches and light sensitivity. I started having panic attacks and couldn’t fall asleep at night. Meanwhile, I was doing well academically, receiving praise from classmates and teachers.

Now, I’m recovering from those 6 years of post-secondary education. I was burnt out before I even began my career.

In the 3 years since graduating, I have been on a path of unlearning. Unlearning the need to be the best, and learning how to show up for myself consistently, imperfectly and authentically. I was so used to putting my whole self into a project and running as fast as I could towards a goal. Sometimes it was actually uncomfortable to slow down.

Now, when I feel the urge to throw myself into work, I am able to offer myself compassion and understanding. Honestly, sometimes it just feels good to work on a project and dedicate a lot of time and energy towards it. But I have a name for that now. I call it a sprint season. Rather than hustling all day every day, I sprint for a specified season of time. And I rest when I am finished, just as I would rest after a long race.

We are not meant to constantly perform. But our schooling and working system is designed around tests and grades and performance evaluations. So of course we don't always know how to rest, or how to show up for ourselves in other ways.

This is a concept that I explore in depth with so many of my clients. I help anxious, stressed and burnt-out folks embrace intentionality and authenticity, letting go of perfectionism and discovering their inner creative magic.

If this resonated with you and you would like to explore these themes together, let's chat! I offer a 20-minute complimentary phone consultation to prospective clients. This consultation is a time to form a connection and determine if working together will be the right fit.



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