Beyond Burnout…On to Awesome!

Many of our 1:1 and post workshop conversations contain some form of the phrase: “I needed this today” or “This was perfect timing for me to hear this”. Our content resonates with those who are having a bad day or those who are on the edges of burnout. Those that are in full burnout should seek professional advice (which is beyond the scope of our conversations, we are not medical professionals). What about getting beyond burnout and on to awesome?

Agile Best Self Principle #1: Our highest priority is to be our best self and enable others to be their best selves.

If we want to be our best selves so that we can help others be their best selves, how do we do that if we are crispy at our own edges? Our hope is to help give people tools and a ‘choose your own adventure’ framework. Using this framework, you can pick a principle and find an associated practice. Yesterday, I was feeling rushed and unfocused. So I set a goal of 5 minutes of meditation in the garage after a stressful grocery run. Nailed it! Side bonus, it was easy to get the partially melted Ben & Jerry’s out of the container.

Step 1: Be intentional in what you do. When facilitating discussions about the Agile principles, I say: “You can’t do 12 things at once, there is always a balance. Be intentional about the outcome you are trying to achieve.” The trick is to start automatically weighing the value statement in your head. I’ve created a habit of doing this. For example: “Which is more important – five minutes of mindful breathing or not-solidly-frozen ice cream?” Kind of a no brainer.

Step 2: Be mindful of the results. When I re-committed to my meditation practice and started working with Brian, it felt good to have a confidant and co-creator of the best self principles. Nothing earth shattering happened immediately. Then I noticed a couple of incrementally amazing things that went beyond addressing burnout.

1. I experienced true collaboration and co-creation.

Co-creating is an ICF coaching term. Neither Brian nor I are leading the best self charge – we throw ideas out there and find a way to move forward without ego or frustration. I think most of us know the feeling of excitement and energy of putting some great ideas into a draft, and then a hint of dread sets in: “What if my boss wants to change this? What if my team takes this sideways?” Maybe some of this comes from my experience as a graphic designer. The client always selected what I thought was my weakest, most inferior design. So that whisper of dread I was expecting to appear – it never happened. Never. Brian and I approach things in a slightly different way, this sets the stage for some creative collisions (which are at the heart of innovation) and some great positive sparks.

Something shifted. When I finished the first draft of the the workshop presentation, I literally had the thought “I wonder where Brian will take this. It is going to be great!” Even though I had tried to be mindful and intentional, I hadn’t noticed all the goodness that was going in a truly co-creative, collaborative relationship with someone who was passionate about the same topic I was.

2. I was making stronger, more frequent, more authentic connections with people.

I noticed that I was connecting with people more on a visceral level. There was a strong and wonderful connection when talking to people about the best self principles. My head and heart were in alignment and I felt more activated on a more regular level. I had already experienced this in my 1:1 ICF coaching practice, but not so much in every day conversations.

3. I am human. I miss the boat frequently.

Even trying to be mindful and intentional, I don’t notice the goodness around me. When I got fed up with the draining and ridiculous tirades on Facebook, I wanted a space to go to refresh and re-energize. I even googled some sites to get daily inspirations and signed up for Seth Godin’s blog. I hadn’t met Brian yet, but I already had a strong support network.

While presenting our third workshop, I heard myself saying: “I wanted an online forum where I could drop in and get some good ideas on how to get energized. I guess Brian and I just made that.” Wow. I’m a verbal thinker. I throw ideas out and work through the concepts verbally, with others. Many of my clients don’t even realize the power of their own words until I repeat phrases back to them. Oddly enough, many of my clients call me smart and insightful when I repeat things that came out of their mouths. I gently remind them that I’m just repeating their words. Having a sounding board can be extremely powerful.

Mindful can also mean be mindful of the results of your words and actions. You know more than you think you know. You do more than you think you do. Pay attention and honor yourself.

Agile Best Self Principle #1: Our highest priority is to be our best self and enable others to be their best selves.

Summary: If you are on the edge of burnout, I sincerely hope this best self framework will help you move a couple of steps toward your best self. Hopefully, you can get beyond burnout and get to the point where you can notice all of the goodness that you are creating. Turn up the good!

Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Release Day At Last!

April 9th, 2019: Release Day

The 12 Agile Best Self Principles workshop in motion

It was an evening that culminated a little over three months of work. The Twin Cities Agile Meetup was the place. An audience of around 70 Twin Cities Agilists were the first group to be introduced to the 12 Agile Best Self Principles (fka The 12 Agile Self-Care Principles).

Thanks to this great group for your reception and hospitality. This has inspired us to take this forward and explore further.

Agile Best Self Principle #12: At regular intervals, reflect on how to become your best self, then tune and adjust.

Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson