How To Shift Away from Overwhelm, Burnout, and Self-Sacrifice

How To Shift Away from Overwhelm, Burnout, and Self-Sacrifice
Image by Maciej Cieslak 

The first step in changing what’s not working for you is awareness — becoming conscious of what you are currently blind to. You simply cannot change what you cannot see. But when you do see what was previously hidden, you gain the power to change it.

When you can see both the systemically created and the self-generated roots of overwhelm, burnout, and self-sacrifice, you become empowered to make changes not previously available to you.

The systemically created roots are tied to the collective and cultural systems for how we work, educate, relate, and operate, as a society and within our families, communities, and organizations. Ignorant that we could do things differently, we ignore our inner knowing by not questioning what doesn’t feel good or right inside. We accept things as normal, as just “how it is.” However, what we’ve deemed normal for how we work, live, and succeed as a collective world is anything but natural.

Your "Internal Operating System"

The self-generated roots stem from what I think of as your personal “internal operating system.” Similar to how a computer has an operating system that runs its programs and drives its functionality, you have your own version of a motherboard chock-full of programs that drive your emotions, thoughts, and choices.

Your internal operating system drives how you design your life, how you approach your work, and how you define and experience success. It dictates how you give and receive in relationships, relate to money, and operate in the face of all the demands and within the diverse realms of your life. The problem is, the programs within you are much more like blueprints for burnout than imprints for self-sustainability and real success.

Embrace the Power of Your Fierce Feminine Heart

(Editor's Note: while this article is directed to women, the principles presented can apply to all genders.)

As I started to wake up and see the root reasons underneath the burnout, anxiety, pressure, dis-ease, and self-judgment we feel, something inside me ignited. Some deep, primal part turned on. Like a fierce mountain lion protecting her young, I wanted to stand up and roar for all of us, “This is not okay with me! We cannot keep sacrificing ourselves for profit, productivity, or other people’s well-being. There has to be a different way.”

I’ve come to call this part that awakens within a woman our “fierce feminine heart.” It’s the part of you that empowers you to speak up and take a stand when things don’t feel right, even if everyone else seems to be going along with the status quo. It’s the courageous and curious part that calls you to seek a different way. It’s the wise part that will lead you to find the path. It’s the part full of the perseverance and commitment you need to keep going on the days you’d rather not get out of bed. It’s the fuel that keeps your inner faith lit that something more is possible.

Your heart is your power center. The path to liberating yourself out of the ways of working and living that lead to burnout and self-sacrifice is through your heart, not your head. Liberation is an act of love; freedom always emanates from the heart.

Think of any significant elevation in consciousness in human history — women’s right to vote, civil rights, the independence of colonized countries. The catalyst always rises up through the human heart. Revolutionary change takes courage, compassion, and commitment to do things differently. Your personal liberation and elevation will be no different.

When my fierce feminine heart woke up to the root reasons why I kept getting trapped in these unsustainable realities, I knew I had to go deeper. For two decades, I had tried emulating and applying the models for leadership, productivity, happiness, and success I had been taught — first in my career working for others and then as a social-impact entrepreneur. Filled with passion to make a difference, and perspectives from a top business-school MBA, I worked hard to pursue success and security and make a meaningful difference.

Then somewhere in my thirties, I saw the cycle of endless striving and giving I was stuck in, which drove me to continually sacrifice my needs and wellness for a project, goal, vision, greater good, person, team, [fill in the blank].

I finally saw what I’d previously been blind to — the models for success and how to structure our lives, organizations, and societies were not created by or for women. Nor were they created to support sustainability — mine, yours, the planet’s, or humanity’s overall. Something within me told me if I kept working and managing my life, career, business, and family this way, I was going to get sick.

Awakening to "New" Perspectives and Practices

Awakened to the reality that I had been imprinted with such an unsustainable model for success, I turned my focus to finding a different way that could empower us to be successful in achieving our goals — personally and professionally — in a manner that sustains us on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and relationally. A new reality for success — one that by its nature cultivates wholeness and wellness.

This led me down a path of deep study and experimentation in what’s known as a “wisdom tradition” — specifically, in yogic science, sacred feminine, and indigenous earth teachings, none of which had been talked about in my traditional education or on-the-job training. In fact, as I learned more wisdom, I began to suspect that perhaps there was a reason for the exclusion of this deeper knowledge.

The more I embraced and embodied the “new” perspectives and practices that were really thousands of years old, the more I became empowered to make conscious, wise choices, for myself, others, and the organizations I worked with and created. I became more courageous in speaking up for what didn’t seem right for me, other people, or the planet. I became freer to design a life and a path to professional and personal success that worked for me, even when it defied conventional wisdom and flew in the face of what everyone else was doing.

In the process of my exploration, I found I had a gift for translating deep wisdom into practical “superpowers” for truly succeeding and thriving in these intense, changing times. Not as a mental construct or spiritual ideal but as an embodied reality. I’ve come to embrace this power as how my intellectual-MBA self and my intuitive-mystic self come together to find and create new ways of working and leading that empower us as women to create whole lives, in which we can both achieve what matters to us and receive what we need.

How To Make Everything Shift

As you make different choices — not just in what you do but also in how you feel, show up, and interact on the inside — your reality and relationships (to your work, people, health, money, home. . . everything) shift.

Think of this like an upgrade to your personal internal operating system — mind, body, spirit, and heart. We are elevating the blueprint within you that affects your impulses, emotions, and thoughts, which in turn drive your actions and choices, which determine the reality of your life, work, relationships, health, wealth — everything. Remember, this is more than a set of beliefs; these are imprints that exist in your emotional, physical, and energetic bodies and your mind. To make lasting change, you have to work on the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual realms — all four.

How Transformation Happens

Too often I see people fail at making the changes they desire, because they buy into the overculture’s promises of quick fixes and seven-step panaceas, which may give a short respite or boost of elation but, like most crash diets, eventually revert back to old programming, and they stay stuck. The truth is that lasting personal transformation and elevation is a path, a practice, and a choice in how you live. Change happens in small increments that lead to bigger changes, over time, often following these four stages:

Stage 1: Awareness.

You see what you were blind to before — habits, beliefs, patterns, relationships, and ways of working that don’t serve you.

Stage 2: Reflection.

You still choose to self-sabotage or self-sacrifice, but you can look back as an observer, seeing the impact and how you could have chosen differently.

Stage 3: Change in the moment.

You possess the inner strength to change your behavior, thoughts, actions, and choices so that instead of habitually reacting, you consciously respond. Your imprints and neural pathways begin to break as you choose self-empowerment and sustainability over self-sacrifice and sabotage. As you continue to make the harmonious, healthy choice, you begin to trust this new way, and the elevated imprint takes root, in body, mind, spirit, and heart.

Stage 4: Integration.

The elevated program is installed! How you relate to your work, others, and yourself is different. The choices for how you design your overall life and live your daily life are different. You are freer and more empowered — centered, calm, and clear — within yourself, which your external reality reflects.

©2020 by Christine Arylo. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher.
Publisher: New World Library.

Article Source

Overwhelmed and Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered and Sustained in a Chaotic World
by Christine Arylo

Overwhelmed and Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered and Sustained in a Chaotic World by Christine AryloThe tasks and pressures never end in our culture, a culture built for burnout. But there’s a way to stop stressing and start thriving — to wake up to the underlying systems and unsustainable ways of working and living that sap your strength, drain you dry, and fragment your focus. Christine Arylo shines a light on the external forces and internal imprints that push you into overwhelm and self-sacrifice. She then shows you how to access your power to achieve what matters most, including receiving what you need and desire. You’ll learn to release the old approach to working, succeeding, and managing a full life, and embrace a new way that gives you clarity and courage to make choices in your day-to-day and overall life design that support and sustain you.

For more info, or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)

Books by this Author

About the Author

Christine Arylo, MBAChristine Arylo, MBA, is a transformational leadership adviser, teacher, speaker, three-time bestselling author, and host of the internationally acclaimed podcast Feminine Power Time. As the founder of the Feminine Wisdom Way, an online wisdom school for women, and Expanding Possibility, a feminine leadership consultancy, she offers teachings, mentoring, retreats, and trainings that have touched thousands of people on six continents. Visit her website at 

Video/Interview with Christine Arylo: Overwhelmed and Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered and Sustained in a Chaotic World

Another Video/Presentation by Christine AryloThe Time Suck of OBLIGATION. Stop giving your time away in ways that overwhelm and distract you.

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like




man and dog in front of giant sequoia trees in California
The Art of Constant Wonder: Thank you, Life, for this day
by Pierre Pradervand
One of the greatest secrets of life is to know how to constantly marvel at existence and at the…
Photo: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.
Horoscope: Week of November 29 - December 5, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
young boy looking through binoculars
The Power of Five: Five Weeks, Five Months, Five Years
by Shelly Tygielski
At times, we have to let go of what is to make room for what will be. Of course, the very idea of…
man eating fast food
It's Not About the Food: Overeating, Addictions, and Emotions
by Jude Bijou
What if I told you a new diet called the "It's Not About the Food" is gaining popularity and…
woman dancing in the middle of an empty highway with a city skyline in the background
Having the Courage to Be True to Ourselves
by Marie T. Russell,
Each one of us is a unique individual, and thus it seems to follow that each one of us has a…
Lunar eclipse through colored clouds. Howard Cohen, November 18, 2021, Gainesville, FL
Horoscope: Week of November 22 - 28, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
a young boy climbing to the top of a rock formation
A Positive Way Forward Is Possible Even in the Darkest Times
by Elliott Noble-Holt
Falling into a rut doesn’t mean we have to stay there. Even when it can seem like an insurmountable…
woman wearing a crown of flowers staring with an unwavering gaze
Hold That Unwavering Gaze! Lunar and Solar Eclipses November-December 2021
by Sarah Varcas
This second and final eclipse season of 2021 began on 5th November and features a lunar eclipse in…
4 Ways To Be More Vulnerable With A Woman
4 Ways To Be More Vulnerable With A Woman
by Barry Vissell
To be vulnerable with a woman is to allow yourself to be seen and known in your entirety, not just…
Returning to Your Natural State of Health and Happiness
Self-Healing: Returning to Your Natural State of Health and Happiness
by Martin Brofman
You can either choose to allow yourself to be healed by another, or to do the healing yourself. Do…
Why Marianne Williamson's Candidacy for President Is Important
Why Marianne Williamson's Candidacy for President Is Important
by Marie T. Russell,
How do you know something exists if you never hear about it? How do you know about the truth, which…

Selected for InnerSelf Magazine


How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities | | | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.