If I had to sum up the condition of most leaders I know these days, it’s simple: tired.
Most leaders were accustomed to being tired in the old normal life. That exhaustion was largely based on pace and expectation.
This fatigue is different. It hits us even when we don’t seem quite as busy. We feel it though some of us are getting more sleep and more time with our families. Some of you may say you’re more tired because you spend more time with your family, but that’s a topic for a post by The Therapist, aka my wife.
I think one source of our tiredness is the constant re-writing of the stories we tell ourselves. The story you tell yourself right now may be one of the most powerful forces in your life. It will largely determine how you react to the situations you face in this crisis and to what degree your brain gets hijacked. That story is the OS that runs your life in the background even when you barely notice it’s there.
The story you tell yourself typically has three parts:
- Your story about yourself: Who you are, what you expect of yourself.
- Your story about the world: What it’s like and how you fit into it.
- Your story about others: How they view you and under what conditions they’ll have your back.
So much of that story has been challenged by the events of the past few months. That’s part of why we’re so tired even though we’re commuting less and not traveling at all. The hard drive is churning in the background, trying to operate on an OS that is out of date and in conflict with our everyday experience.
Maybe it’s time we re-examined the stories we tell ourselves and bring them up to date. It might help us gain some of our mental RAM back, to accept and live in the new normal.