Running On Empty Can Help Us Discover Life, Relationship, And Business Clarity

As an entrepreneur, there are times when not only the candle is burning at both ends, but in the middle and just about melted down to a puddle...


Shannon Thomas, LCSW, Owner & Lead Therapist at Southlake Christian Counseling (SCC)
Shannon Thomas, LCSW, Owner & Lead Therapist at Southlake Christian Counseling

As an entrepreneur, there are times when not only the candle is burning at both ends, but in the middle and just about melted down to a puddle of wax. That basically sums up my energy levels throughout the months I spent self-publishing my first book. It was a slow slide into chronically living on fumes.

Many of us can recall times when we would have to muster up enough energy to get through the must needed tasks of adult living, and the fluffy extras just dropped off the cliff into the abyss of not going to happen.

When we are in seasons like this, it is a great time to watch ourselves and the attitudes of those around us. In self-reflection, we need to be aware that our reactions may be more exaggerated because we are crazy tired.

Little life and business annoyances that would have left us shaking our heads before, may now be dealt in ways that are unusual for us.

Benefits of busy seasons and relational clarity

Now, being in a busy season does have some benefits. Maybe not the most patient while driving, but living on empty can bring into crystal clear clarity who we want to spend time with and who is a soul drain.

When we’re short on time and attention, we see who is there to walk alongside us and who is there for their own benefit.

When we are well-rested, we have the energy to make excuses for people’s poor behaviors or attitude towards us. We may fill in the gaps where they failed to do what they were supposed to do, and our actions cover up the truth about them.

Photo: Frank Holleman, Unsplash
Photo: Frank Holleman, YFS Magazine

When we have energy, we do the heavy lifting to keep a broken relationship hobbling along. It can happen among family, friends, or in business.

During normal energy times, we may take on more weight than the other person. Now, enter into a season of spinning deadlines or high stress and no way are we expelling time or resources to make a bad situation slightly better. Sweep the issues under the rug? Nope.

Have the desire to bounce back again and make something keep going that needs to end? Nope. Going to spend time with people who have shown their true colors?  Nope. Nope. Nope.

When you have sorted through who is there for you, these people become like little breaths of air in a stuffy room. They shine like gems of many beautiful colors. They are your people, and your appreciation of them runs at an even deeper level. Relationally cleaning house is a good thing and a time of being on empty will help facilitate healing changes.

Give yourself the gift of acceptance

If you find yourself in a difficult, busy season, I hope that you will give yourself the gift of acceptance for where you are right now.

Make a plan for when your busyness will end, so it doesn’t feel like a never-ending dark tunnel.

If you are working on a project (like I was with my book), I hope it is a huge success for you. Trust me when I say you will learn about yourself, but mostly about how other people relate to you as you pursue your dreams.

 

Shannon Thomas, LCSW is a licensed clinical social work supervisor, the owner and lead therapist of an award-winning private practice-counseling agency in Southlake, Texas and best-selling author of “Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.” For more tips and information, visit shannonthomas.com.

 

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