How You Know Your Fatigue is Not Personal
Have you ever started your work week, you just had a great weekend, and you’re feeling pretty awesome? Monday starts off solid, you’re building momentum and by Tuesday, perhaps even Wednesday you feel like you’re crushing it, and you do; but, by the end of Wednesday or so, you’re not feeling the juice like you were just hours before and fatigue just consumes you.
Perhaps, something happens in your work, family or personal life that causes a pause and before you know it, it’s like “what’s happening?” Not so suddenly, your thinking is not near where it was earlier that day and week, you lose momentum and now things are a struggle.
You’re not ready to capitulate just yet, thinking it’s just a bad thought process or your reaction to the recent event that has thrown you into this personal funk. You call out your inner “Tony Robbins,” reflect on the motivational quote on the day, or some other framework for stoic thinking and prowess and attempt warrior mode for a bit, but it only works for a bit.
Eventually, you just surrender, yield and give into to this unwelcomed state that’s characterized by fatigue, or tiredness and heightened emotions, thinking something’s wrong with you. Maybe some depression ensues…
Here we go again.
And you’ve made it personal.
This is not the first time you’ve experienced this crushed feeling; you’ve been through it many times and picked yourself up, but each time it’s gotten a little harder, especially in recent bouts.
So what’s going on?
At first, you might believe that something is wrong with you. Something is not the way you want it, but not necessarily wrong or wrong with you. You might not believe it that it’s a cumulative fatigue process that’s been and always will be building in the background if that fatigue is not regularly and systematically resolved. When you don’t it’s only a matter of time before your next bout with “hitting the wall,” (facing your fatigue) and the ill feelings that come with it, happens again. And maybe you know, it happens harder and harder as the fatigue builds.
Fatigue affects, driven people, achiever-types in particular and its would not be far fetched to say that we are all “Type A” today. Even if you don’t act like your addicted to performance, and are relatively calm; we are virtually all Type-A today as we attempt to keep up with the fast-paced world we are living in. This is especially true, if you are a working parent, entrepreneur or business owner, professional, executive or manager with any degree of extra curricular activity.
Understanding that, and the realities of the situation described above are at the root of what we teach in a performance lifestyle, and, it’s why we started teaching it. As the founder of Performance Lifestyle® and an achiever type myself, I fell prey to fatigue more times than I could count, or admit to, and the consequences of these periods were devastating to me. So I decided to do something about it.
Of course, Performance Lifestyle has grown into so much more, but if you don’t understand fatigue and its impact on human function and performance you’re living in a house of cards and likely to misinterpret and personalize what is not a personal problem but rather the biggest hidden lifestyle challenge there is for a human being.
Millions of people experience fatigue every day and don’t know what to do about it, other than the usual, which is head straight to a physician who is probably dealing with the same or worse, take drugs, see a psychologist, go shopping, working harder, exercise more etc. And in the rare case, they attempt to get more sleep, improve nutrition and fitness in a way that doesn’t typically solve the whole or real problem.
If it were that simple we’d just follow healthy living guidelines; but healthy living as we’ve learned it today, which is subject to myriad interpretations (performance living is not), does not effectively deal with the aforementioned and what is by far the two biggest subjects there are at the heart of fatigue, and that is the sister act of:
- Discovering, learning and living as who we really are in right relationship to our body/brain, so that we can function optimally.
- Regenerating human energy so we can sustain optimal function in a lifestyle that supports us.
To simplify those big points, nothing is more important, more essential or more fundamental to your health and long-term success than mastering how you drive yourself and recover, or what you’ll come to know as “regenerate” your energy. Discovering, learning and living as who you really are so you don’t personalize everything, takes a lot of energy at the start, so it’s vitally important to start not with what is most logical, but most practical.
Not many people can transform on 4 hours of sleep!
Those who don’t learn the principles, practices, and strategy around regeneration, starting with but not limited to sleep at the core of how they live, end up in a different kind of recovery from alcohol abuse to other drug abuse, and other types of addictions they default to. People do these things to make themselves feel better during times when fatigue really has its way with us and mixes with poor psychology; only now, it will be compounded by withdrawal and all kinds of negative consequences stemming from the simple-but-not-innocuous act of responding to stress in ways that create more stress in order to feel better.
All of us, at times, respond to stress in ways that create more stress, to some degree. I mean we all want to feel better, but there are optimal ways to mitigate the discomfort of fatigue (especially after extreme output) such that there are no longer-term consequences that plague you.
Performance lifestyle re-training is strategy-driven, it’s not a fragmented approach, it’s a curriculum; and while you can start anywhere, technically the best place to start is at the points of origin, which all other changes depend on.
For example, if you’re not sleeping well for at least one-third of your life, the other two thirds will be compromised in some capacity. Never has this been more true than today.
It’s why the first course we take you through in lifestyle re-training is sleep performance training because every other change you could possibly want to make is dependent on it. Your energy is enabling everything, every function that rolls up to your human performance. When energy dissipates as it has in the scenario above, decreases in both function and performance, (differentiated by a specific functional ability or capacity and the entire systems’ or body/brains’ abilities or capacity) will ensue.
When you feel fatigue after 2.5 days of high performance, Monday through Wednesday, you are in need of regeneration, not a $2000.00 motivational seminar! That can come later when you can actually do something with the insight.
But to date, we’ve been trained to think that something is wrong with us when there likely isn’t. That our society and markets condition us to believe that who we are a bunch of “thinking things,” as meditation and philosophy teacher Jeff Carriera would put it, and almost always appeal to us psychologically; it has us believing that who we really are is who we think we are.
So, when our energy dissipates, we think our thinking, our fortitude, our motivation etc is dissipating and therefore there is something at fault with us, our own personal development.
Everyone’s “person” can develop further, but that does not mean there is something wrong with you. And it’s this combination between who we really are, who and how we think we are, and our energy level that determines our performance state and even the most enlightened will tell you that when they get tired that’s when one’s “posture” in the world begins to fall apart.
So before you think that something is wrong, or wrong with you, consider the role fatigue is playing in your mood, your temperament, and your personality; because, until you deal with the mounting fatigue or energy debt in your life, what you think is a personal problem is likely not.
How you know fatigue is not personal is simple. Whatever problem you are facing right now. Get the best night sleep ever and raise that same issue tomorrow. No, all your life issues will now go away, that’s the subject of other insights, but you will likely see the magnitude of your present situation dissipate in the inverse direction to your energy level.
It’s not personal; it’s about your lifestyle. If you want help with this, get the help of a coach.