United States employees shown to be one of the most stressed populations globally.

In one of the largest studies of burnout in history, Gallup found that 60% of people are detached at work, and 19% are miserable.

And that emotional detachment comes with a price tag. Low engagement costs the global economy US$7.8 TRILLION and accounts for 11% of global GDP (Gallup, 2022). The study further found that workers in the United States are some of the most stressed out in the world.

Why, in an age of abundance, where most professionals experience more prosperity than at any other time in human history, are so many unsatisfied and burning out?

I’ve spent the last 15 years exploring this question and have identified a consistent pattern. Most overachievers use the following definition for success: 

Predictably, this model leads to a jammed resume, a bunch of recognition and a high salary. The problem is that most overachievers get caught up in an unintended cycle that typically leads to increased stress and less fulfillment.

Instead of a straight line, their path gets warped and ends up looking like this:

The cycle never ends. It just gets faster and faster. You’ve gotten yourself on a treadmill that isn’t going to stop.

I’ve come across some proven strategies that will help you feel better about all your hard work.

1.     Life is Only About Relationships 

You can endure just about any hardship as long as you’ve got someone in your corner. Recommit yourself to strengthening 3-5 meaningful relationships in your life (outside family members).

2.     Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin 

As Teddy Roosevelt warned, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Identify 2-3 things that you’re terrible at (e.g. golf) and stop trying to be perfect. 

3.     Be Here Now 

Just about all of your stress comes from agonizing over past mistakes or worrying that the future will stink. Embrace the silence and learn to live in this moment. 

4.     Live Gratefully 

Life is all about perspective – the glass is either half empty or half full. Choose a grateful outlook and start by sending a thank you to one person who made an impact in your life.

5.     Give Generously 

It’s almost impossible to stress about your current situation when you’re focused on someone in need. Pick a charitable cause and get in the game!

You don’t have to sacrifice your mental sanity to have ambitious goals. You just need to be intentional about what - and who - is a priority in your life. With a little practice, you can lower your stress and enjoy the journey you’re on. 

CJ Bio: 

CJ McClanahan has spent more than 10,000 hours in front of entrepreneurs, executives and their teams helping them achieve personal and professional breakthrough goals. CJ is the host of the Success 2.0 podcast and author of The Overachiever’s Dilemma and Thrive. For the last 19 years, CJ has engaged and inspired audiences all over the United States to get more satisfaction and joy in their lives while still achieving their professional goals.

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