Are you sacrificing every part of your life because you thought you had a quick fix on your hands and instead, you are still struggling to solve the problem?
Are you trapped in the vortex of sacrifice with no way to get out?
I see this time and time again and it happens most commonly to women who have been told they are “too much” in their careers.
They start sacrificing because they have convinced themselves that they can solve this problem quickly and get everything back on track before people notice.
It’s pretty simple really.
They don’t want to lose their jobs.
But here’s the truth of the matter, sacrificing isn’t the solution.
Why is Sacrificing Our “Go-To”?
Why is it that we jump immediately into giving more time and mental energy to solving this “problem” when we are given this “too much” feedback?
Because sacrificing worked for us in the past.
When we faced a previous business problem, we threw ourselves into it and we told ourselves we could solve it quickly.
And guess what?
Because it worked, this has become our “go-to” for solving problems; sacrificing our personal time and, in some instances, our mental health in order to solve issues and feel secure in our roles.
But it doesn’t work in a “too much” feedback situation . . . why?
The problem you are trying to solve in this instance is undefined, not fully understood, doesn’t have a clear endpoint, and is not measurable.
Think about it.
When you have sacrificed your personal time in the past, you resolved the issue because you:
- knew what the problem was
- understood the resolution you needed to achieve
- you knew the actions to take to achieve those results
- and your results were measurable giving you the ability to immediately course correct and hit the target.
In this situation where you received feedback regarding your personal leadership style, you are:
- trying to define the problem yourself
- having to define the target or the expected results
- struggling to understand what action to take
- and there are no measures to guide you along the way.
Everything you’re working with is vague and arbitrary.
Let me use my life experience as an example.
I was told my communication was too much and the performance expectations I placed on my team were too high.
Not only were those vague pieces of feedback but it was counterintuitive to the expectations of my role, and the feedback centered on key facets of my personality that make me who I am.
So I was left wondering what is “just right” communication?
What are “just right” performance expectations?
Instead of immediately knowing how to “fix” this problem, I had to get clarity.
I didn’t understand the problem and I had no idea what the goal truly was. In the past, “just right” was always a “solid performer” and I wanted to be an “exceeds expectations” so I struggled to find a resolution that felt appropriate.
It was a no-win situation.
The Sacrificing Spiral
When we sacrifice to solve an ambiguous problem, sacrificing goes on for months or even years.
You can see why; there is much more undefined than defined.
When you face a defined problem with clear actions and expected results, you can sprint to that finish line with ease.
But in undefined situations, you have to go on a scavenger hunt to get the information before you can run the sprint.
The spiral comes when you sacrifice while scavenging for answers.
Before you go on the hunt, treat this like any other business-related problem. Ask questions, seek clarity, get to the root cause of the problem, define a target, and find a way to measure the results.
Then you have a clear path to follow.
If you want to learn more about the Career Spiral, Sacrificing, and achieving the Too Much Is Just Right mindset, get access to the audio program inside our web version of our app (coming to Apple and Android app stores soon).