And why so many people end up with a burnout
We live in a world where masculine energies are highly rewarded, especially as entrepreneurs. Goal-setting, being pro-active, ‘getting things done’, pushing yourself up the career ladder; these are all things we hear all the time. It’s been taught to us from a very young age to work hard, have good results, be a winner and a ‘high achiever’.
When we start our own business, this is no different. We are being told to ‘get out there’, make ourselves seen and heard, be confident. And although there is truth in that without these results a business won’t flourish, the female energies are equally important in building a sustainable business, but they are mostly forgotten, because they are inward – not outward.
In the long run, honouring both the male and female energies inside of you, are essential in keeping yourself feeling balanced, protecting yourself from burnout.
The patriarchal world has praised all things male for thousands of years, creating a sense of imbalance in both men and women. And everyone has both energies inside of them, whatever gender you are. But typically, while growing up, there is little to zero attention to this fact, and that both energies should be nurtured. ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ is the main question asked, and then it’s a race through the education system, and into a job. Did you ever get taught about checking in with your feelings as a child? How to ‘feel’, and listen to your heart instead of just using your brain?
As soon as we then hit the working world, it’s male energy all around.
You cannot be fast-paced all the time
In the business and corporate world it is all about outward results, ambition, action, getting your next promotion, seeing opportunities. Go, go, go! Working 12 hours a day, and even on weekends? Well done! When you are fresh out of college, most of us feel a high energy work place is normal and even fun. We jump straight in, and keep up for a while (and sometimes for 20 years), but nearly everyone hits a point where the body says stop, and the mind crashes. We are not machines.
If we want a world that is made up of happier humans who are better balanced, then nurturing both energies is key. It will lead to greater health, inner peace, and a deep understanding of your actions and reactions, both in work and in your personal life.
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What are typical masculine energies?
Most qualities that are being seen as positive in the corporate world, are masculine energies. Being competitive, for example, is regarded as a good trait to have in order to succeed in a career. Being assertive, and outgoing, are others. Not showing emotions, showing up a strong leader. Some people have these qualities more than others. But these traits are only healthy when the other, feminine, parts of yourselves are also acknowledged and nurtured.
If you have ever found yourself burnt out in a job, or feeling lost in a work environment that was all about getting the next promotion, fast-paced projects, and constantly having to reach the next target, it was likely because your feminine energies were neglected. You felt out of balance, and exhausted.
Why do you think so many people in the Western world end up with stress? Because they constantly required to focus on their male energies (and feel like a failure when they can’t keep up), and are ignoring their intuition, nurturing side and creativity, which are the female energies. They are facing outward only (male), and not inward (female), and are not respecting their whole true self. This is both the case for men and women.
A lot of people end up half way through their life, feeling completely exhausted. They have gone through the rat race, done everything that was expected of them, had a career, bought a house, have everything ‘to show for’, and they still don’t feel happy.
They feel ‘something is missing’, or that ‘something is wrong with them’. Men, especially, often end up feeling ashamed to admit to the fact that they can’t cope anymore, as mental illness is unfortunately still seen as a weakness. But much of this can be traced back to the imbalance of the male and female energies, and there is a lot we can do to prevent it.
From doing to being
People who feel lost at some point in their lives, will often have ignored their inner creativity, for a start, and have mostly thrived on outer validation – and following the ego. Meeting the high expectations of others. First the parents, then the teachers, then their boss. Fear of judgement. No one ever told them that to live a happy and (mentally) healthy life, you need to go inwards as well as outwards, and ‘feel’ instead of only ever ‘do’.
It is OK to slow down in order to grow. Who’s life is this? What are you here to do on earth?
The parents, teachers and bosses of this world were not taught how to think like this either, so it is an ongoing cycle, and it won’t stop until you break it.
Many of us are so busy that we rarely take time to listen to what is going on inside of us. If we’re always acting in an extroverted way, it creates a schism within. We lose touch with our deeper selves.
We need to get out of our heads more, and into our hearts. Using our intuition is something most of us have lost completely. ‘Touchy feely’ is often used as a negative expression, as if being in touch with your feelings is something to be ashamed of, in particular as a male. But being out of touch with your feelings is just the thing that gets you into a burn-out situation in the first place.
Your gut feeling is always right. Your mind? Not so much.
Listening to your inner compass, or intuition, is a female trait, and developing this is the key ingredient for a more balanced life. Your intuition will have warned you long before the serious stress symptoms rear their ugly head.
So how do you balance the male and female energies?
First of all; look closely at yourself. What energy is more present in you, the male or the female? In my case, always having been a very pro-active, manifesting person. As a woman, I have a lot of male energy. However, by the end of my thirties, I started to notice that I was wearing myself out. My female energy was shouting at me from within, but I kept ignoring her. No rest for the wicked. I always prided myself in ‘being strong’, not needing any help, jumping from one project into the next, and being a confident, outgoing person.
Phrases like ‘I’m not very girly’, or ‘I am not very motherly’, I literally used as a badge of honour. Being seen as ‘too feminine’ was something I stayed well clear of. Until I had to face her.
You need two legs to stand on, and when you don’t take care of one of the legs, you fall over. And without nurturing my own feminine energy, I eventually ended up feeling very out of balance. Exhausted, irritated, impatient, stressed out. I had to go inwards to find some answers.
But everyone is different. Some of you may feel you need to increase your male energy instead. Maybe you are very much an introvert, and find it hard to put all your ideas into more extroverted action. Finding a for you suitable way to make yourself more visible, becoming more direct and confident, and creating a strategy for your business can then help to balance things out while still honouring the feminine in you as well. As a creative business coach, I can help with that. (BOOK A FREE CALL HERE)
Your feminine side gets expressed when you move with the flow of life, embrace your creative energy, play more, and attune to your internal process.
This requires going inward, and checking in with your feelings a lot of the time. That is not easy for most of us, who live very in our heads almost fulltime. Your rational mind will come up with excuses or stories to tell you that you should ‘pull yourself together and get on with it‘, so this takes practice.
The mind, used to being in the rat race, is very impatient and makes you feel guilty about taking time out, resting and slowing down. ‘Stop faffing about, make some progress!’, it will tell you, so expect this to happen, accept it, but try not to pay attention.
The next steps: restoring the balance
The feminine is life force energy. Places like the forest and the ocean are abundant with natural feminine energy. No wonder that people, who feel stressed out at work, often yearn to go into nature. Your body and soul know what will heal you and restore the balance.
Do you have a favourite place you go to when you feel out of balance?
When we are in the midst of our career, or building a business, it is easy to lose touch with our feminine side, but as we can see, it’s a necessary aspect of who we are – whatever gender. If you feel burnt out, overworked, fragmented, or exhausted, you’re in desperate need of feminine energy to restore, inspire, and enliven you. And this takes more than a token ‘mental health day’ or a massage every once in a blue moon, only to then run back into the craziness of work.
We need a holistic approach, not plasters.
Embrace the feminine force of transformation
To build a sustainable life and business, checking in with yourself on a regular basis has to become a habit. It is no coincidence that more people than ever are signing up for yoga and meditation classes, go on spiritual retreats, buy self-help books, and are interested in mindfulness as a way of life.
I get clients all the time, who are dreaming of freedom, and wish to leave their stressful job to pursue a more creative path that lies much closer to their true values. They want to feel whole. The rat race, and ongoing economic growth, are simply is not sustainable, and certainly not wholesome – not for humans, nor for nature. It creates illness everywhere.
Some of us think of the feminine energy as being quiet and nurturing only, but that is only half the story. Feminine energy is bold as well, and it’s the force of transformation and creativity.
If things in your life are no longer working for you, it is feminine energy that calls you out to make a change. Often this means entering a time of challenges, conflicts (with yourself and others), and having to make big decisions. Destruction comes before creation! But if we truly desire positive change and balance in our lives, we must say goodbye to the old to welcome the new. And this journey you don’t need to do alone.
If you are ready to leave the old behind, and create more balance and joy in your life, book a free call. I help people get better at marketing themselves, so they earn more money doing what they love.