How to Use Change, from Burnout to Habits with Marigold and D20 Theory

Updated by Shannon Ratliff

Self-confidence and self-care are more than buzz words these days, they're necessary components to a well-balanced life. Holding onto self-esteem in the face of change is hard. So hard, even, that it often seems impossible when you're feeling burnt out or overwhelmed with decisions. Building confidence as a woman is an important part of personal development, but when the grind is real, how do you make sure you're nurturing yourself? How do you build confidence when you feel like you just can't get it together?

President and COO of Cratejoy, Autumn Manning, sat down with Marigold life coach Britt Tucker and D20 Theory productivity and mindset coach Kelly Courtney to talk about building confidence to change your life. The conversation was full of gems on self-development, from small steps to the new challenges we've faced as a community since the pandemic began. We've compiled the best tips and advice from the insightful conversation below in the structure of the panel.

Building confidence to combat burnout

We were pushed outside our comfort zones during the pandemic and as a result, our mental health and well-being suffered in the form of low confidence. Burnout can happen in any area of your life, not just work. Often, it's enough to recognize you're feeling it and give yourself the space.

Kelly suggests using small ways to roll into big changes. An action plan that increases gradually can help combat the feeling of failing backwards by taking too much on. "We always have these huge ambitions, we know what we want in life. But to make the change, to start with the bigger picture, you have to be small. [Think in] little increments because the last thing you want when you're feeling burnt out is to stress yourself out more with putting too much on your plate.

Britt agrees, noting that recognizing self-worth is the first step when feeling disconnected from our lives. A little grace goes a long way. "The reason that we as women experience burnout is that we believe we have to do it all. We're kind, we're giving, we overextend ourselves. So one of the tips I always give my clients is to make a list of what it is that you have to do, versus what it is you can delegate, or someone else can help you with. So that's always one of the first things I start with helping people get a better balance in their lives."

Small habits that boost confidence to seek support

Being there for yourself is probably the last thing on your list of things to do today. Low self-esteem's trademark negative thoughts make us feel like we aren't worth smiling at in the mirror. The smallest step you can take on your journey beyond self-doubt is, put simply, talking to yourself. Of course, you do this, but how often do you do it purposefully? With self-love and positivity oozing from your inner cheeks because you're smiling too hard? Probably not often. And that's where you start.

Britt says, "I'm a huge advocate for affirmations. Any time we're feeling low in confidence levels, starting with affirmations as positive statements about yourself. I like to record mine on audio and play them back to myself every morning. If you're struggling as a woman to say, 'Oh gosh, I don't know what I feel positive about right now,' then text your five closest friends and ask what you're really good at or what they love about you. Affirmations are so powerful in changing our mindset and helping us build that confidence."

Kelly nods, "Community is something I talk about so much. That can mean a lot of different things. Your coworkers, your friends, your family, whoever those people are that bring you support because it's so hard to get out of your own head. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all those limiting beliefs. The people around us see us in a much more positive way than they see the negative and to see it through their eyes or hear them say it makes such a difference."

She continues, "Once you hear yourself say it, you start to believe it a little bit more. And that's not you being fake. All the stories we tell ourselves that are limiting in those ways, it's really just allowing us to embrace all of our abilities and strengths. Those little nuggets of positivity just grow into something beautiful."

"It's unbelievable when you realize, like, for so many years, so many of us have been telling ourselves these limiting beliefs," Autumn says. "Whether it's actively saying out loud or thinking it. I've gone through a habit of auditing my limiting beliefs about myself and it's a powerful exercise that makes me go, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe I say these things about myself in my head.'"

Taking stock of what matters to guide yourself toward your goals

So many of us start something, or feel invigorated about a new possibility, only to be met with failure that makes us feel like even 'fake it until you make it' is a burden. Britt and Kelly have practical and digestible ways to make sure you stay on track with your goals and make room for the right things in your life.

"I've called it life auditing before," Kelly says. "Basically taking inventory of what you're happy with, what you're not within the different parts of your day-to-day life. If things aren't what you want them to be, put them aside and reflect, 'What is it that I actually want there?'" Kelly asks clients where they want to be and to consider what their biography would say years down the line. "That kind of third-party perspective gets us out of our own heads for a moment, but writing it down keeps us from spinning without an answer."

Britt connects goal-setting the most when considering a life audit. "One of the biggest questions people always ask me is 'How do I actually set goals so that I can achieve them?' And for me, I think about where it is your energy goes. Any time it comes to achieving dreams and goals, it's actually putting it to action every day, whether it's big or small."

Giving up control to embrace change

Writing goals and clearing out space in your life is a necessity for wellness. Each is important in keeping us from feeling like we have to do all and be all. So much of building confidence is tied to how we think we're doing. How do you build self-esteem when you feel like you're overwhelmed by trying to get it all right?

Britt, a self-proclaimed childhood perfectionist, connects this emotion of perfectionism with not wanting to fail. Failure is an option and a likely possibility, but embracing a lack of control can actually help. "Making small steps to take things off your plate is key. At work, I'm hands-on, but at home, I ask my family to help me do small things. And I can take that off my plate. Acknowledging that perfectionism is there is so cool. Taking small steps and delegating as much as you can."

Kelly relates perfectionism to efficiency and external expectations. "It's really about being efficient and having those systems and processes and routines that work for you. I know those words don't sound like fun, but I know that they can make such a big difference." She notes that we all acknowledge that there's a limit to how much we should push the perfectionism boundary and still have a healthy relationship with our mindset and boosting our self-esteem.

The signs of burnout you can look for in yourself

In the case of burnout, it can be too late to make any real, impactful change. Autumn asks about the small ways or signs we can recognize burnout in ourselves before it's too late to return from the brink of apathetic exhaustion.

"I'm trained in the cognitive part of your mind and a lot of people don't know this," Britt says, "but we have what we call 100 hours of mental energy every day. When you get home from work and your husband or someone asks what you want for dinner and you can't answer, you've used all 100 hours of mental energy. So the biggest thing I ask is, 'How are you feeling in the evenings after your work day? Do you feel like talking to anyone? Are you completely shut off?' A lot of people don't know this, but the best way to replace emotional and mental energy is to sleep."

"Decision fatigue is so real," Kelly echoes. "I think it's about routines and setting yourself up to make less decisions. Taking inventory and knowing when you're at that point where you need to rest. Sometimes you ahve to do something outside of your self-care routine." Pay attention to the signs of what you don't want to do, and that can be so telling.

Tangible ways to track your progress toward change

You have your goals, your life audit, your plan of attack. Awesome! Now, how do you actually maintain progress? Britt says that knowing your why is the first place to start. "Just because you have a goal written down, you need to have a why behind it. The second thing is that it needs to be posted somewhere daily for you to see. Passing that every day, your mind will trigger some things to get it done. Set goals backwards. Give yourself a due date and stick to it."

Kelly continues, "The thing I would add to that, too, is the idea of working backwards. You don't have to start with going full speed ahead, you can tailor your progress to your goals. You can achieve some little habit like adding something into your day, and then you feel that momentum and it keeps you going." Her advice on putting little things down in your calendar to make sure it happens is also key in rebuilding a habit or if you feel like you're slipping.

Helping someone who's experiencing burnout

It's tough to watch loved ones and friends struggle with keeping head above water. Autumn asks, "How do you help someone that you know is reaching burnout? Or even asked a different way, how do you help someone who isn't quite living up to the potential that you see and they see for their own life?"

"This is such a tough question because how do we uphold boundaries, but at the same time," Britt says. "Acknowledging that something's going on, if you want to talk about with me, I'm here to listen and support you. I'm here to take things off your plate. Being present is the number one thing."

When we ask for what we need, "we feel like we're telling people, this is what you need to do," Kelly nods. "In motivational interviewing, you ask more questions, so you're the one asking and not the one speaking. The biggest changes often come when people make those realizations for themselves. So when you ask them questions like, 'What is it you think you need to do?' They can hear themselves say those answers, and it helps gain the confidence they need to make the change in some way." It's all about being present, Kelly agrees.

Find more insightful tips in the juicy conversation above! If there's one empowerment video you watch this year, you'll certainly get your worth from this amazing group of women. Follow both amazing coaches on social media! You can find Britt Tucker from Marigold on social media and Kelly Courtney from D20 Theory on Instagram.

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Cratejoy encourages self-care routines and goal-setting by working with partners like Marigold and D20 Theory. Boxes of delight arrive at your door from experts like Kelly who work hard to bring moments of presence into your life. Check out [D20 Theory's subscription for small steps to emotional balance and empowerment delivered to your door.