An honest reflection: chasing the high, the crash that follows, and being driven to find a soft landing on solid ground

With Engage Over Coffee coming up this Friday, I was reflecting back on a conversation I had with an attendee at the one last month.

I had shared with him that I had been struggling with having enough energy: as an entrepreneur to do all of the tasks and organizing that were needed for the business, plus all the tasks and coordinating that were happening at home with my young family. 

I told him that I hadn’t been sure I was going to have enough energy to facilitate and organize that morning’s event.

And we praised the benefits of the ‘Engage High’ for keeping us both upright that morning.

But then I took it a step further in the conversation.

I shared with him about what happens for me after Engage Over Coffee. And he thought, and I agreed, that it would be nice for people to hear that even I come crashing down.

Naming the Engage High

First, I want to acknowledge the ‘Engage High’.

An Engage Advocate and regular attendee of Engage Over Coffee started using this phrase, and I’ve sort of adopted it. Many of you have as well.

And I think actually naming it and recognizing what it does is really interesting.  

When I named the company, Engage Affect, I was using the psychological definition of ‘affect’: what it feels like when you participate. 

And, it has been incredible for me to see that what I hoped would happen through Engage truly has been that Engage feels different than any other opportunity to “network.”

When you engage the way Engage engages, there is this “high” that comes from sharing your messy lives with each other, the goals that you have.

And what continues to be a common experience at our events is a realization that you are not alone.

  • There are others who are feeling blocked and aren’t sure who to ask for help.

  • There are others who need a new perspective or need support from someone that has a skill set that they don’t.

And it’s through a strong, diverse network of people that aren’t like you but share a like-minded interest in community that suddenly you’re able to find people and opportunities and resources that you didn’t know existed and didn’t know could be available for you.

The Truth:

after my Engage High, comes the crash

As the facilitator, I get my own version of the Engage High watching your faces. Watching what happens in the moment at Engage Over Coffee. 

And, last month, after having a difficult week - watching you all gave me the energy that I needed. I didn’t have to force it. I didn’t have to make it happen. I simply had the energy to facilitate the event because of you.

But inevitably, after every event I facilitate, there is a crash

And that’s the honest perspective that this attendee thought would be worth sharing with all of you.

After all that intensity. There’s a headache and an exhaustion that can’t be ignored. I for real need a nap and wonder why I don’t live in a culture where siestas are the norm!

And I’m curious - as to whether or not you also feel that crash. 

Maybe after a holiday with family? A deep conversation with a friend? A promising job interview? A first date?

The Challenge:

finding a soft landing and solid ground

I’ve learned that I have to bake recovery time into my day, and I am still working to figure out what recovery time looks like for me. How much and how often. 

When I’ve had some conversations lately about making time for recovery, the nods that I get - especially from other entrepreneurs - have highlighted for me that that is something many of us are struggling to make time for. 

We live in a world where it’s a lot of do do do and go go go. And we may even thrive in that environment.

Yet, we are beginning to realize that we have to hold - as a priority - that recovery time.  

We know that there will be that desire for the highs in our lives. The accomplishments. The task lists checked. 

But we also need to be ready with a solid foundation. 

I am driven to find that solid ground. 

What does your ground look like? 

  • Can you anticipate that soft, but firm landing? 

  • Did you invest in it so that you can go back to the steady beat forward?

  • How do you prioritize recovery time so that you can sustain the activity required in your week and not get lost when the high begins to fade and you’re back to the tasks in front of you? Back to “normal”?