Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne | Stop prioritizing your work over your mental & physical health.

Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne

August 19, 2021


Christy & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives this past week. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.

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Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne | Stop prioritizing your work over your mental & physical health.

Stop prioritizing your work over your mental, physical, and spiritual health

Today, we look at why you ought to put your mental, physical, and spiritual health first overwork. That may mean not setting an alarm, taking a break in the afternoon, pushing the pile of work you have to tomorrow because you’re exhausted today and it’s time to take care of yourself.

Why do we put work first?

At times the achievements and road to success are our vehicles to feel worthy. Our work feels like a way to fill our worthiness and love cup. We are afraid that if we are not successful and not hitting achievements or doing things that would allow people to acknowledge us in a certain way, we would be nothing. So we strive so hard to achieve in order to be seen or feel enough.

The competitive programming that we get used to at a young age sets this wheel of working so hard in motion. We compete against each other right from an early age and it becomes a habit. It becomes something that we cannot be detached anymore from because our body has become addicted to it.

The belief that we don’t deserve self-care and that taking care of ourselves is selfish is one reason we get into this rut of working, working, working, and putting work before anything else. This stems from our needs never being met as a child, never as teenagers, never in our lives. This is why self-care, taking care of our needs, leaning in and understanding what it actually feels to have joy and fulfillment is important. We need to understand that these are not wrong feelings. When we’re at that point, we actually can create so much more. We can fill other people’s cup, and we can bring them along. Repeating the history of working hard until you break over and over and over again is not going to serve anybody. It’s not going to serve you; it is not going to serve your community, the people that you influence, the people that are looking up to you—nobody, except your ego.

Putting work first stems from lack of energy. So when you don’t feel enough, you begin looking for something else to fill you up. So even if your intentions behind these goals or to create these businesses or whatever it is, is for the ultimate good or to help other people, there’s still underlying energy of lack, even like desperation behind your actions. So you’re clouding the good that might be behind these goals for yourself and for other people because there is that anxiety, that lacks underneath it.

When we end up at a place of putting work first, it’s always because we go back to needing that thing to feel a certain way. So we have to constantly check in on ourselves. We have to ask ourselves why we want that and why it is important for us.

Generally in our learning and education, even with ballet and dance training, it’s all about the gold stars, how many pirouettes we do in order to land the job. So in order to hit that triple pirouette over and over and over again, we need to work 50 hours a week, at least in the studio, and then plus some. And where does that lead us? The more we’re depleting our resources in ourselves, the harder it is going to get to refill them and the deeper the hole that we’re falling into because once you hit this certain point of complete emptiness, it will take forever to get back to where you feel some sort of wholeness.

In the world of dance, the better you are, the more people like you. As you get better, the people that wouldn’t even look at you start becoming your friends. You then get to a point where you’re so needing other people’s energy because you no longer know how to get it yourself. For many, that is the driving force for becoming a dancer because we feel part of the cool club as we get better. So as we rack up more pirouettes, skills, befriending choreographers or getting into prestigious schools and things like that, that brings more attention and more love and more friends. Then when we leave the dance world or when things shift and our bodies are no longer performing the same and we’re choreographing and teaching and doing all that, there is a massive void that wasn’t filled because it wasn’t in our lives. And once it’s time to walk away, there is a timeframe where it’s like, what’s gonna fill that because in the earlier days we did not know how to fill that ourselves.

So we challenge you to have a look at what you feel, what do you want to achieve, and why do you want to achieve it. There is nothing wrong with setting goals. All we’re asking you to do is why do you want to get there? What sense do you feel you get when you get there? We’re also challenging you to who are you doing it for? Are you doing it for yourself? Or are you doing it to be seen, to get more accolades, to have that pat on the back? Reassess where you want to be. Nobody’s gonna put that oxygen mask on you. You have to do it yourself.

You matter whether or not you get that role

It is something to start having the awareness of, but quite simply, the first step, without giving you a laundry list, is to just observe what if you’ve set one-year, five-year, ten-year goals to just look at them and who are they for? That’s the biggest thing. And are they for you, but for what reason? Is it because it’s your dream to be in a certain role or because you think that role is going to get you somewhere else that’s going to make you feel like you matter more instead of figuring out that you already matter. You matter whether you get that role and you make it to that next level or you make it to that higher-tier company or whatever it is. Because when you get to that higher tier, and indeed, you’ll get there, and then there will be some other reason that you don’t feel worthy enough. So until you find it yourself, it doesn’t matter the number of things you check off, you’ll still feel the same.

“There’s only one way to get there.” Really?

Let’s just say your who and your what and your why are all for the right reasons. Regardless, you don’t have to get there just through hard work and exhausting yourself, and putting it as your number one priority at any given hour during your day. It doesn’t have to be that way. Right now we all are shifting in a way where we are asked different questions. Many people are pivoting in whatever their business is like or could be like, and finding, okay, if I start again, does that mean I have to put in the 14 hours every day for the next two years or what other ways can I actually create so I do not have to burn myself out and really dislike myself. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re challenging you, even though the structure may be asking you to do all of these things. We’re asking, what can you do differently? How can you even think differently? And what different questions can you ask yourself or your peers because it’s always better in a group when you’re not alone? What’s the one thing that you can shift?

Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.

So much ❤ Susanne

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  • About Christy Little

    PTR 31 | Personal DevelopmentFormer professional dancer turned entrepreneur who is passionate about living in purpose and assisting people to see the greatness inside of them to live their ideal life.


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Past Episodes 

There is a better way to pursue ballet at the professional level. Instead of dancers pushing beyond their body’s limits, there is a healthier way to train your body, your mind and your spirit to soar. To become the best at your craft, you must be healthy. The mentality of surviving to make a performance perfect is an old paradigm that needs to change. As athletes, dancers must thrive in order to shine and connect with their audience. This new approach, leads to fulfillment, strength and longevity. It allows you to give more of your heart and soul on stage, creating an unforgettable experience that moves your audience. And that’s the whole pointe.