The BTG Podcast

125/Breaking Free of Toxic Resilience

June 04, 2024 Jennifer Febel of Live Life Unbroken & BTG Wellness Season 2024 Episode 125
125/Breaking Free of Toxic Resilience
The BTG Podcast
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The BTG Podcast
125/Breaking Free of Toxic Resilience
Jun 04, 2024 Season 2024 Episode 125
Jennifer Febel of Live Life Unbroken & BTG Wellness

Welcome to The BTG Podcast! 🌟

Hey there, lovely soul! I'm your host, Jen Febel, and I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome you to another episode of The BTG Podcast, your go-to space for nurturing your mind, soothing your heart, and enriching your spirit.

"BTG" stands for "Bridge The Gap" and it's inspired by my own healing journey. Here, amidst the chaos of the world, we carve out a sacred space to explore the depths of our being, to unearth wisdom, and to cultivate a sense of inner peace. Whether you're seeking solace, inspiration, or simply a moment of respite, know that you are welcomed with open arms and an open heart.

So, grab your favorite cup of tea, find a cozy spot to nestle into, and let's dive into today's episode.

Here's what we're talking about this time:

Can pushing yourself too hard actually harm your mental health? Today, we're unpacking the critical difference between true resilience and toxic resilience. We discuss how society's obsession with relentless productivity can lead to burnout and chronic stress, often causing mental health issues like depression and anxiety. We'll show you how genuine resilience involves not just enduring challenges but learning from them while prioritizing self-care. Plus, we'll talk about the pressures of hustle culture in the online world and the importance of setting boundaries to maintain your health and relationships.

Support the Show.

You are invited to join us in Circle

Each BTGPpodcast episode is recorded LIVE during my virtual Healing Circles. If real-time connection calls to you, you are invited to join my free Circle membership. Visit www.btgwellness.com/circle and register for Zoom access.

​Share the LOVE ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

If you like what you hear, please remember to leave a review and share the love by sharing this episode with your friends, family, and social network.

Questions or curiosities?

Remember, I am always just an email away.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to The BTG Podcast! 🌟

Hey there, lovely soul! I'm your host, Jen Febel, and I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome you to another episode of The BTG Podcast, your go-to space for nurturing your mind, soothing your heart, and enriching your spirit.

"BTG" stands for "Bridge The Gap" and it's inspired by my own healing journey. Here, amidst the chaos of the world, we carve out a sacred space to explore the depths of our being, to unearth wisdom, and to cultivate a sense of inner peace. Whether you're seeking solace, inspiration, or simply a moment of respite, know that you are welcomed with open arms and an open heart.

So, grab your favorite cup of tea, find a cozy spot to nestle into, and let's dive into today's episode.

Here's what we're talking about this time:

Can pushing yourself too hard actually harm your mental health? Today, we're unpacking the critical difference between true resilience and toxic resilience. We discuss how society's obsession with relentless productivity can lead to burnout and chronic stress, often causing mental health issues like depression and anxiety. We'll show you how genuine resilience involves not just enduring challenges but learning from them while prioritizing self-care. Plus, we'll talk about the pressures of hustle culture in the online world and the importance of setting boundaries to maintain your health and relationships.

Support the Show.

You are invited to join us in Circle

Each BTGPpodcast episode is recorded LIVE during my virtual Healing Circles. If real-time connection calls to you, you are invited to join my free Circle membership. Visit www.btgwellness.com/circle and register for Zoom access.

​Share the LOVE ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

If you like what you hear, please remember to leave a review and share the love by sharing this episode with your friends, family, and social network.

Questions or curiosities?

Remember, I am always just an email away.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the BTG Podcast. I am your host, jen Fable of BTG, wellness and LiveLifeUnbrokencom. Btg stands for Bridge the Gap and it's inspired by my own healing journey. After receiving seven different mental health diagnoses by the age of 19,. I quickly realized that there was a massive gap between what I believed and understood in my head and what I truly felt in my heart, and no matter how many therapists I went to, I couldn't seem to bridge that gap until I found the tools and information that I share in my one-on-one private sessions, trainings and right here on this podcast. My goal is to help you begin to bridge that gap by bringing you different topics related to mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and, in case you didn't know, this podcast is recorded live during my bi-monthly virtual healing circles. These are virtual gatherings that are 100% free and no RSVP is required, so you're welcome to come whenever you can and stay as long as you want. Each circle, we open the space with a candle meditation, after which I will share with you my favorite grounding practices and lead you through a circle casting guided meditation and breath work, and lead you through a circle casting guided meditation and breath work, followed by a soul-inspiring gratitude practice. If you are interested in learning more about how you can continue your journey and experience my virtual healing circles in real time, please visit wwwbtgwellnesscom and join my free Circle membership If you like what you hear in today's episode. Please also remember to leave a review and share the love by sharing this episode with your friends, family and social network and, as always, if you have any questions about anything at any time, please feel free to reach out to me through either of my websites, either btgwellnesscom or my coaching website, livelifeunbrokencom, or through email or social media. Enjoy the episode. Welcome to the Virtual Healing Circle with me, jen Fable of BTG Wellness and LiveLifeUnbrokencom.

Speaker 1:

And tonight we're talking about toxic resilience. We live in a world where we're taught that we can be anything, we can do anything, we can have everything if we just want it bad enough and if we work hard enough. Well, what happens when all that work and all that desire comes at the expense of our health, our relationships, our family? Knowing how to push through and still choosing to rest and take care of yourself is a very important skill set, and a lot of us are missing this Often. As individuals, we pride ourselves on being resilient and pushing through, but not all forms of resilience are actually sustainable, and that's what I want to talk to you guys about tonight. So why is this important? This is important because constantly pushing ourselves to do more and more and more and more just because we can or because we're afraid of missing out, literally killing us. This is important because knowing how to be resilient without having to sacrifice health or relationships or family is key to living a life that feels good, that you love, and this is important because we're going to keep burning out one by one until there's no one left. So what is resilience? We're going to talk about toxic resilience.

Speaker 1:

Let's first talk about this concept of resilience. So the idea of resilience is that you have the ability to bounce back from a challenge, from a setback, from adversity. It's about knowing how to move around the obstacles that life inevitably throws at you with some grace. It's about walking through the fire and coming out the other side. It's about learning to adapt and find meaning in our challenges. Resilience doesn't mean avoiding stress. It means facing it bravely and learning from it, while still taking care of ourselves. It's about being able to perform well when life gets lifey. So then, what's toxic resilience?

Speaker 1:

Toxic resilience is actually considered to be a maladaptive coping mechanism. Frankly, it's a trauma response where we have this unhealthy reliance on doing it ourselves, of needing no one, on being able to do it without any assistance. Toxic resilience is about feeling like we have to handle all this stress, all this pressure, but never show any outward signs of distress, of needing help, of needing support. When we're so stoic, how do the people around us know that we need help or support? Toxic resilience is about staying in situations that we know is not healthy, but we don't want to rock the boat because we can deal with it. I can get through. I can make it work, sure, but should you?

Speaker 1:

So what's the problem with toxic resilience? Well, when we get into this habit of constantly giving and giving and giving and being more and doing more and never taking time to nourish ourselves, to nourish our light, we'll eventually end up with burnout, chronic stress, we'll get physical exhaustion, and when we are pushing ourselves to the point of the brink of our own madness, we're darn right. Our mental health is going to suffer, we're going to have depression and anxiety, feel hopeless when we are exhibiting signs and practicing toxic resilience, when we've crossed that line into this territory, our work-life balance is probably not going to be there that whole idea of one more email, one more phone call, five more minutes. Oftentimes, we prioritize productivity over connection with ourselves and with others, and when we do this, we'll feel lonely, we'll feel isolated and, despite the outward appearance of strength, toxic resilience actually leads to stagnation and the inability to grow or adapt to changing circumstances. It has the opposite effect. So what causes this? Why is this such a problem nowadays?

Speaker 1:

Well, with the online world, we have this constant pressure to hustle. You got to hustle, you got to be proud of it. You got to have it all. You got to do it all because you can't. For so long, humans didn't know we could, and now that we know we can, we want to do it, but without any limits, without any boundaries in place. We're kind of running ourselves into the ground in the name of a goal that is starting to kill us. Toxic resilience happens when we're constantly comparing ourselves to other people and to their success, without any measure of context at all. We see people online and like, oh, make seven figures just in 30 seconds without having to do anything, and you're like, wow, why am I not doing that? So we push ourselves harder.

Speaker 1:

Toxic resilience happens when we outwardly want to appear strong but inwardly have a victim mentality. Toxic resilience often shows up in workplaces as pressure from people above us that if I don't do this, I might not have a job, that I have to push more, I have to work harder, otherwise I might have nothing. And toxic resilience is the result of FOMO, fear of missing out, of not doing everything. What if I miss out? What if live every day as if it's your last day? That's a lot of pressure. That's a lot of pressure.

Speaker 1:

Some signs of toxic resiliency ignoring our needs, pushing them out of the way. I don't need to eat right now. I'm going to power through. All I need is a couple ounces of water and I'm going to power through. And we ignore our needs physical needs, emotional needs, mental needs, spiritual needs when we don't ask for any type of support and we just focus on doing it ourselves and powering through. That's not healthy. That's not healthy. That's not healthy If you find yourself being in environments that you know aren't good for you, but you feel like you should just tough it out, that somehow it'll magically just improve on its own, without you having to use your voice or do anything, probably a sign of toxic resiliency going on.

Speaker 1:

If you have a tendency to be like the martyr in the world, where you put everyone's needs before your own, and your own well-being and your own health is slowly deteriorating, that's a sign of toxic resiliency. If you're constantly feeling stressed or burned out, if you're pushing yourselves beyond the limits and there's a part of you that's just starting to crack or already has, it's a good sign of toxic resiliency happening. And when we deny the problems, when we minimize it, it's not that bad. No, it's only sometimes, I'm sure. No, it's okay, I'm sure it's going to get better. It's a sign of toxic resilience. And just because you can endure, should you? So what's the solution?

Speaker 1:

We need to redefine what resilience means. We have to stop using the word to indicate a lack of self-care and a powering through and instead promote the idea of well-being and resilience being the same thing, that it involves seeking support, that it involves setting boundaries, that it involves prioritizing ourself. When we learn how to help others without sacrificing ourselves, when we learn how to collaborate and allow the space for both people's all people's needs, without competition, that's where we move into a space of interdependence, and interdependence is the goal. It is the antidote to toxic resilience. So we go through four main stages in our development. We also you can see this also mirrored if you've ever had like been a new guy at a job and you're learning something new.

Speaker 1:

When we are learning something, or as we are developing through our childhood which is basically the same thing, because that's all childhood is is learning we go through four main stages. The first one is dependency. When we are first born, we can't do anything. We are fully dependent on our caregivers. At a new job, you don't know anything. We're fully dependent on the person showing you around. You don't even know where the lunchroom is. You know nothing. So in those early moments where we're first learning things, we are dependent on someone else.

Speaker 1:

Emotional dependency, when we are talking about relationship, means that we're getting our good feelings from outside of ourselves, that we require someone else's opinion to feel good about ourselves. We can be dependent on substances. We can be dependent on food. We can be dependent on spending. We can be dependent on getting someone's love or approval or attention and in this place we are dependent on the outside world. To know ourselves.

Speaker 1:

From dependence, we often move into codependency. In codependency, two people are regulating one person's emotions, so there's lots of power struggles going on, as everyone's fighting for their own voice to be heard. When you're job shadowing, you might know what you're doing now, but someone's still following you around making sure you're getting it right. Once we know what we need to do, we move into a space of independence where we know that we can do it ourselves. Damn it, I don't need anyone, I'm not dependent on anyone, I don't need your approval. And we get into this space of haha, I can do anything. A lot of us think that's where the journey is meant to end and we stay in independence. When we stay in independence, this is where toxic resiliency becomes the biggest risk, because the more we push ourselves, the more we want to do, the farther we want to go, the more we want to grow without accepting help from anyone else, because we can do it ourselves. Damn it, hear me, roar. That's when we suddenly start to cross the line into yeah, we can, but should we?

Speaker 1:

Ultimately, we are meant to move from independence into a space of interdependence, into a space of interdependence. Interdependence means I can do it on my own, and I'm choosing to do it with you, because I know that there is a lot of value in support and in collaboration. In codependence, while we rely on the other person for our self-worth, in interdependence, we have two individuals who have their own identities and have boundaries, who have come together for a shared purpose, for collaboration. This is the missing piece that allows us to get support, that allows us to go farther. In interdependence, we have a healthy balance between autonomy and connection, versus codependence, where there's too much connection and not enough autonomy. The difference between codependence and interdependence is I'm sorry you're all going to hate me boundaries. Boundaries are what we're meant to learn when we're in the independent phase. Boundaries where we're meant to learn who we are and then take that into a shared space Because, at the end of the day, independence is the glass ceiling.

Speaker 1:

Knowing that you can do it all and choosing to work with other people is a skill set of leadership. It's a skill set of healthy relationships. In fact, it's a necessary ingredient. Someone who is highly independent might be a wonderful person, but they're going to struggle in relationships. So, how to be interdependent, how to practice interdependence, how to make sure you don't dance over that line from resilience into toxic resilience.

Speaker 1:

One learn how to speak your truth. Knowing your truth and knowing how to share it in a way that's not offensive to others, that doesn't induce power struggles, that's not passive aggressive and that doesn't induce power struggles, that's not passive-aggressive and that actually encourages connection is important part of interdependence. Learn how to be empathetic without sacrificing your boundaries. It's great to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes, but you better make sure you're spending at least as much time in your own shoes, if not more. You can practice interdependence by taking radical responsibility for your own needs and finding support. Share what you need and want without any expectation and, when you don't know what next step to take, find someone who can guide you there. And finally, learn how to negotiate. Stop relying on compromise as the sole means of collaboration. In compromise, I lose a little bit and I'm kind of not happy, but fine, next time I'll do this. And then you're not really that happy and okay, fine, and we both kind of walk away, kind of happy but kind of not happy, and nothing new was born. New was born. Skillful negotiators know how to bring everyone's skills to the table and elevate them to something new, to find a solution that works for everyone without anyone having to compromise any part of their desires.

Speaker 1:

Learning how to negotiate is an important way to get power struggles out of relationships, and that's important when you want to connect with others in interdependence. So some key concepts to remember. Remember that being resilient requires more boundaries, not less. Thinking that, fine, I'll just do this one more thing and I'll just do this one more thing because I can is not a healthy form of resilience. If you want to be more resilient, you you got to get yourself more boundaries. Remember that just because you can push through doesn't mean you should, or that there won't be consequences to your health, to your relationships, to your family.

Speaker 1:

And remember that practicing interdependence, knowing that you can do it and still choosing to resource and share and team up with others, is the antidote to burnout and the antidote to toxic resilience. And, as always, I want to remind you to decide you want it more than you're afraid of it. If you have lived a life of dependency or codependency and you are proud of your independence, going into interdependence this is going to bring up some of the ogity boogity, feels for sure and just decide you want it more than you're afraid of it, and that's always the decision that will take you to the next step. And, as always, if you have any questions about anything from tonight's circle or podcast, please know you can always reach out to me through either of my websites, either btgwellnesscom or my coaching website, livelifeunbrokencom, or through email or through social media. So what questions do you have? What do I need to know?

Speaker 1:

How many of you have wandered into the realm of toxic resilience? How many of you are like walking the line like it's a breathalyzer test, trying to figure out where it is? How many of you are like walking the line like it's a breathalyzer test, trying to figure out where it is? How many of you are like oh man, we passed that line years ago. Where's everyone at with their? How does this change for you guys?

Speaker 2:

I love that you went back to the fact that it's sometimes derived from trauma. I mean, I remember being a kid and I grew up really super poor and always have this fear of going back to that, even though it was such a short part of my life. It holds me hostage. So then I make sure I work extra hard and I save extra hard and I and I clean extra hard, and I, you know, I never say no when I'm supposed to say no, because you know how about I end up back there? How do you, how do you separate that? Because that's not boundaries as I see it, it's just how do I get rid of that trauma to say you know, I'm not going to be the little old lady sitting in a apartment with a heat eating cat food. I don't want to do that.

Speaker 1:

So it is boundaries with ourselves, like those boundaries that we set with other people and those boundaries that we have with ourselves. And the boundary with myself is that I give myself permission to acknowledge the child that I was, while also honoring the adult that I am, and that as an adult, I can choose whether or not I listen to this child and do I want this child to be running my life. If it was not my inner child that was screaming from trauma, if some other kid, if a three-year-old or a four-year-old came up to me and was like you know what you should do, I'd be like that's adorable. I probably wouldn't take their advice. Maybe some kids are clever, but generally speaking, I'm probably not going to be listening to a three-year-old helping me make an adult decision. That's a boundary with someone else. So having that boundary with ourselves recognizing when it comes up that is just our inner stuff going crazy and not giving it the power to help make decisions I think the important part is recognizing that it's okay to take care of ourselves and that taking care of ourselves is about setting up what we want in our life, what we are willing to allow into our life and what we're willing to share in our life, and I'm not going to share my life with the fear of my four-year-old self. That's an inner boundary, just like I wouldn't share with an outward child. So there's some boundaries with self there. And then there's the knowledge that self-care isn't about doing things that we should do or like taking a day off work. Sometimes we have to do work, but can we weave things into the work that we're doing that lights up our soul? Right, and in that I got a push. I bet if you were to weave in moments of lighting up your soul, of doing things that legitimately just made you smile, you wouldn't be listening to the fear of the little child from long ago. There wouldn't be space for it. So every time you hear that going on, that's your signal to go do something that lights up your soul. Now it's not the easiest of switches because you're going neurologically from childhood to okay, something that I love.

Speaker 1:

So what I recommend is, when you're feeling awesome sauce, make a list of things that light up your soul, and it can be big things or little things. The only criteria is it has to bring a smile to your face. It has to literally light up your soul. So for me, obviously, like stupid things, like writing boobs in places or just like any reference to that is just hilarious to me. Swearing, scented candles, incense, stuffed animals I always have my stuffed animal on my lap, always. I got stuffed animals everywhere because stuffed animals are awesome. Right, this is something I can carry with me, that even while I'm expending energy, I'm pulling some in because it lights me up, and the more I'm focused on doing things that light me up on a regular basis, the less space there is for the trauma it gets choked out.

Speaker 1:

So I recommend, when you're feeling awesome, make a list of things that light up your soul. Um, you know, for me, looking at trees being anything near water lights up my soul. Um, breeze like the wind on my face. Cheese, cheese lights up my soul. Cheese is amazing, especially melted cheese. Oh, so good, so good.

Speaker 1:

So make a list of things that light up your soul and when the little child starts to chatter, go to your list and do something off your list and you can either do it the you know thinking way where you're like, pick something which you're probably going to overthink, or you can do the universal way and let it choose and either do like whatever I need and let your finger stop on the list, or get creative and put it in little strips and put it in a hat, and you can like, pick what you want to do, but do things that light up your soul, do things that let yourself know that you're worthy. That's part of boundaries as well. What energy are we letting in? So it is about boundaries. It's just that we don't know what boundaries encompass fully. That answer the question.

Speaker 1:

Thank you very much, my pleasure, my pleasure. Thank you again for joining me for this episode of the BTG Podcast, which stands for Bridge the Gap with me, jen Fable. Remember, if you want to experience my virtual healing circles in real time, visit wwwbtgwellnesscom, slash circle. And, of course, if you have any questions at any time, please know you're always welcome to reach out to me through social media or through my websites at btgwellnesscom or through my coaching website, livelifeunbrokencom. Thanks again and I'll see you next time.

Toxic Resilience and Self-Care
Setting Boundaries for Self-Care
Virtual Healing Circles With Jen Fable