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Before I got burned out, I used to be a productivity freak. A restless soul who never settled for anything less than perfect. Or didn’t settle at all, to be honest.⁣ I was always chasing something bigger and better. New clothes, new furniture, makeup, nails. I climbed the career ladder with the goal of one day being the brand manager for a large company.⁣

And I was well on my way. In less than a year after graduating, I was promoted and got the fancy title “Communications Manager” for one of Sweden’s largest startup houses.⁣ I worked my ass off, but being so young and the only woman in the team, I always felt like a fraud. “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing, but I’ll fake it until I make it”. I never stopped to ask myself “Why?”. Why was I doing this? Why did I have to fake it and more importantly, why was it so important to “make it”? It took six months before I was completely burned out and my body said “no!”.⁣

Looking back, I can see that it wasn’t only the extreme work hours, the never ending to do list or my controlling boss who lead me to the burnout. It was also the constant chase. I set these goals without even knowing why or if I wanted them. I thought I had to be tough and powerful to make it and did my best to stop being nice to people because I had learned that “Nice girls don’t get the corner office”.⁣

It wasn’t until I was forced to a stop that I realized that I don’t want to be the boss in a large company. It’s frankly exhausting. All that responsibility and hard work, for what—a fat pay check at the end of the month? But to me, it was never about the money, I just wanted the title. To BE someone. Because that’s important, right? We’ve basically failed in life if we don’t make it to Forbes 30 Under 30.

Burning out forced me to take a good look at myself. What does my heart want? What’s important for me to be happy? And I’ve realized that I’m fine with being average. I just want to be seen and respected for who I am and not have to prove myself or fake it. What’s important are the people I surround myself with—how they make me feel. Love, kindness and authenticity is all I need and want. Have you thought about what makes your heart happy?

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