In my last post I shared how my misplaced beliefs drove me to live at point C for so long that it pushed me over the edge to a Red-X moment (where life falls apart). If only I had enough courage, wisdom, and experience to pay attention to all the warning signs that were telling me to stop.

Over the years, I’ve tried to go back to that painful season and list out what I remember and what the warning signs were. To be fully transparent, it still is a bit of haze, but here is my best recollection of the signs suggesting that things needed to change. I hope they help you or someone else:

  • Working harder with less results.
  • Getting home later and later or leaving home earlier and earlier each day.
  • Feeling tired, even after sleeping.
  • Having trouble falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Finding less time (or no time at all) for the things I used to enjoy (sports, movies, the beach).
  • Rarely feeling relaxed, and/or only really relaxed with alcohol or drugs (which I started to develop a habit using—a daily habit).
  • Drinking more coffee and eating more poorly.
  • Unable to take my vacation days.
  • Making more simple mistakes and suspect decisions.
  • Feeling guilty about lots of different areas of my life (e.g. my relationships with family and friends being absent or strained).
  • Not smiling, laughing, or joking as much as I used to.
  • Feeling as if no one could understand what I needed to do or how much work I had. They just didn’t get it!
  • Reacting inappropriately to situations with strong emotions or outbursts.
  • Being too overwhelmed to seek new experiences, new ideas, or new ways of doing things.

I think there were more things I felt, noticed, and was becoming… but this at least gives you a sense of what to look for in yourself and others who might be approaching a Red-X. I hope you have a governor or at least a personal dashboard that gives clear indication that something isn’t right. When that indicator goes on, pay attention and get it checked out!

Lead on,

Image by meddygarnet. Used under CC by 2.0 license.