Achieving Success Without Sacrificing Your Mental Health

Hustle culture. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” The expectation to work all hours of the day now that we can access work from anywhere. These are just a few things that have contributed to declines in mental health in workers, whether you are employed or self-employed. It’s the expectation that you must constantly be doing more, working harder, and that incessant feeling that you aren’t doing enough. The source of these pressures can be both external and self-imposed (especially if you are high-achieving and ambitious), but the consequences are the same: neglecting your own basic self-care in favor of working harder to achieve or maintain success. This isn’t healthy and has to stop, and it’s what we will be exploring further in this episode.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Signs you are sacrificing your mental health for success
  • How to redefine success in a way that prioritizes mental health
  • 4 specific strategies to balance success and mental health



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Calmly Coping Podcast

INTRO/OUTRO MUSIC: Rescue Me (Instrumental) by Aussens@iter (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Copperhead

DISCLAIMER: All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

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Click to view the episode transcript.

Hustle culture. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. The expectation to work all hours of the day now that work can be accessible from pretty much anywhere. These are just a few things that have contributed to the decline in mental health in workers, whether you are employed or self employed. It’s the expectation that you must constantly be doing more, working harder, and that incessant feeling that you aren’t doing enough.

The source of these pressures can be both external and self imposed, especially if you are high achieving and ambitious. But the consequences are the same. Neglecting your own basic self care in favor of working harder to achieve or maintain success. This isn’t healthy and it has to stop. And it’s what we’ll be exploring further in this episode.

Welcome to Calmly Coping. I’m your host Tati Garcia. I’m a licensed therapist and a high functioning anxiety coach. Calmly Coping is the podcast for people who struggle with anxiety and high functioning anxiety. Each Wednesday, you’ll hear informative episodes with actionable tips about decreasing anxiety, adopting a healthy mindset, and managing your time and energy so you can live a calm and balanced life.

Let’s get started.

Thank you so much for tuning in. As somebody who has personally experienced burnout when employed and is intimately familiar with the pressures to constantly work that come with being an entrepreneur, this topic is very personal to me and ties in perfectly with my expertise as a licensed therapist and coach who supports high achieving professionals with their mental health mindset, work life balance, and confidence.

So let’s talk about the myth of needing to sacrifice your mental health for success. So the belief is that success requires extreme sacrifice. You see it everywhere. You can see that people say things like, you need to sacrifice in order to achieve. Or you need to grind harder and push yourself even more in order to compete with others, in order to stand out, in order to make more money, in order to move up the ladder, get promoted, et cetera, et cetera. Sacrifice can be a component of success because the reality is you can’t do everything at once. You can’t possibly try to achieve success and have tons of hobbies and have a family and have a vibrant social life. It’s impossible to do it all. We only have so much time.

So yes, some sacrifices are necessary. And this is something I talk about in more detail in my free training on how to create work life balance and feel calmer from within as a high achieving professional. I talk about the four burners theory in that you can’t do it all at once and you need to prioritize things.

If you’re curious and learning more about that, you can check out that free training by going to But when we look at the extreme sacrifice And the word extreme might seem extreme, but really, when we just look at sacrificing one component that’s the most important, which is taking care of yourself, then that is not an essential component in order to achieve success.

This looks like when you’re constantly depriving yourself of the proper time that you need to take care of your basic needs. This looks like sleep, regular meals, healthy relationships with your loved ones, having mental space, having boundaries from work, having freedom, fun, hobbies, exercise, or sunlight.

It doesn’t need to be all of these things, but just the things that are going to be most impactful for you personally. When you deprive yourself of these things, it is a recipe for worsened mental health. This includes burnout, anxiety, depression, and more. And the reality is that you deserve to take care of yourself, your mind and your body.

So here are some signs that you might be sacrificing your mental health in favor of work and achievement. So you are exhibiting signs of anxiety, depression, burnout, or other mental health struggles, especially when related to work. but this could be influencing multiple or all areas of your life.

Potentially it could be negatively impacting your relationships could be negatively impacting your leisure time, your ability to relax. Maybe you have lost your passion or drive for work. When you once had it, you could be increasingly irritable to those that are close to you and have a lack of patience for listening to others or being present for them or for their frustration or their requests or any other needs that they have from you. You could be worrying often, have difficulty relaxing or overthinking things or doubting yourself constantly. You might have difficulty saying no or feel like you can’t say no. These are just some signs of many that you may be sacrificing your mental health in favor of work and achievement.

Now I want to talk about the connection between success and high functioning anxiety because if you’re new here, I specialize in talking about and helping individuals with high functioning anxiety, which is when you appear successful in high achieving. I’m the. outside, but on the inside, you’re struggling with overthinking things, putting yourself last and putting tons of pressure on yourself.

If you’re not sure whether or not you have high functioning anxiety, I have a free quiz that you can take by going to But here’s the thing. The constant drive for achievement can exacerbate anxiety because this can look like you ignoring your needs. And when you’re ignoring your needs in favor of more, and it is being driven by fear because maybe you’re afraid that if you don’t work more than things are going to fall apart or you’re going to be dropping the ball or something bad is going to happen, then this is going to compound the anxiety that you’re feeling because then you’re going to be justifying the fact that I need to keep working and keep achieving in order to avoid this anxiety that I’m feeling.

So I want to talk about redefining success and how you can prioritize your mental health. So it’s important to redefine success in a way that includes your well being and caring for yourself. Success can be material, financial, career, maybe a title, maybe a position or status that you’ve achieved. And success can also absolutely be personal and while you are caring for yourself.

I know everybody’s circumstances are different, so success can look different for everybody. It’s important to seek out help and support from others if you feel like you cannot take care of yourself while working towards the things that are necessary and or important for you. There are resources if you feel like you cannot maintain your basic needs and care for yourself and others in the way that you need to such as community mental health agencies, government support and resources and programs, and so many other things that I could possibly cover in this video.

However, doing a quick search for local resources or government aid can be helpful. There are also many free local resources, and so all you need to do is go to your local government website, your county, state, government, country, depending on where you’re located, and see what sort of resources there are for if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner.

There are many resources for that. See what kind of resources there are for single parents or families or families in need, if that applies to you or for professionals. So you can find many resources. You can also look through your employer. This ties to one of the tips I will be sharing later as well, but just know that success looks and feels different for everybody. However, regardless of where you are, you have to, you absolutely must take care of your needs because that is going to allow you to be more present for others and your loved ones and people you may be caring for, responsible for as well as be more present when it comes to your career.

And it will allow you to achieve more, but not just. achieve more for, you know, as a means to an end, but achieve more while you are feeling more fulfilled while you are feeling full from within. So rather than looking for these external accomplishments to define you or to be just this thing that you need to achieve, you are actually fully enough.

You are actually caring for yourself. from within, which then will allow you to stop depending on these achievements for validation, to feel like you’re enough, to feel like you’re accomplishing enough. You won’t feel as though you need to make X amount of dollars. And then when you make that amount of money, then it needs to be this much, then it needs to be this much, or you get this promotion, then you need to get this next promotion, you know, and the race can never end.

It doesn’t mean that wanting more is a bad thing, but it can be a bad thing when it comes at the expense of caring for yourself. And when you are relying on those external achievements or external indicators of success to help you to feel good enough from within, those are two separate things. When we rely on external accomplishments in order to feel enough, then the race becomes never ending.

And It’s so easy to continue to sacrifice your needs because you’re going to continue looking outside when the answer to true fulfillment and success actually comes from within. So now let’s talk about some specific strategies for balancing success and mental health. So it’s important to recognize, and this is a strong philosophy that I have, that balance is not perfect.

However, balance is essential. So balance does not look like a perfect split between your personal and professional life. It doesn’t look like working a set number of hours, the same number of hours every day and every week, and then having the same amount of time for your personal life. It doesn’t look like, you know, perfection.

And that’s not what it’s going to be like. It can look like periods of time where you’re working harder and putting more towards your business and career and maybe seasons or periods of your life where you’re doing this. And then maybe periods of your life where you are not putting as much towards this, or maybe you’re putting more effort and time into other areas of your life.

It’s that push and pull that naturally happens when you are listening to your body and listening to your needs. And also just recognizing that you can only push for so long and at some point you need to rest. And so whether that looks like resting by taking a vacation or time off of work or resting by mentally not putting as much effort into work as you would have in the past and maybe shifting more of that focus to your personal life and hobbies.

So there is no perfect image of What constitutes balance and that perfection is impossible, but it’s about tuning into and listening to yourself and your needs. So this can look specifically like setting healthy boundaries and recognizing your personal limits. So saying no when you feel like you don’t have any more capacity, or letting your boss know this is my priority right now, and if they ask you You to help with something else.

Ask them, okay, should I prioritize what I’ve already been working on? Or is this a priority above this? You’re not necessarily saying no. However, you are communicating the fact that you only have a finite amount of time and focus and energy, and so you are. assessing what is more important for me to focus on right now?

What should I be prioritizing? And you’re also setting clear expectations. So this can be communicating to clients, colleagues, or customers, or anybody else. This is my availability. This is when you can expect to hear from me by. This is how long it takes me to respond to emails and phone calls. All of these things will allow you to receive.

Back your own time and energy while also allowing you to alleviate some of the anxiety that might come up from feeling that pressure to respond immediately or to constantly be available or to respond to things when you have other things that are a priority. Another important tip is to practice self-care daily.

Preferably first thing in the morning to fill up your cup first. So this can be like a morning routine. It does not have to be long winded. It could just be a 10 minute thing where you’re doing something to help you to feel grounded, help you to feel joy, anything that will. benefit you in caring for your needs.

So this can look like meditation or deep breathing. It can look like journaling. It can look like reading a passage from your favorite book. It can look like having your morning cup of tea or coffee. And I know that everybody’s routine and schedule is different. So if you can’t do it first thing in the morning, that is perfectly fine.

Do it when you can find that pocket of time for yourself. Even if you’re Able to get little moments of self-care throughout the day that is better than just neglecting it and leaving it to only the weekend. It’s really important to regularly be doing things that help you to care for yourself. And one of the most important things, and this is where I start most of my clients, is by focusing on basic needs.

Because oftentimes focusing on these basic needs. can be a huge difference and make a huge difference when it comes to caring for your mental health. This looks like getting enough sleep because so many people are sleep deprived, not getting enough sleep, having trouble getting sleep. And so just focusing on prioritizing and getting more sleep, whether that’s going to bed earlier or doing things that you can to sleep through the night.

That is going to make a big impact when it comes to your mental health, especially anxiety and depression. Another basic need can be exercise, moving your body, doing anything to help you to get out tension, get out that energy and keep your body and mind active. Regular nutrition. Eating regular meals, having nutritious meals can be super impactful as well.

In addition to emotional awareness and having outlets, so not holding everything in and keeping all that stress inside, but having somewhere where you can let it out. Whether that is to yourself through a journal or through meditation and becoming aware of how you’re feeling, or that is to a therapist or a friend or a family member or a coach or anybody that can help you or be that outlet for you when it comes to how you’re feeling.

And this ties to what I shared earlier when it came to asking for and looking for resources. And this is asking for help when needed. We all can’t do all of it and everything at once. And sometimes it can be really hard to ask for help, especially if you’re somebody who is ambitious. You may have this expectation that you need to do it all.

And the reality is that we can’t do it all. So asking for help, and this can look like delegating, this can look like asking for support when you have a lot on your plate, it can look like asking for help at home when it comes to chores or responsibilities, anything that you can do to get a little bit off of your plate can help you to relieve some of stress that you might be feeling some overwhelm that might be coming up and help you to take care of yourself as a result.

So here’s the thing, success and mental health. are not mutually exclusive. It’s not either you’re successful or either you’re taking care of your mental health. You can be doing both and it’s essential for you to take care of your mental health including your mind and your body in order to be successful because at some point something has to give and you can’t continue pushing and pushing and pushing without expecting that you are going to hit a wall at some point.

You need to take care of yourself and this can start with small baby steps. Even the smallest things that you can do to start to take care of yourself, start to listen to yourself and start to respect your needs can make a huge difference over the long run. So your action tip is to focus on one of the things that I shared today to help you to take care of your mental health.

If you resonated with struggling with prioritizing your needs and caring for yourself. So these tips were to set healthy boundaries and recognize your personal limits by either saying no when needed or setting clear expectations. Practicing self care daily, preferably first if possible in order to fill up your cup and doing it regularly.

Focusing on your basic needs such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, emotional awareness, and having an outlet for your emotions. And asking for help when needed. This is something that I have helped numerous clients with. So if you are looking for support with this specific topic, you can check out the work with me link in the description to learn more about how I can support you with this.

Let’s continue the conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this question. If you’re watching on YouTube or if you are listening on Spotify, how can you care for your mental health while working towards and or maintaining your success? While you wait for the next episode, I have other episodes about calming your mind, creating work life balance, and feeling more confident from within.

Thank you so much for tuning in today, and until next time, be calm. Thanks so much for listening. If you like what you heard, please share this episode with a friend. And please subscribe and leave me a review on iTunes. Also, remember to check me out online at CalmlyCoping. com and connect with me on Instagram @TatianaGLPC.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues. Till next time, I’m Tati, and this has been Calmly Coping.

Until next time…

Be Calm,


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Hey, I'm Tati!

I believe that everybody deserves to live a calm, fulfilling life. My hope is to inspire high achievers to stop fear from running their lives and start putting their needs first.

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