Balance is Movement : Le paradoxe du succès

Balance is Movement : Le paradoxe du succès

Jusqu’à récemment, j’étais obsédé par les concepts d'amélioration continue, de productivité et de performance. J’étais un « overachiever ». In 2006 I had my first near burnout experience where I lost significant amounts of motivation for about 2 months and had very low amounts of energy throughout the day. Heureusement, c’était durant l’été donc j’étais capable de travailler le jour et me reposer le soir. Mes tests sanguins ont révélé des taux faibles de globules blancs, sûrement à cause de mon horaire surchargé.

I recovered, but I quickly reengaged in high volumes of activity and put my mind and body through overdrive for another 5 productive and rewarding yet stress inducing years. The mistake I made was thinking that wellbeing meant to take a break every now and then. Aujoud’hui je reconnais que le bien-être ne consiste pas seulement à prendre des pauses occasionnelles.    

In 2011, my body urged me to pause for a second time when the tendons and nervous system in my back, arms, and legs became hyper sensitive due to overwork. Je travaillais à temps plein, j’étudiais à temps plein et à temps partiel, et je m’entrainais intensivement en arts martiaux 4 à 6 jours par semaine. Selon mes tests médicaux, mes glandes surrénales étaient épuisées (A.K.A. adrenal fatigue – look it up!).

With the help of a physiotherapist and a holistic life system’s coach I integrated principles and practices of mindfulness, self-care, nutrition, and learning into my everyday life which I still carry with me today.

However, due to my “overachiever’s” mindset, I leveraged those practices to continue to expand my capacity to contribute and work. Oh how the “overachiever’s” mindset can be self-destructive! Ce n’était qu’une question de temps avant que mon corps me demande de ralentir de nouveau. The mistake I made was to use wellbeing as a means to an end: to become even more productive. Le bien-être est un état d’esprit et de présence et ne devrait pas être perçu comme un tremplin.

In late 2015, I began noticing similar yet less acute symptoms of internal fatigue than I did in 2006 and 2011. I consulted a Naturopathic Doctor. The conclusion: adrenal fatigue and metabolic imbalance due to the overuse of cortisol and adrenaline. La source de ces problèmes était encore une fois ma mentalité de croissance continue.

One of the treatments that the naturopathic doctor encouraged me to undertake was the Candida Diet. Everyone has candida in their digestive system but problems occur when changes caused by antibiotics, diet, chronic stress, and adrenal fatigue cause candida overgrowth (read about it online). Je me suis donc dévoué pour les prochains 40 jours au régime anti-candidose. Selon mon expérience, c’est un régime difficile et parfois emmerdant, mais efficace sous la supervision d’un professionnel de santé.

Some of my side effects included fatigue, cravings, and difficulty maintaining a cheerful mood near the end of the day. Some of the results were improved levels of energy, better sleep, less chronic stress, healthy levels of gut flora, and a better foundation for health.

I'm now on stage two of my naturopathic treatment and I’m working on keeping my “overachiever’s” mindset in check. I've set major boundaries and reluctantly dropped some commitments. Ainsi j’ai réduit mes attentes personnnelles et professionelles. Does this make me nervous? Absolutely! I'm slightly terrified of not being able to achieve or contribute as much I used to.

The paradox is that the very mindset that made me feel like I can contribute to this world is the same attitude that appears to be my liability. Heureusement, ça fait maintenant trois mois depuis que j’ai commencé ce traitement et je peux confirmer que selon mon expérience, les bénéfices sont bien supérieurs aux inconvénients perçus.

I’m reminded that achieving “balance” is not an end state. It’s a process. Balance is movement and involves self-awareness, flexibility, and constant adjustments based on internal and external circumstances on a moment’s notice. I’m not doing as much as I used to in terms of volume, but I’m playing the long-term and mindful game. I’m pacing myself to make sure that I live a quality life. I still engage in high levels of activity, but I do so with more patience and forgiveness towards myself and I’m much less reluctant to prioritize my wellbeing for the sake of myself. Je choisirais cette façon de vivre sans aucun doute.


Unsolicited advice from David:

  1. Get to know the psychological, physical, emotional, relational, environmental and spiritual aspects of yourself AND appreciate how they work together.
  2. Learn from trusted sources about health and wellness. Start with TED Ed on YouTube: “How stress affects your brain”, by Madhumita Murgia.
  3. Make wellbeing a fun, personal and natural part of the way you live.


Aujourd’hui, je suis toujours fasciné par les concepts d'amélioration continue, de productivité et de performance, mais je m’intéresse également au maintien d’équilibre dans le système responsable pour l’actualisation de ces concepts : vous, moi, et notre environnement social et physique. Cheers to you and to life!