[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. You have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast with my incredible, amazing, absolutely awesome co-host, Ferne Kotlyar, who also happens to be my daughter. Ferne, welcome.
[00:00:24] Ferne Kotlyar: Hello, hello! Thank you for having me. Don't we look alike?
[00:00:27] Kim Ades: We kind of do look alike for people who are looking at us, but most people just listen to us. So maybe we sound alike too. Who knows? How are you today?
[00:00:38] Ferne Kotlyar: Good. Very good. I am... Yeah, sorry?
[00:00:43] Kim Ades: Getting ready to leave somewhere?
[00:00:45] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah, I'm heading to Montreal tomorrow. [Chuckles] I'm always back and forth. When the sound quality is good I'm typically already in Montreal because I'm using my boyfriend's sound technology, fancy podcasting machine. When it's not so good I'm probably not in Montreal.
[00:01:03] Kim Ades: I think it sounds fantastic. You guys and your fancy technology. I think it's all overrated, but anyway... So, what do you wanna talk about?
[00:01:12] Ferne Kotlyar: So today I wanna talk about exhaustion. I guess... I know that you're quite familiar with this topic, but you know, when you haven't slept for a few days and you are utterly exhausted, how do you keep going? How do you keep treking? Do you just take a day off?
How do you recalibrate and come back? How do you deal with the exhaustion? Whether you just had kids or you're going through menopause, or you just have a lot of work to do, how do you deal with that?
[00:01:42] Kim Ades: I think that exhaustion isn't just about being tired, right? When we think about exhaustion, it's loaded with an emotional element that we don't really pay attention to, and we need to pay attention to that and separate just pure exhaustion from the emotional impact of exhaustion. And so--
[00:02:05] Ferne Kotlyar: Can you tell me a little bit about the differences?
[00:02:07] Kim Ades: Yeah. So if I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I need rest, I need sleep. Easy solution, right? You're tired, go take some rest. The math is simple on that front. What makes it not simple is the conversation that people tend to have in their heads that says "I shouldn't be sleeping, I shouldn't be resting. I have all these things to do. I have all these responsibilities. I'm gonna be letting people down. I can't not show up.
I have obligations. And if I don't show up and if I don't get my work done, then what does that mean about me? It means that I'm not performing. I'm less than everybody else, and I don't matter. I don't have value", and all this chatter that creates not only exhaustion, but stress on top of the exhaustion
And if we just only talk about exhaustion, we understand. When you're tired, go take some rest, right? But this is not a conversation about pure exhaustion. It's not a conversation about lack of sleep or letting your body recover.
It's a conversation about the emotional aspects tied into being exhausted and how it affects your relationships, how it affects your performance, how it affects your ability to be present and attentive and showing up. It affects how you react and respond to things, and maybe it causes you to be short tempered or impatient or whatever that is. And so exhaustion is a pure problem. But when you look at the emotional impact or the emotional aspects tied to exhaustion, that's when the problem gets bigger.
[00:03:44] Ferne Kotlyar: So what I hear you saying is essentially exhaustion, okay, easy solution, you go get some sleep, but the kind of the thought process behind whether or not you deserve sleep or you have time to sleep, and that thought process behind it is really what changes the game and makes things so much more complicated.
[00:04:07] Kim Ades: Right.
[00:04:07] Ferne Kotlyar: So-- Oh yeah, go for it.
[00:04:09] Kim Ades: I'll give you an example, okay? So one of my clients happens to be in the financial industry, and he works at a bank, he is working on mergers and acquisitions and all these really complicated high profile deals worth millions and millions of dollars, very complex, etc.
And so it is the culture of the bank for the people working on a deal to stay up till two, three in the morning every single day until the deal is done. And so they barely sleep, they now need to wake up early, present their presentation and expect to do that with all of their faculties. But we know that if they haven't slept and if they haven't recharged, then their likelihood of top performance is actually compromised. We know that.
[00:05:04] Ferne Kotlyar: But also doesn't that lead to more mistakes?
[00:05:06] Kim Ades: Leads to more mistakes, leads to all kinds of things, but it's the culture of this industry, it's the expectation, it's the norm.
[00:05:15] Ferne Kotlyar: So how do you break out of it?
[00:05:17] Kim Ades: Well, that's the problem, is how do you have a conversation with someone who's grown up in the industry, who everybody else around him functions that way, where that is the expectation. And not only is that the expectation where this particular person was really good at the grind, really good at staying up late, putting in all the hours and charging through, like not relenting, and now the shit hits the fan and he realizes "this is not the most ideal situation for me", emotionally, physically, spiritually, even productively.
So now what? Now we have a problem. And the problem is "hey, I get it, I need to rest. But how do I actually make that happen for myself when there are all these pressures happening that are forcing me to show up and do what is expected of me?"
[00:06:14] Ferne Kotlyar: So how do you change that?
[00:06:16] Kim Ades: Well, what we do is we take it little by little, right? We take it little by little. We don't try to create a revolution overnight, we don't try to create that 180 degree change because his beliefs are "I have to be there, I have to show up, I have to be with my team, I have to perform, it's the expectation". So you can't take him from that place to saying "okay, you know what? You need to be in bed by 10".
[00:06:41] Ferne Kotlyar: [Chuckles]
[00:06:42] Kim Ades: Not gonna happen, right?
[00:06:44] Ferne Kotlyar: But I think we also kind of skipped a step, because you just said "yeah, he gets it, he understands that that's not what he wants", but how do you get someone who is kind of struggling? They know it's because they're missing sleep, but they don't understand that they need to change their thought process before that.
[00:07:01] Kim Ades: I think one of the things we do is we capture their current state. So when a client, for example, journals with me, we're capturing their state, the state might be exhaustion, the state might be annoyance, frustration, impatience, agitation, so we're capturing the state and we're connecting that state to a lack of rest, a lack of sleep, right? Just pure exhaustion.
And so they're connecting the dots, but that's not even enough. What's really important is to go the distance and say "okay, what's actually the cost of this problem?" What's the cost? And what is the sacrifice you're making in your life by perpetuating this cycle? What's the cost and the sacrifice?
[00:07:45] Ferne Kotlyar: So what would be an example of the cost of the sacrifice for--
[00:07:50] Kim Ades: The cost is it's costing my health, it's costing my mood, it's costing my performance, actually, right? What am I sacrificing? I'm sacrificing my life, I'm sacrificing my wellbeing, I'm sacrificing the possibility of being cheerful and enjoying the people around me.
[00:08:12] Ferne Kotlyar: Okay, so here's a question. If they don't get enough sleep, how do you capture what they would be like if they did get enough sleep if they'd never get that sleep?
[00:08:22] Kim Ades: Well, we go back to a time when this wasn't the case and we say hey, did you always feel this way? What was it like when you were sleeping normal hours? What was it like? What were you like as a kid? Were you always this wound up? Were you always this exhausted? Were you always this stressed out? Were you always this agitated? Were you always this way? Right?
So there's always some level of comparison. And so we ease them into a more acceptable way of taking care of themselves. So again, if they're used to staying up till three o'clock every night, now we're not gonna get them to go to bed at 10, but what we will do is talk about, Hey, are you the one who has to do all of this stuff? Or is there a team that perhaps you could delegate to?
Can we look at what you're doing a little bit differently? Can we look at your ideology about leadership, right? Can we look at your beliefs around what you need to be there for versus what somebody else can do for you?
And so we're looking at it from a 360Âº vantage point, and we're looking at their beliefs about why they feel forced to be up until three. And maybe the initial goal is "you know what? Today you're not gonna be up until 3AM, you're only gonna be up until 1:30AM".
[00:09:53] Ferne Kotlyar: Wow. Daring.
[00:09:54] Kim Ades: Daring. [Lightly chuckles] Exactly. And so the idea is to make small, incremental improvements, but what we wanna see is small incremental improvements in thought first. So when a person thinks about it differently, then they behave differently. If they don't think about it differently, their behavior doesn't change.
Only when they realize something's gotta give. "I gotta make a change, and it's okay for me to make the change. In fact, it's necessary for me to make the change". It's a leadership quality to make the change. Then they're willing to do it.
[00:10:34] Ferne Kotlyar: Okay, and what would be an example, I guess you just gave me an example of a thought process that would change, or how that would move from "this is immovable, this is necessary" to "maybe something can change"?
[00:10:48] Kim Ades: Yeah. So for this particular client, the change was yes, there are some people who can do some of these things. Yes, I don't have to look at every single change they make. I could look at it at the end of the process instead of every time along the way. And yes, there are some mistakes that are gonna happen and they are low risk mistakes, so I'm okay to accept them at this phase of the game. I'm okay that it's not gonna be an absolutely perfect document.
[00:11:22] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah.
[00:11:22] Kim Ades: Right? So lots of layers here. And I'm okay to go to bed at one o'clock and revisit it in the morning.
[00:11:30] Ferne Kotlyar: And so given these changes, have they seen a change mentally, physically, emotionally?
[00:11:37] Kim Ades: Massive, massive. And, I mean, along with this, he's taking care of himself in a whole bunch of other ways that might have taken away some of the energy. So when we talk about exhaustion, we're talking about energy too. So there are things we do that drain our energy. Things like eating sugar, things like maybe drinking alcohol, things like... Yes, not sleeping, but things like maybe being exposed to certain people that are just exhausting, that create an energy drain.
And so he's much more conscious about those things that boost his energy, the people that boost his energy, the situations, the food intake, the substances, whatever those are, that he might be taking versus the things that create energy for him.
[00:12:28] Ferne Kotlyar: And what does this look like with respect to his relationships?
[00:12:33] Kim Ades: Yeah, good question. So, I mean, in this particular case, he had a relationship-- or he has a relationship with someone where the trend was to live a lifestyle of exhaustion.
[00:12:45] Ferne Kotlyar: Together.
[00:12:46] Kim Ades: Together. And now he's realizing "this isn't working for me. I don't wanna stay up so late watching Netflix. I don't wanna go out with everybody till three in the morning and drink till I'm sick". Right?
[00:13:00] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah.
[00:13:00] Kim Ades: "I don't wanna do those things". So initially there's a little friction, right? But then that friction starts to change as this individual takes more responsibility for himself, as this individual starts to appreciate the impact of the change for himself.
So he gets planted in the change, and when you're planted in the change, you become an anchor in your relationship. And the person around you has a choice. They can choose to say "this isn't for me. See you later", or they can join you. And so what we're seeing is she's starting to join him a little bit.
[00:13:39] Ferne Kotlyar: But I guess I meant more emotionally. So like when you're tired, you get snappy, you get irritated, you get short tempered, as you said.
[00:13:47] Kim Ades: Yeah.
[00:13:48] Ferne Kotlyar: Has he been seeing a change in the way he communicates with people, in his tolerance for people?
[00:13:55] Kim Ades: A hundred percent. Well, he's seeing a change in two ways. Number one is he's calmer and more sure of himself in the way he communicates with people. He's more direct, more specific. And in a way less tolerant of people in his life who don't align with his...
[00:14:18] Ferne Kotlyar: Values?
[00:14:18] Kim Ades: Wellbeing and values, right? So if there are people in his world that aren't healthy for him, then he's more ready to create a distance with those people. And so all those are great moves, all those are great decisions. And what we see, quite frankly, in coaching is that as the client increases their healthiness, their health, some of those people in their lives start to drop off.
The people who are no longer a match for this state of wellbeing, they just sort of drop off. And sometimes the client says "Hey, what's happening? This doesn't feel good. It's a little agitating", but we say we are moving in a healthy direction because these people no longer support the direction you're heading in.
[00:15:10] Ferne Kotlyar: And do you think it's possible to still have a relationship with these people?
[00:15:14] Kim Ades: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the negative impact they have on you. If they have a strong negative impact, it's better to let some of these people go. And sometimes it's important just to accept people as they are.
Like, we've had lots of clients who have had struggles with their parents, for example. It's hard to let go of your parents, right? And sometimes your parents just show up in funny, strange ways, right?
[00:15:38] Ferne Kotlyar: [Chuckles]
[00:15:38] Kim Ades: Maybe they nag a lot, or maybe they have very old-fashioned values or views, or maybe they're very critical, whatever it is. And so we also understand that these people don't wanna break a relationship with their parents, they wanna manage it more effectively. And so that's part of the process. When we have more bandwith, it makes it much easier for them to handle these kinds of inputs with less stress, with less agony, right? With less agitation.
[00:16:08] Ferne Kotlyar: Absolutely.
[00:16:11] Kim Ades: Yeah.
[00:16:11] Ferne Kotlyar: Very cool.
[00:16:11] Kim Ades: So exhaustion isn't just about sleep, it's not just about rest. It's really about how we think about our wellbeing, how we think about what's possible for us, how we think about what we're entitled to, what our values are, and how we want our life to be. So exhaustion is more complex than just the subject of get more rest. Yeah.
[00:16:34] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much. I think that was a very interesting topic.
[00:16:38] Kim Ades: So for those of you who are listening, and if you are experiencing exhaustion, ask yourself a question: what do I believe to be true about my time? What do I believe to be true about my obligations and responsibilities?
And start to explore whether or not some of what you believe is actually true, or if it's something that you've embraced that isn't really working for you. And if you'd like to talk about it, we'd love to talk to you! So please reach out.
[00:17:05] Ferne Kotlyar: Absolutely.
[00:17:05] Kim Ades: I can be found at Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. And where can you be found, Ferne?
[00:17:11] Ferne Kotlyar: Please email me as well at Fernekotlyar@live.com. And for those of you listening, we do also have kind of a survey going on to see what you guys wanna hear, what topics you want more of, so please fill that out, it'll be found in the footnotes of the podcast.
[00:17:28] Kim Ades: Amazing. Thank you guys for listening. We'll see you next week! Have a good one!
[00:17:33] Ferne Kotlyar: Bye!