Why I Quit Beast Mode and How I Traded Burnout for Peace and Balance

Relaxation

“Beast mode.” Sounds pretty badass, doesn’t it?

It’s like an adrenaline-fueled battle cry, a call to arms. It’s a way of life that’s all about giving every single thing you’ve got to every single thing you do.

For most of my life, I lived this mantra—and prided myself for living this way.

In fact, I had a sticker on my bathroom mirror with the words “beast mode” that I stared at all the time. It was my constant reminder to be all in, every single day, pushing harder, reaching further.

But here’s the reality check: Life isn’t supposed to be a non-stop action flick or an eternal Olympic sprint.

When you live that way, you’re always running on empty.

In fact, I felt like I was a smartphone on 1 percent battery all the freaking time.

And I’m not just talking about feeling physically wiped out. I was mentally and emotionally zonked, too. I knew there had to be something better than living in permanent beast mode… running on fumes… sputtering through my days.

Eventually, it all just clicked for me. I realized that I had become so caught up in the hustle, so obsessed with the “how much,” that I’d lost sight of the “why” … for what purpose?

After all, busyness should not equate with worthiness!

And that’s when I decided to shift gears, from the non-stop grind of beast mode… to the thoughtful pacing of what I now call my “best mode.”

Beast Mode vs. Best Mode

Beast Mode is like running on full throttle all the time. It’s all about maximum effort, maximum speed, maximum output. It can be incredibly effective in the short-term but can also lead to burnout and loss of direction in the long run.

Best Mode is about finding a sustainable, balanced, and intentional way of living. It’s about setting mindful, meaningful goals and pursuing them at a thoughtful pace. It’s an approach that values self-care, reflection, and mindful action as much as achievement and productivity. In best mode, you’re not just achieving, you’re enjoying the journey. You’re living your best life, not just a busy one.

Now, I’m here to share my journey from beast mode to best mode, my transition from being a human-doing to a human-being. And let me tell you, it’s not only enriched my life,  it’s made it infinitely more fulfilling, and, dare I say, significantly more enjoyable.

The Appeal of Beast Mode

We live in a world where the common refrain is always: “Do more! Be more! Achieve more!”

And beast mode fits snugly into this ethos.

It’s not just a mindset. It is a state of being.

It’s about relentlessly striving for success, pushing past limits, and breaking barriers.

Admittedly, it gives you a buzz, a rush. I remember the thrill, the allure of being in beast mode. The feeling that I was invincible, a juggernaut, an unstoppable force. There was something intoxicating about it, something that drew me in and held me in its grip.

The Downsides of Constant Beast Mode

But here’s the kicker: Living in beast mode is like running on a treadmill that’s always cranked up to max speed. It’s exhausting, draining.

You’re sprinting at breakneck speed, but where are you going?

What are you really achieving?

And at what cost?

Because in the midst of this relentless pursuit, you start to lose sight of what’s really important.

Relationships, peace of mind, the simple joys of life. They all get left in the dust.

Plus, often beast mode leads to a more beastly mood. You feel on edge a lot of the time. Or simply exhausted.

Basically, beast mode is a relentless grind that leads you straight down a one-way street to Burnoutsville. Trust me, it’s a place you don’t want to visit.

The Value of Balance over Burnout

Over time, as I got older, I began to see through the illusion.

I started to realize that life is more than a marathon, more than a series of boxes to check off.

A good life is about appreciating the moments in between, the simple pleasures, the quiet joys.

It’s about my kid’s laughter echoing through our home, a shared meal with my family, a good book on a lazy afternoon.

These simple moments are the essence of a good life. They’re the threads that weave the tapestry of our existence.

And these threads started to matter more to me, more than any achievement or accolade.

So one morning I peeled that “beast mode” sticker off my bathroom mirror, and began to try to live differently.

How I Quit Beast Mode and Burnout 

Breaking up with beast mode was no easy feat. It was like trying to sever ties with a toxic friend who just doesn’t want to let go.

But once I managed to break free, it was like a breath of fresh air. I found peace… tranquility… balance.

And I discovered that balance trumps beast mode any day.

The calm mornings, the shared stories, the unhurried afternoons, the dancing to music in the middle of the day—these became my new triumphs.

These simple, peaceful, intimate moments became my new improved yardstick for success.

And they became the milestones that truly mattered most.

5 Tips to Quit Beast Mode and Embrace Best Mode Instead

Now, if you’ve managed to stick with me so far, here’s some straight-shooting advice, fresh from my own experience.

Coming up now are my top tips for quitting beast mode—and thereby quitting burnout mode too!

1. Embrace the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO).

It’s perfectly okay to say ‘no’ to things. The world won’t come crashing down if you miss a meeting or skip a gym session. You’re not the fulcrum of the universe, even though it can feel like it sometimes. Relax, let go, and savor the joy of missing out.

2. Redefine Success.

Success doesn’t always have to mean grinding 24/7. It’s about finding balance, achieving contentment, and enjoying peace. It’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. Define success on your own terms and let the world be damned.

3. Cultivate Mindfulness.

Be present. Bask in the moment. Not the one that’s waiting around the corner or the one that’s five years down the line. I’m talking about the moment that’s happening right now, this very instant. It’s fleeting, ephemeral, and it’s worth your attention.

4. Prioritize Relationships.

Remember, it’s the people in your life that matter. Not your achievements, not your work, not the number of zeros in your bank account. People, relationships, these are the things that enrich your life. So make time for them. Even if it means putting your beast mode persona on hold.

5. Balance, Balance, Balance.

I can’t stress this enough. Life isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s a journey that’s meant to be savored, not rushed through. It’s about finding equilibrium, maintaining stability, juggling different aspects of your life so that you’re not just running blindly toward an ever-receding finish line. Balance, my friend, is the key to a fulfilling life.

Conclusion: Quit Beast Mode and Burnout

So there you have it. That’s my story of why I ditched beast mode and chose the best mode life of balance.

And I have zero regrets. In fact, I couldn’t be happier.

So, take a moment to reflect, to think about where you’re at… and where you’re heading.

What would your life look like if you decided to give beast mode the boot and embraced a life of balance instead?

Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or unfulfilled? Karen’s Tweak a Week Course is a research-backed program that can help you retrain your brain, embrace better habits, and make small changes in various areas of your life—from productivity and self-care to relationships and finances. 

And for 10 days only, you can get it in Tiny Buddha’s Feel-Good Summer Bundle—which offers 11 life-changing online tools for the price of one!

Don’t wait for a crisis to examine your life and change what isn’t working. Get Tweak a Week in the Feel-Good Summer Bundle and start creating a life you love today!

About

Karen Salmansohn is a bestselling author, award winning designer, respected research geek on happiness and wellness—plus a columnist for Oprah and Psychology Today. She’s sold about 2 million books globally—and has many celebrity fans including Jon Stewart, Madonna, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, Marie Forleo, and then some. You can visit her at NotSalmon.com, and find her on Facebook and Instagram here.

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