When you're building a new business or working hard to progress in your career it's easy to get sucked into working day and night to reach the heights that you aspire to or dream about.
As they say, it's rare air at the top and reaching it is not for the faint of heart. I've been in that rare air several times in my career, and in this iteration of my entrepreneurial life I would not be honest if I said, I wasn't looking to get there again. It does take a lot of work on the front end before you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
As my mentor, Marisa Murgatroyd says, "Before you can make money while you sleep, you have to be able to make money while you're awake".
While I try to make it a practice to stop and reflect on where I've been and where I'm going in my life and business, I realized that without fully disconnecting you can't always see the forest for the trees.
Women are so deeply socialized to care for and take responsibility for everyone around them. That includes prioritizing other's agendas, managing the emotions and feelings of others, and putting our own wants and needs on the back burner. That's exactly what was happening to me.
I had overextended myself to the point that I was getting sick and was feeling exhausted, guilty and overwhelmed. My path became murky, my purpose became clouded, and I was starting to function on auto-pilot. So I stopped.
Throughout those two days I didn't pick up my phone, open my laptop, or turn on a tv. I was removed from social media, deadlines, and expectations. And guess what? The world kept spinning, my business didn't collapse, and my life went on. In my two day hiatus I realized that the world I created was a result of my thoughts and beliefs, not based in reality. With that revelation, I was able to release myself from my self-imposed burdens.
I was also able to free myself from the responsibility of other people's thoughts and feelings about me. By doing so I liberated myself from the purported power of controlling others' feelings. You see, we all have a choice when it comes to our thoughts and feelings. No one has that power. When we hold bitterness or resentment toward others it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. As much as we've taught or would like to believe, your thoughts and feelings only work on YOU just like my thoughts and feelings are only work on me.
Women have been conditioned to be responsible for the world, but in many ways we can only be responsible for ourselves. Sure, who doesn't struggle with wanting the love and approval of others? We're all social creatures. However, we have no control over whether we'll receive the love or approval of others. We must use our power and time to develop self-love and self-acceptance.
I spent a lot of time in self-reflection and did quite a bit of journaling over the weekend. It helped me to return to my purpose of helping women live in alignment with their own purpose & truth. It's important for the physician to heal thyself. By writing out declarations of my beliefs, motives, values and intentions, I regained clarity and got back on track.
I put the oxygen mask on me first.
My writing prompts included:
There's a passage in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 10:5, that says, "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ". You see, our behaviors and actions are a direct result of our thoughts and I always think about this scripture when I start to experience self-doubt or hear negative self-talk. I have to capture those thoughts before they effect my emotions and behavior.
Giving myself the time I needed to gain a deeper awareness of my thoughts and how they were impacting my emotions and behavior was the best gift I could have given myself. Gaining this level of awareness will help me to have better outcomes, prevent overwhelm, and keep my eyes on the prize.
If you can relate to anything I've shared or feel like you're spinning out of control or wanting to make a leap or change course but don't know where or how to begin, it may be time for you to slow down. Slowing down allows you to speed up and work not in passion, but in your purpose.
If you need help quieting the noise around you, getting back to your purpose, finding your true north or aligning your life or business with your authentic self, I'd be honored to support you in that process. Let's chat!
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine!