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Earlier this week, I was hit with the thought that I haven’t done enough and that I’m not working hard enough. It felt like I had spent a lot of time standing quiet and still, all while other people have grown and grown.
I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life and business over the last few years. Pre-COVID, I worked so hard on speaking and public relations, but I was completely burnt out. Now, I feel that I’ve lost the strides I was making. I know that’s not true, but those were the feelings that came over me at that moment.
We think that our job is not to feel any “negative” feelings. We don’t want to be angry, or sad, or triggered. But when we operate from a place of “these feelings are bad and I don’t want them,” we cut ourselves off from valuable information.
Plus, we end up putting all of our energy into those feelings! If you tell yourself, “don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid,” all you’re doing is talking about being afraid. Your focus is on being afraid.
When this happens to you, I want you to play in the space where you say, “Okay, fear, I’m not afraid of my fear. It is uncomfortable. It is not something I willingly choose. But it is part of being a human with a brain. So I’m going to let in the room. I’m going to trust that I will be okay, and then we’ll see what happens.”
When you stop pushing back against it, you can let a feeling run through you energetically rather than getting stuck in you or just consistently bouncing and bouncing and bouncing against you like a Foursquare ball. Your self, body, soul, whatever is a permeable membrane. Fear shows up, it comes in, and then it passes through you. It doesn’t need to keep showing up because you let it in rather than ignored it at the door.
I allowed myself to feel that I was losing momentum and the discouragement that goes with that. And then, I was able to remind myself that I moved from California to Colorado in the past few years. I bought a new house. I worked on that house and lived in a friend’s basement for four months. My children started school, my husband started a new job, I made a bunch of shifts in my business and kept things going…and then the pandemic started.
If you start to feel like you haven’t been doing anything, sit down and make a list of all of the things you’ve been doing—and let it encompass your whole life.
When I sit down and look at my whole life from a zoomed out and holistic place, I realized that I couldn’t just think about my business in a vacuum. I’ve tried that, y’all. I’ve tried that so hard, and it always ends up with me getting really sick. I end up an anxious mess and in bed for a few days. So take it for me, that doesn’t work.
Our success doesn’t have to happen in a vacuum to work. I did not start my own business because I wanted to spend less time with my family and be a stress ball. I started my own business so that I could have a life that feels good. I want a life that feels as good on the inside as it looks on the outside.
Changing directions and shifting courses always requires a slowdown. That’s just physics! If you are driving a car and you have to turn right, you have to slow the car down. Otherwise, something’s going to break, or someone’s going to get hurt. It’s the same thing with your life. If you want to make a change, you need to slow down.
I asked a question on my Instagram stories recently: Do you want to shift something in your life in 2021? 98% of people said yes. But if you are trying to change something without slowing down, you will get hurt, or something will break. Period.
If you want to get momentum, you can’t keep adding and adding to your to-do list. It’s not going to work, even though I wish that it would. You have to be willing to slow down, to pull back, and to pause, just a little.
So how can we get back into motion after making a shift in our lives? We don’t want to go back into hustle mode or back into burnout. We don’t want to ignore our needs, desires, and things that matter most to us. When we push ourselves beyond our capacity, when we say “just one more,” we are borrowing against our health. We are borrowing against our connection to spirit, borrowing against our mental health, and borrowing against the things that matter most to us.
I don’t think that it is okay for us to have to borrow from our mental health reserves in order to be successful. There are marketing experts out there telling you that you can sleep when you’re dead, but that’s not what we’re after here. When you practice tiptoeing into something rather than cannonballing, you’ll be able to come back stronger and brighter and more rooted and more solid.
So what do you do to get the momentum back in your life?
The first thing to do is just start. I know that is an annoying answer, but so often, we avoid the starting! You can’t demand momentum of yourself before you’ve even gotten off the starting block. You can’t expect to be in a rhythm, in a flow, or finding your groove before you’ve even left the gate.
This is physics. You cannot gain momentum until the object is in motion. So you have to start. And it doesn’t matter where you start—just starting flipping anywhere! Start anywhere you want. If you have radical self-belief, then no matter where or how you start, you can trust that it will get you where you want to go.
My phrase for 2021 is “bold and slow,” and I love how those words are working in concert with each other. In the middle of the Venn diagram of “bold” and “slow” for me are big splashes. I’m trying out new things, like giving up my CEO title.
If I let it, my ambition will steamroll me. I’ve been there, and I don’t want to go back, so I’m going for big splashes at a pace that is sustainable to me. That pace is so much slower than I want it to be, and so I’m working on accepting that.
Bold moves are not going to come at the cost of your health, mental or otherwise. You might be asking yourself to stretch. But there’s a difference between asking yourself to stretch and demanding greatness from yourself in a way that is not loving.
As we start to work our discernment muscles, that becomes more and more clear over time. We learn to recognize where we are asking ourselves to go just beyond the edge of our comfort zones to grow, and we also learn where that becomes harmful. Just know that you might need to kind of play in that zone to figure that out.
As I think about my year and making some bold moves, I know that I am bringing back my 100 Rejection Letters Project. This is a course that I’ve taught since 2014. It’s all about gamifying rejection and making it a public goal to get 100 rejection letters. It allows me to operate beyond my comfort zone. And I get a gold star with every rejection letter!
Before you make any bold moves, I encourage you to slow down for just a minute. Spend some time pondering what those moves will be. Which ones make you feel more awake? More alive? More enthusiastic? Even if you slept horribly, even if you’re stressed out, what is the bold move that makes your heart beat a little faster? Choose the bold moves that make you feel that way.
As you get started, you’re probably going to need to shake out patterns. And before you can look at what habits you want to shake up, you have to start recognizing what patterns you’re indulging in in your life.
You’ll need to zoom out and helicopter over your life, asking yourself:
What am I doing unconsciously?
Where am I spending my time?
What beliefs am I carrying with me throughout my day?
What am I doing without even realizing—like the muscle memory of picking up my phone, opening Instagram, and just scrolling?
When you start down breaking up your patterns, it is often really jarring, really humbling, and it can bring up a lot of shame. It’s normal to think, “Oh my, what have I been doing? I’ve been wasting my time.” And it just feels tough to know that truth. Stay there and stay in it. Again, you are a permeable membrane, and that fear is passing through you. It’s not going to get trapped in you.
To be clear, I’m not saying never open Instagram. I’m not saying don’t watch TV—I love watching TV. But if you’re spending three hours a night watching TV, I want it to feel amazing. I want you to be delighted. I want it to be something that brings you more to life, whatever it is that you’re doing. I don’t want it just to be a numbing, automatic pattern habit thing that you do.
The world needs you to be in momentum on your big idea in a way that feels good to you. It should make you feel more alive, more awake, more willing to raise your hand and say yes.
As you start to find momentum, you need to ignore everybody else for a little bit—or a lot of it. You should keep your vision front and center without paying any attention to what anyone else is doing.
This is hard because we live in a world where we’re being shouted out by all the things. You will need to put blinders on for a while, especially if seeing other people’s action puts you into inaction or comparison mode. Thinking that you can’t do it the way they do it, or that they’re faster, or that you’ll never live up to that won’t serve you.
You can hide people on social media. You can block them. You can not open certain websites! You might need to take all of the books off the shelf and put them in a box—literally or metaphorically. You don’t have to throw them away unless that feels good to you. But you might need to take them out of your line of sight.
You’ll miss them for a while because our brain’s job is to keep us in automatic, unconscious action. When you take the stimulus away, your brain is going to ask, “where’s that thing? Where’s the scroll? Where?” It’s uncomfortable, but you should keep those things or people away until your brain stops asking.
I feel like I am on a healing journey from the burnout of my own making for many, many years. A lot of it started when I quit drinking. I began to open my eyes to these patterns, ideas, and beliefs. I recognized how these ways of being and these systems are conspiring against my health.
Just like with quitting drinking, it’s going to take longer than you think to get momentum. You’ve got to give yourself all the time that you need.
When I was living in burnout, most people around me got what th
ey needed because I was somebody who would take care of everybody else and not take care of myself. When I started to have to say no, not everybody like that. There are friendships that I no longer have because I wasn’t able to continue showing up in the way that I had started in the relationship.
I set a precedent with how I would show up in certain relationships, and I established myself in a particular role. And when I could no longer play that role, it was understandably jarring to the other people. I can see my role in the unfairness of promising something that was never mine to promise. And y’all, that’s on me.
The vision that we’ve been given is this: you do a thing, you start a thing, you have an idea, you chip away at it, you gain momentum, and then you’re forever rolling down a hill forever and there’s never any friction. Not only is that not true, but that idea does us a disservice. It doesn’t allow us to change our minds, have other ideas, gain new information, see things differently, or slow down so that we can shift direction.
Don’t let the idea of what things need to look like keep you from reevaluating, re-centering, or re-grounding yourself. We are always in a state of momentum. We are always in a state of reevaluation. And we are always in a state of questioning.
With every step, every edge, every time we go beyond our comfort zone, we are met with a new comfort zone, and we are met with a new edge to go beyond. This is why so much of this work that I’m teaching is not about what we are doing. It’s about who we are being and how we are showing up to our lives.
I want to give myself full permission to change my mind as many times as I want. To still be showing up and saying, “Yo, here’s what is lighting me up today,” is going to require me to lovingly and gracefully allow myself to get out of momentum on certain things. That way, I can reevaluate and find new momentum and a new direction. I want you to give yourself permission to do the same thing.
Ep. 353: Why I’m Letting Go of “The Business” and What I’m Doing Instead
Ep. 351: 4 Years of Sobriety: 5 Things I Got Wrong + 5 Things I Had NO IDEA About
[09:38] Look at Your Life From a Zoomed-Out Point of View
[11:50] You Need to Slow Down to Make a Change
[18:46] Just Start
[21:07] Make Some Bold Moves
[25:21] Shake Up Some Patterns
[28:12] Ignore Everybody Else
[31:40] Allow it to Take Longer Than You Think it Should
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