The Fear Of Slowing Down: What if you did?
Honestly, it’s in my DNA to overdo it. (Thanks Dad!) 😬
To grind it out, to take on too much, to “burn the candle at both ends”.
I always equated “success” with constant hustle and didn’t understand the difference between working hard and working smart.
Maybe you can relate?
For two decades I did it all. And then some.
During college and for a couple years out of college I always had two jobs (social work didn’t pay the bills then); as I entered the corporate world and worked up in leadership roles I worked like a dog during the day and kept going into the evenings at home. Even in my corporate days, I had a side hustle that fueled a passion or purpose. And then when I said “peace out” to my 9-5 and went out as an entrepreneur, I found myself working longer and harder than I ever had before.
The funny thing was, I loved every single second of it.
I was learning how to manage employees and build a thriving department, I was engaging with interesting and influential people, I was making an impact for my clients (in every phase of my career), and I was building my future business.
And then I added kids and single mom life to the mix and realized that while every hour of life was filled with purpose and a whole lot of passion, I was in hustle mode all the time.
And while I was loving it… it wasn’t sustainable.
I reached a point when my health started to deteriorate, my productivity started to slide, and my enthusiasm for EVERYTHING started to take a nose dive.
You can probably imagine, for someone who’s business is built on helping others prioritize their health and well-being for optimal success, this was incredibly unsettling.
The fact that I was grinding it out in all areas of my life was happening because I was scared.
I was afraid to slow down because I thought that if I paused for a minute, everything would fall apart. That I wouldn’t be successful.
But the reality was, if I didn’t slow down... everything was going to fall apart.
It was during that season of tremendous stress and major health issues that I recognized I needed to change my relationship with effort and time, and I needed to work on my mindset so I could get comfortable with taking care of myself.
That meant, that if my goal was to walk my talk - in my business and in my personal life - then I had to let go of the fear and anxiety and scarcity that comes from constantly living in hustle mode.
Of course I was scared as heck, but the work I did to make space for myself allowed me to make a huge shift:
I started to see my health and well-being as a currency. As wealth, rather than a daily routine or destination that I is a constant struggle to reach.
I shifted my perspective around success so that the focus was on finding the magic in the journey, rather than the finish line.
If we don’t slow down long enough to take time to reset, refresh and refocus, there is no way in Hell we can be at the top of our game in all the areas of our life that are important to us. #notpossible
The truth is, we must slow down to speed up. (Seriously, a runner is telling you this.)
But we are afraid, as a society we are really afraid.
I see the fear in my clients every time I suggest “me time” or creating space. Their eyes bug out of their heads, their shoulders inch up, and you can just see the tension rise at the very idea of setting time aside for themself. 😖
And then… but Kelly, howwwww? (Here’s one way.)
When we are so far into the hustle mode it’s hard to envision what it would look like to pull back. We can’t imagine what we would do with “down time” because we’ve never given it to ourselves.
It feels selfish. Reckless. Maybe even lazy…
I know, it wasn’t that long ago the very idea of taking time away from all of the chaos gave me hives.
The reason it freaked me out was because I lacked confidence in myself, my expectations were a little out of wack, and while I thought I was getting shit done in my hustle, I wasn’t focused on the RIGHT shit (hello priorities).
You can pull back AND be self-disciplined at the same time. And, as a result you will increase your overall success (and happiness).
I believe self-discipline is the ultimate act of self-respect. The more disciplined you are with how you use your time - both for work and play - the greater your respect for yourself.
Don’t you want that?
Aren’t you tired of living life on autopilot and ending each day thinking, WTF just happened?
The antedote for going a million miles an hour is to prioritize YOU. To create space.
**For those of you shaking your head thinking,“I have to be in hustle mode to get big stuff done”….I get that. Different seasons of life require hustle mode - a big launch in your business, family obligations or other stresses - those periods of time happen and we are MORE able to move through them like a boss if we aren’t in hustle mode 24/7.)
It isn’t cool to grind it out.
Let other people burn themselves out. You do you. 😎
Balance your hard efforts with things that enhance your wellbeing. Look for the fun in the journey and stop taking it so damn seriously.
And keep showing up consistently and start prioritizing how to use the 168 hours you get each week. (That’s a lot of hours if you are smart about it.)
Personally, I ‘m getting a lot better at balancing effort with ease.
Do I do it perfectly? Hell no. But when I do prioritize me and make the time to do what fuels my soul, I go ALL IN.
I want you to do that too.
P.S. If you are looking for a way to prioritize you without having to put too much thought into it, check out my upcoming REFRESH VIP Day.
It’s taking place on May 10th and it is a full day immersion into all things self-care and self-confidence with a dash of strategy (because strategy is kind of my jam). It’s an opportunity to engage with other women, unapologetically relax, and create a game plan for yourself that will help you see how you can weave more “me time” into your days. (Hint: it’s focus)
And the best part is that I’ll be with you to support and celebrate with you!