"What's stopping you from slowing down and taking time for yourself?" I asked my network. Thus far, the prevailing answer is "I need to meet my goals first."
Shifting paradigm of exceptional achievement & reward system.
Sure, if we're talking simply from the perspective of finishing what you've started, it's totally desirable that you meet your goals first.
But with elite performers and mission-driven leaders things tend to be more complex than that.
Long story short - waiting to meet goals first is almost like waiting to check the map until you arrive at your destination. Or waiting to fill up your car's empty tank until you get there.
Except it's really simple.
See, we've been trained to and rewarded for excelling in performance. We've been known to self-deprive and condition our self-care with "when..."
...and that "when" typically is so ambitious and ambiguous that it's ever elusive...
Moreover, I would offer that it's like that intentionally, that way we can remain in the familiarity of (self)criticism;
alienating people & self-sacrificing in the name of results, responsibilities, reputation;
KPI-ing and outperforming our way into acceptance and illusion of safety, power;
compartmentalizing and burning out to feel worthy and deserving.
Well, then life resorts to pulling the rug from beneath you and squeezes you in a corner and forces you to pay attention. At 100x the cost compared to what could have been experienced had you just honored your knowing in the first place. If you're lucky.
And that price is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial. It also costs you social connections. New opportunities. To say at least.
What's the alternative?
Ever heard the phrase "slow down to speed up?"
Ever received the most desired [fill-in-the-blank] when you least expected it?
Ever experienced a massive increase of creativity, productivity, clarity, flow when you were totally unplugged?
It's not a coincidence.
So when you also factor in being
- a parent (hello, invisible load of endless alertness, decision-making, availability),
- in an intimate partnership (too tired for sex? Or maybe you're deflecting being turned down again by burying yourself into more work?)
- and a business/corporate/sports leader (hello, invisible load of endless alertness, decision-making, availability)...
...taking time for yourself... call it spaciousness...call it radical downtime...call it self-care...call it whatever you need to...
...is not a reward.
It's part of your success strategy.
And here's the last bit of "be warned" before we conclude: significant, tangible shifts and results typically take more than a week or two of vacation. Especially when you're not in a position to retreat to some secluded island and only focus on yourself 24/7 for weeks on end.
But there are very practical AND esoteric ways to incorporate practices and tools that work FOR YOU in your everyday living! That support you on a daily, step by step. One step at a time, they eventually add up to quantum leaps!
I personally group them into an comprehensive framework of integrating:
- Energy Management (i.e. capacity, healing)
- Belief of What's Possible (i.e. courage, mindset)
- Aligned & Manageable Next Steps (i.e. clarity, strategy)
What's stopping you from slowing down and taking time for yourself?