This week I’ve been giving myself a break. I’ve had some challenges in my personal life and have been making a conscious effort to be kind and compassionate to myself. The truth is that we all have ups and downs. Life happens. It’s often a struggle to deal with what it throws at us. How do we manage to keep our equilibrium through challenging times? When our personal lives demand attention, how do we keep our businesses on track? How do we balance all the different pieces of our lives? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, it’s important to understand that being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster ride. Being kind to yourself and cutting yourself some slack will serve you well.
“Being kind to yourself only when you deserve it is like watering a plant only when it rains.” Unknown
Time to cut yourself some slack?
I’m not going to lie. I’ve had a tough week. Life threw me a curveball and it’s taken a few days to find some perspective.
I’ve often said that I learn as much from my clients as they do from me and this week was no exception. I had a coaching call with a client who’s in the early months of running her own business. We talked about how tough is can be to keep showing up every day, to keep doing the work, to keep believing in yourself. I told her that when times are tough or I’m having a wobble I keep my head down and focus on today and tomorrow, doing the work and getting things done. When I’m feeling confident and happy I lift my head up and consider the months and years ahead. I look at options, set goals and make decisions.
Being hard on yourself is a complete waste of time and energy. We are all creatures of emotion and our feelings are never static. Whatever your reality this morning, later on today, over the weekend, it’s different from the experience of next week or next month. We all have cycles and rhythms. We all have our own individuals triggers, hopes and fears. The tapestry of our lives is made up of a myriad of experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Most of us have internalised a lot of perfectionism. Without realising it consciously we hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards that are not helpful. We worry that if we cut ourselves some slack, we’re lazy. Our fear is that terrible things will happen to us if we don’t continue to hustle all day every day. There’s a saying that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But the truth is that it’s hard to make lemonade when you’re dealing with the impact of the lemons! You know what’s worse than feeling exhausted? Feeling exhausted and also guilty about not being more productive. Being kind and compassionate to yourself is not being soft or weak or lowering your standards. It’s the best way to help yourself move forward.
Here are my Top Ten Tips for Cutting Yourself Some Slack:-
🌟 Space. If you’re feeling low, allow it to happen. Allow yourself the space and time you need to deal with how you’re feeling. Stop pushing. Stop trying to fix yourself. You’re not broken, you’re processing…
🌟 Expectations. We are not machines. We are not perfect. We are creatures of emotion, wonderfully flawed human beings. Our expectations need to be adjusted accordingly.
🌟 Friend. We’re often harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Why do you hold yourself to different standards than you do others? Treat yourself as you would your best friend.
🌟 Stop comparing. Comparing yourself with others is a waste of time and energy. You are you, you are not them. You have different strengths and weaknesses, different opportunities and choices. A different reality.
🌟 Choices. Allow yourself to do what you want. Things that make you happy. The world will not end if you take some time out. Your business will not fail if you move a meeting. Give yourself a break. Your time belongs to you.
🌟 Skip social media. What we see online isn’t real life. At best it’s a slice of life. It’s the best moments, the perfect decisions, the lucky breaks. It’s never the whole story. Put the phone down and give yourself some love instead.
🌟 Gratitude. Making a daily list of things you’re grateful for will help you appreciate what went right, instead of focusing on what you did wrong. Train your brain to notice all the good things that happen every day.
🌟 Start small. When you’re having a tough time, focus on the little things, the things you can achieve. Instead of looking at the big, overwhelming, scary stuff, focus on what you can control.
🌟 Communicate. Remind yourself that all things pass and this will too. You will have days where you feel more confident and upbeat. Reassure yourself that you will get through this and you’ll be okay.
🌟 Practice. Self care doesn’t come easy to most people. It takes effort and it practice. Be intentional about your choices and watch your language. Words matter, especially those we use to ourselves.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – October 2021