Am I the only one who seems to have some sort of daily internal battle? Ok, "battle" may be a bit extreme, even fight, may be too harsh of a word to describe the struggles some of us face, or try to ignore daily, but for me, these descriptions are accurate. As I continue to grow and evolve, yes, some things are getting easier to control and navigate, but other things seem to be harder to get a grip on. Whether it's maintaining a healthy diet, and working out (I'm staring at a bag of white chocolate Hershey's kisses, telling myself that there is no such thing as 'just having one,' as we speak.) Not making decisions solely based off of my emotions, not being lazy, doing actual work at my 9-5, being confident, practicing what I preach, etc. It would seem as if there is no such thing as perfection. Who knew?!
Since the new year began, my fight has been with this unnecessary self-imposed pressure to one up my 2016 self. What kind of pressure, you ask? The kind of pressure us women feel in our abdominal and pelvic areas before our period, when our eggs are dropping from our ovaries. That annoying, "Damn you Eve, and your apple eating a$$! My FUPA and lower back hurt, I can handle it, but help, and don't touch me, but hurry up!" kind of pressure. Too much, fellas? Ask the women in your life what I speak of, they'll get my drift. If you follow me, and my journey, on social media, or anywhere, you know 2016 was on and popping for me. I grabbed my bullsh*t by the horns and pulled my MAGIK out to play, added some action, and BOOM! An entrepreneur was born. While I am nowhere near 'the top,' I know I'm on my way, that is for damn sure. But the thought of me not doing enough to ensure that I 'make it,' and the notion of having to do more, than I did in 2016 (because putting action behind my magic, while having a full-time job, and a life, is exhausting!) sent in into panic, anxiety mode, and temporarily paralyzed me.
We are now 6-7 weeks into 2017, and while I didn't stop goalin' completely, I certainly pulled back on the number of things I produced. No writing or blogging, no video content, no attending events, no planning, and prepping for anything, etc. My overthinking about the pressure I was putting on myself, about myself was smothering my creativity, and drive. Feeling like an overwhelmed hypocrite, I was in need of a re-shifting. What did I do? I did what I know to be true, what I would recommend, and what I get paid to tell others to do. I dug into my growth tool box and started with the following:
- Get silent and sit still.
Turn off all political, elections, doom and gloom, stop or limit all social media, and temporarily disconnect from the outside and inside world, if doable. Yes, this includes family and any distractions. Even if it for just an hour, day, a weekend, a hide yourself in the closet moment, a walk, a sick day from work, etc. Take some deserved, undervalued, and needed time to hear no one else's voice except yours and whatever higher power you believe in. Tap into your inner self, the answers often are waiting there.
- Do not compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.
Comparison is the RSVP to discontents VIP section. At first, I thought it was a good thing that I wasn't comparing myself to anyone outside of myself; then I realized what I was doing was just as bad. No matter who it is, constantly holding yourself to what someone else did or is doing, sends the signal to your brain, and the world, that you are currently not enough. And while I'm sure we all could do a little more in certain areas, it's okay to not push yourself off of the comparison cliff. That was me then, and whatever I did last January, I don't have to do this January. The blueprint and foundation are in place, no need to stress about recreating the past all the time. It will always be there should you need to pull from it.
- Stay present by focusing on what you did accomplish vs. what you feel you didn't.
I was so focused feeling the delicious high and recreating 2016's calendar that I almost forgot the amazing things I presently had, and have going on, like the Not Your Momma's Live Recording x Day Party. The upcoming motivational speaking gigs, on a college campus I have coming up, the video editing I've been learning, and the in-home studio I'm putting together to step up my YouTube presence, etc. When I returned to the now, I was able to welcome that just because my today didn't mimic this time last year, didn't mean I wasn't moving forward, and making progress. Respect the present. Respect your pace.
- Connect with people in your lane.
Part of my anxiety and overthinking came from feeling alone in my new space and not having anyone to vent to, that would understand exactly where I was coming from. Being a social, alpha female in my personal life is one thing, but becoming the leader, the 'boss,' is an entirely different, overwhelming animal. Unless you have other entrepreneurs, or people doing what you're doing in your circle, that you can call on, how can you feel related to? Yes, I have AH-MAZING friends and family, that support me, and I've said time and time again that one's evolution will require isolation, but NO ONE can prepare for this Tom Hanks, 'Cast Away' feeling, even of you know what isolation means. I feel like Simba in the wilderness, awaiting the universe to send me my Timon and Pumbaa so that we can sing Akuna Matata, in harmony together. But instead of waiting for like-mindedness to come, I'm beginning to realize that these people are already in arms reach. So I started to open myself up and began showing up for those who are in my industry, have walked my path, or beginning to do so. It's okay to have associates, friends, and mentors outside of your regular squad, who speak your new language. Find that new craft, dance, reading, mom group, or circle. Connect. Relate. Release.
I could go on, and on, with tips that work for me, but your progress is about what will work for you. Sometimes, growth is subtle. When I'm too focused on anything but my present, I can barely notice that I've walked through doors I once felt I couldn't open. Subtle steps are just as profound as big steps. And while pressure can feel like it's going to bust your brain wide open, it can also make a precious diamond out of you. I took my boxing gloves off this morning. I went to my corner to give myself a rest. I'm not fighting today. Today, I choose to honor what I've done, and feel accomplished, and be happy that I wrote my first blog for 2017.
What are you fighting today? Is is worth it? Is it preventable? Is it manageable? Are you letting it beat you, or are you beating it? Whatever, or whoever you opponent is, know that you don't have to fight alone.
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