Reflecting on Slowing Down
For the second time in my life, I received a transformative email message from a lifelong mentor and friend. The message and subsequent messages to follow led to reflection and a deeper appreciation for my current professional situation, i.e., a great full-time job with a boss who not only supports and advocates for my growth and development, but who also fully supports my counseling path as well.
This most recent message, along with a coaching training that I recently attended with my podcasting partner and friend Natalie Siston, affirmed the lessons I outline below. If you’re more of a listener, I encourage you to catch Natalie’s and my closing podcast for 2016. You can read her blog recap on SmallTownLeadership.com.
3 Lessons for the Overachiever in You
Write New Rules
At the coaching training Natalie and I recently attended, we were encouraged to discard old rules (from our childhood, past employers, etc.) and adopt new ones that more accurately reflect our values and future goals. My new rule is “I trust my gut and follow my energy.” It translates to more intentionally focusing on how and with whom I spend my time, adapting my approach to communicating with others, and most importantly, not doing things I’m not jazzed about (within reason of course). To be more specific, I’m spending less time at my computer writing, posting, and videotaping myself, and instead spending more time with real people (essential for this extrovert to recharge).
I have been practicing this rule recently – at work, in counseling, and with my family and I already feel at least 20% happier and more balanced.
Focus on the Long Game
A few months ago, I was putting a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to get my counseling practice kicked off by securing a constant flow of clients. I finally stopped and had a lecture with myself which began like this, “Self, you have a great full-time day job which affords you the opportunity to get most of your counseling hours through coaching leaders. Living Well Dallas, where you practice, is not requesting a client quota. You have a super flexible counseling internship supervisor. So, what’s the big hurry?” Once I internalized the lecture from my inner self and stopped worrying about the hustle so much, then of course, I started to get messages from referral sources and potential clients. Thus validating the aforementioned trust my gut rule again!
Be Patient when it Comes to Self-care
I think we all talk a good game about self-care (e.g., scheduling periodic massages, going to yoga, avoiding carbs), but actually engaging in a self-care routine consistently is another story. Upon guidance from my functional medicine doctor, I began to search for a practice to quiet my mind. I tried mindfulness and meditation, coloring, chanting with Deepak and Oprah, but couldn’t commit. I told myself that it was okay to “throw a few darts at the wall” before hitting a bulls eye. I had to remind myself not to get discouraged and just try something different.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What old rules do you need to discard in favor of new ones?
- How can you listen to the advice from your inner voice?
- What can you do to focus on your self-care, and go easy on yourself in the process?
I look forward to sharing more insights with you in 2017. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
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NOTE: The information found on the site only includes general recommendations and does not represent a therapeutic relationship between Joy and the reader.
- On December 25, 2016