There’s a message in this world… Grow. Bigger. More. Expand. Etc.
Anyone else exhausted by all of the getting bigger messages? Before the COVID pandemic, I was itching to change things up. There was a lot changing in my personal life and I needed my business to reflect that. It’s hard to reverse course action though. How do you do it? How does one DOWNSIZE? And then there’s contending with success and what does that mean? And who are you if you downsize?
Firstly, you have to know what you want and that can take some figuring out.
I was working–all the time. I was working in my sleep. I was dreaming about work. I was working while I prepared dinner for my kids. I was constantly thinking and strategizing for what I wanted to say or do or post or be etc. I knew I need to slow the heck down.
I know a lot of therapists worry about burn out. I listened to the USOLMT podcast recently about burn-out and I resonated so deeply with it. Now that I’m on the other side, I realize exactly how burned out I was and didn’t know it. I think this is a common thing. We’re burned out and we don’t even know.
Cue the pandemic. Going into a pandemic burned out is not ok. I had a new baby and a new set of things to be concerned about. I’ve never lived through a pandemic. Neither had my kids. And I knew I had to be a grounding force for them while we navigate these new waters.
I also knew that my oldest son was starting to show me signs of struggling. It’s something I’ve speculated about but the pandemic really shown the light on what he was dealing with. I have more energy to handle his hard times and I don’t think I could have if I were still operating at the same levels.
Secondly, Your personal life is important to consider.
I don’t know about you but I always got this message that pushing through was an acceptable way to navigate life. I read all of the self-help, affirmation things that told me I should value rest. And heck, I tout that to my clients too, right? But, I’m not a machine despite my every effort to appear that way. And divorce is hard and the effects will ripple for years to come (especially when you have kids).
You only have so much energy. I need to read that again to myself.
And finally, I’m doing much better now.
I have a much better work/life balance. Even though I can often feel that revvv up feeling to work harder than I should. I have been trying to name that feeling. Get really comfy with it. SO that I can make a grounded decision if that’s the kind of energy I need to be working with. Or if I should just take my kids for a bike ride and chill. Or–maybe I need to make a list of things to do so I can feel productive.
I’m working on projects that have been on my mind for YEARS. And they are actually getting accomplished and that feels so much better than the “one day” vibe I was carrying in the before times.
I think I’m working better with my clients. And my students. My brain is more clear. And I’m a better partner and mom. I get to spend time with my friends and family who fill my cup. That wasn’t happening before. All of those things are super important.
A few things that I would recommend to you:
- Your value is not connected to how much you produce. Money. Clients. Courses. CEUs. Education. Whatever. That is not your value.
- Self-Compassion work is crucial. Learning to love yourself is hard work but the most important work.
- Gather your community. Listen, we all say this. But it’s harder than you would think. Take breaks while gathering your community. Don’t expect too much from people and yet hold people accountable. Lift each other up.
If you’re ready to downsize, send me a message and I’ll share more about what I did. And if you want to GROW, that’s cool too. I can help you with that as well. More info can be found here.