As an Entrepreneur, I have had my fair share of peaks and valleys.
There are days when I stalk Indeed scouring the list for just about any job other than what I am currently doing and the days when I am on top of the world and feeling completely unstoppable. The internal dialogue goes something like this:
“Wouldn’t it be nice to leave the house and GO to work where I can do my job, have no home/family/life distractions and leave work at work?” Or, ‘It’s so hard balancing work and family when you never leave the house.”
Woe is me. Where’s my cheese to go with my wine?
When this mindset creeps in, it doesn’t serve or help us in the slightest bit. These are excuses and an easy way out when life throws you an obstacle. I reported to a job every single workday since I graduated from college (way back when) in 1999. This continued until I decided I was no longer going to be a slave to someone else’s agenda and wanted to focus on my WHY: raising my two kids in an environment where I am present and able to participate in their lives, and of course my endless pursuit of being better.
When we take care of ourselves, we can contribute our awesomeness to the world. I heard a quote from Mark Devine, former Navy SEAL, Martial Artist, Author, and Yoga Teacher, “success in life is internal and comes from developing mastery over yourself, and using this mastery so you can serve others in the fulfillment of your purpose.” Powerful stuff, of course, that is when you subscribe to it.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, I have been experiencing some lulls and have felt stuck over the last month. My consulting business is keeping me very busy (grateful for the work) and I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to my coaching. Kids are out of school, and we are in summer vacation mode which adds another challenging element to the working from home gig. I just finished an intense strength training program which left me feeling strong, however, a week later I tweaked my back and haven’t been able to do much – which stinks. I have been waking up feeling tired and unmotivated which is uncommon for me because I value sleep and recovery over staying up late watching a show, reading a book, or having a damn good time.
While on a hike, it finally occurred to me I need to get back to basics. Typically, when I’m feeling stuck and overwhelmed, I am trying to do too much! News flash, this isn’t a discovery. My back has been a pain in the you-know-what. I have brain fog. I sit at my desk like a zombie staring at the long list of what I SHOULD be doing. These are all signs from my body, heart, and mind that I need to re-focus and get back to my why and my priorities.
So now what? Here are a few action steps to take when you are feeling stuck:
#1: Identify what is it that you want.
I am asking you – what do you want? How many people have asked you this question and how often are you left dumbfounded? For me (right now) it’s more focus and prioritizing what is relevant to my current goals and values. I want to finish my Life Coach Certification Training. I want to have a stable work routine that I can follow. I want more freedom and joy when I am with my kids, friends, and family, and not having to worry about when I am going to send that half written email lurking in my drafts folder. I want to carve out more time on the trail; either on foot or bike to let my creativity flow (it’s my place of inspiration) and recharge my reserves. I want to enjoy summer break and have fun experiences without working around the clock and being busy every waking moment. Hopefully you get my drift as the list goes on…
#2) Look at your calendar and scratch anything that isn’t in alignment with your wants and goals.
This is a hard one to do. Say no, so that you can say yes to what you want to be doing and how you want to feel when doing that thing you are doing. Stop filling your calendar with mindless chores, errands, activity, and start filling it with meaningful and deliberate action. This is something I dive into with my clients through a specific system in my 90-day program and group coaching program.
#3) Get Moving
Go for a walk. Dance. Get some fresh air. Stretch. Change the scenery. Work from the library or your favorite coffee shop. Change it up and get your heart rate moving. It doesn’t take much to change your mood and state of mind. Twenty minutes of walking is a fantastic mood changer!
#4) Set aside ten minutes of time to write out your must-dos for the day.
Identify and write three to five things that you can do to get closer to your why/goal. These are non-negotiables and they can be very small tasks – hopefully they will fit in your newly created space on your calendar.
#5) Start a Gratitude Practice
Whether it’s in a journal, expressing it through prayer, mantras, affirmations, during a meal, jotting down and putting them into a jar – or whatever mode that sticks with you, expressing your gratitude helps you focus on the positive. You will feel lighter, healthier, less stressed, and focus on what you want instead of attracting what you don’t want. Which is something that we do when we dwell on negative thoughts and beliefs.
These are just a few tools that I use when I am feeling stuck. Remember that change is challenging and the slower you move through it, the more active and lasting it will be. Take it one step at a time and remember to take care of yourself first! When you are on the airplane ready to take off, the flight attendants always emphasize to put your oxygen mask on first; then you can help others.