If we work in order to decompress, we will only decompose, and quickly.
There is a safety in putting our vulnerabilities aside to delve into a major project or take action against a traumatic event on a political level that has affected us personally, but the greatest injustice is in limiting self-belief systems that grandly announce that you are weak on your mental loud speaker just because you feel a certain emotion that doesn’t fit into your ideal self-image.
We are on a path to self-discovery as much as we are on a path to success. The two are not mutually exclusive; they are two sides of the same coin. We must discover what it means to be successful on our path, but in order to discover our personal definition of success, we must discover ourselves and revel in our uniqueness. Our uniqueness then becomes our selling point – the reason why we do our work.
Work makes us feel like we are strong, contributing members of society that can handle anything that comes our way, especially if our work involves heavy multi-tasking. But what multi-tasking really does is unravel our resolve to quiet our minds and reclaim the simplicity in the moment. This is precisely the reason that entrepreneurs must live simply, mindfully, and spiritually in order to have long term happiness and success. Take a look at Danielle LaPorte. She kicks ass doing just that.
Set Hours, Stick to Them.
During your creative process, working for yourself is such a difficult balance sometimes. After a long night of too little sleep, showering and getting dressed can become a difficult endeavor. You spent all your precious energy in overdrive, your other extreme. Since our culture remains to be bent on slanting from one extreme to the next, our collective work ethic has mimicked such insidious habits that cause systemic problems in all areas of the American experience—especially when it comes to making sound, selfless decisions.
This means we have been acculturated to believe the illusory feast or famine mentality.
When our energy supply depletes, it becomes dangerous. We stand a better chance at losing it all in the height of our success because we shot our load to fast in the beginning. We didn’t have the patience to just surrender to the journey. I don’t know about you, but this is the reason for my laundry list of dormant ideas and entrepreneurial failures.
We must save the necessary times to burn the midnight oil for those moments when our deadlines have gotten the better of us, or we are pressing forth a new idea until it crowns. Structure is highly necessary for abundance to spring forth and an empire’s legacy to remain in good standing.
::Set a start and end time to your work day to build self-discipline and accountability.
::Get a full eight hours of sleep (Listen to Arianna Huffington’s advice on sleep!).
::If you are not eating a whole foods diet, we have a serious problem.
::Movement is essential for body and soul purification.
These imperatives must fit into a demanding schedule in order for the height of creative struggle to be worth-while and while it is likely that you have heard it before, see it as a gentle reminder to find the joy in self-discipline.
What Are You Running From?
Chances are if you are a potential workaholic, a person who hides vulnerability and emotion beneath a veneer of busy schedules, helicopter parenting, and extending yourself beyond your comfort zone, you are running away from something that has been calling for the attention of your open heart. It doesn’t seek to make you weaker but more aware, not complacent but active.
You have a million and one other voices in your head telling you what you need, what you should have done, and what the next step should be. Way back in the recesses of your mind there stands a faint image on the horizon. That specter is who you do not want to disappoint in your walk of life. And then you have your inner critic. Let’s not even get started there…
Tell everyone to get the fuck out, quiet down, and sit and have some time with the miracle of you. When in this space, admit things that are most important to you, that you hope for, that you wish never happened, and most importantly, what you are afraid of. If you don’t it will show up in your work: your over performance or lack thereof.
Entrepreneurs are mental magicians, big time athletes, world leaders, spiritual leaders and mommapreneurs. We are the change everyone seeks in the world, but are too afraid to live such a fly by night life. Settle in to accepting every part of yourself, light and shadow, and utilize it all. Your incredible gifts, even the ones you think are negative could be the source for the next incredible something that the world needs.
Expect Failure, Celebrate it.
“Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else’s path and you are not on the adventure.” ~Joseph Campbell
Fail. Get used to it. Fail more. Have fun with it. One of my most favorite entrepreneurs Tavis Smiley (I love your brain Tavis!) has a philosophy and book called FailUp. He sees the progression of success as a series of failures that become exponentially better as one’s harsh, yet paramount life lessons are learned. We have a customized reality designed to teach us how to become better humans by accepting our lesser moments as better possibilities, but if we do not utilize this as a form of higher education, perhaps even the highest, we stand to cut our lives short and lose meaning in our work. Thank you Tavis for teaching us this incredible truth.
Overworking ourselves and wearing ourselves down to the numbness we oftentimes mistake for happiness is a disservice just as much as not asking for help when it is necessary. To accept your failures and turn them to springboards to a better failure is the highest form of self-compassion.
Say Goodbye to Overthinking A Solution.
Let go of your micro-managing, unhinged heart. Ungrasp the insecurity that you are not a good enough professional, artist, parent or partner. Have confidence in the work that you do and make it an act of love. Solutions do not come while you stand over the proverbial watched pot giving yourself a poor man’s facial. Solutions come in the center of a deep guttural laugh. Solutions come from the fresh ideas of inquisitve children. The best ideas are born in the moments where you are your most relaxed, with calm brain stem activity, and the confidence that your power is constant. Doing your best is all you must do for no one else but you and your god/goddess.
When I sit with clients for the first time during entrepreneurial empowerment sessions, I usually give a pep talk and a gift: The Four Agreements, a fantastic Toltec Wisdom book by don Miguel Ruiz.
The agreements are:
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Always do your best.
These four impossibly difficult and simple directives are the secrets to success on such a universal level that when practiced, they become compassionate friends of your mental and emotional resolve. Have the courage to embark on making the four agreements a deep relationship in your life.
Live innovatively, love unconditionally, and create passionately.