Last week on the podcast, I talked about strategies for helping you get over the plateau when you start to despair that your dream is never going to happen. One of the strategies I mentioned was to stop comparing yourself to others, and the corollary to that is that you also need to stop beating yourself up and tearing yourself down when you’re not living up to your own expectations.
Sometimes our expectations are unrealistic
As those of you who are regular readers or who happen to be subscribed to my mailing list are aware, the month of August was something of circus here in the Vibe Shifting world. I had such wonderful plans to be organized and have all my blog articles and newsletters and podcasts continuing smoothly for the summer. I had visions of being that super-cool work-from-home super mom who bakes cookies, coordinates play-dates, masterfully executes memorable outings, encourages wonderful works of art, and plays with the kids, all while still running her business and never breaking a sweat.I had visions of being that super-mom who does it all & never breaks a sweat. It didn't work. Click To Tweet
OK, so in hindsight it was obviously a pipe dream. I seriously overestimated the amount of stuff I’d be able to get done with the kids home, and seriously underestimated how tired I’d be at the end of the day. So the reality of the situation was that none of my fabulous pie-in-the-sky visions actually happened.
Well, that’s not quite true – I did bake cookies and play with the kids and do art projects and go to the beach and the park and the splash pad and the library and swimming lessons. And I refereed the constant squabbles and trailed around cleaning up the endless messes that come with two creative kids and lots of time at home.
And sometimes, the unexpected happens…
And then there was the accident my ex-husband had. Still not sure what exactly happened, but he went over the handlebars bicycling to work several weeks back, broke his collar bone and ended up a mess of road rash all up his back and one side. I pretty much dropped everything to help him out with stuff until he was able to function again.
In other words, life happened and I completely failed at getting done what I wanted to do with my business this summer. I was still coaching my existing clients, but I wasn’t out there looking for new ones. My podcast, which I’ve always been religious about keeping updated, languished. My social media stats plummeted. And tumbleweeds started blowing through my blog.
Your focus affects your vibe
For a long while, this distressed me. All the usual “should”s and “ought to”s started rolling through my head: I should be getting more done. I should have the book published by now. I should at least be making myself write blog articles after I put the kids to bed. I ought to be more organized and disciplined with what little time I do have…All the 'should's rolling through my head just made me feel worse. They didn't solve anything. Click To Tweet
And of course, this just made me feel worse and worse. I felt like I was failing. People in my networking groups were proudly talking about how much all their “hustling” was paying off, and here I was doing nothing and dealing with the resulting sound of crickets. I began to think that maybe I really was kidding myself… maybe I just didn’t have what it takes to make something like this work after all.
Oh, it was bad.
Until I realized just how counter-productive all this was. And it was kind of crazy because I KNOW how useless that kind of wallowing is – for heaven’s sake, this is what I do, I’m the person who helps other people deal with this kind of mindset issue.
And that was the light bulb moment.
Let it go to dissolve the blocks
“Physician,” as the saying goes, “heal thyself.” Honestly, I need to take my own advice and spend more time reading my own damned blog sometimes.
I decided to put a stop to all those negative thoughts right then and there. I gave myself permission to take a freaking break and just enjoy the time with my children. I stopped trying to give myself deadlines and stopped comparing myself to the people in my networking group. This is MY life and MY business, and I’m going to do things my way. And if that means I need a breather then I’m going to take that breather.
And that’s when my creative blocks started to dissolve, and my motivation started to come back. That’s when I started getting lovely, unexpected emails from people reminding me WHY I do what I do here. That’s when I started writing again – not because I should, but because I wanted to once again.
That’s when I returned to my centre and reconnected with my dreams.
The moral of the story
The moral of this story is this: stop beating yourself up. When you’re not in alignment with what you want to achieve, nothing you do is going to make it happen, no matter how much you might want it to. If you force action when you’re in a negative mindspace, you will hit every single roadblock, and everything in you will rebel against the process. And feeling bad about it all is just going to make things worse.
Sometimes, it’s just not the right time. Sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes, what looks like “doing nothing” is in fact the most productive thing that you can do at the time. Sometimes, letting go of what you think should be happening, in favour of being in the moment and doing what IS happening… is what will bring you back to where you want to be.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)