In 2010, I had it all. And I wanted to quit. Everything.
I had a thriving business, an adorable wardrobe, a beautiful home, and a growing audience. I was primed for ever-expanding “success” (whatever that means).
I also had a failing marriage, worked until 2 am most nights, was emotionally and energetically depleted, felt numb below the waist, and couldn’t understand why making more money was not equaling more fun or enjoyment in my life.
I was fried, running on empty, and nearly always on the verge of tears from the overwhelm and confusion.
Then, one day, the ceiling caved in. Literally.
It was so painfully symbolic of how I felt. Done. Fried. Crashed.
I cried for days. All the tears I’d been withholding from trying to keep this “perfect” life in place came crashing down all at once, just like the ceiling.
I started to look – really look – at my life. This wasn’t what I wanted. Yes, I wanted to help people, but not at the expense of my own health, happiness and relationships. I wanted to do good work, but not be a workaholic. Was that too much to ask?
Can you relate? Does this truth – your truth – sound familiar?
You want to be in action. You want to end your days feeling productive, like you really accomplished something, like you gave it your best and your best was amazing.
And, you want to feel at ease. You want to feel “in-flow,” spacious in your calendar and mind, and like your actions are yielding you great results.
Great. Let’s talk about how to do it.
EASE & ACTION IN FIVE STEPS:
1. Want what you want.
Perhaps you have an inkling of how you want your life to look. But how do you feel about having it? If there’s any part of you that believes that you can’t or shouldn’t want it (we all have these parts), we need to lovingly call in another part — the part of you who’s a Yes to you having it. There’s so much more that goes into feeling truly free to want what we want, but start by locating a part of you who’s a Yes to it. Doing this may create the feeling of the presence of a loving mommy within, who believes in you and is rooting for you, no matter what. Call on her whenever you feel like you can’t do it, to lovingly and firmly get you back on track (remember: sometimes “on-track” means closing the computer and going to bed.)
2. Be devoted to living it now. Right now (not “when”).
Take it from someone who did a lot of waiting until there was more time and more money – your life is not going to change on its own.
Devote time to living the life you want right now – your desires, your dreams – & protect that time. Ruthlessly. @AskNisha (Click to Tweet!)
Rework your calendar, and stick to it. Are you supposed to work until 5 pm (and no later)? Then focus. Are you supposed to have dinner with friends at 6 pm? Then go. Have you promised yourself a day at the spa? Make that appointment and enjoy every minute of it.
3. Don’t check email.
Instead of “checking” your email, “process” your email. This handy reframe comes from the folks at Inbox Zero, who teach that instead of spending your time looking at your emails, reading and leaving them, get in your inbox with a commitment to get them all handled to completion.
Oh, and don’t open your inbox more than twice a day, unless you have a job where it’s a must.
4. Make fun plans first.
When I made my list of the top 10 things I want to accomplish this year (an annual ritual), the top of my list is a trip I’ve wanted to take for years.
I see too many ambitious women holding off making plans with girlfriends, rescheduling their massages and “forgetting” to eat all day, because they’re so work-obsessed. Take a look right now at the things you’ve been putting off and get them on your calendar today.
This may seem selfish or irresponsible. Family, clients, friends, and responsibilities should come first, right? And what about the guilt? Listen up – you can’t give what you don’t have and the best way to replenish your spirit is to have fun.
5. Handle that thing.
Most of us have a thing – that thing – that we know we need to do but have been avoiding. Maybe it’s organizing your finances, canceling that project, finally writing that email, or getting that strange ache in your hip looked at.
The more you avoid that thing, the more it takes up precious mental and emotional bandwidth, preventing you from being truly productive and feeling truly powerful. Handle it today. It’s been waiting for you, and it’ll feel oh-so-good to check it off the list. You can do it.
I hope these five steps bring ease, freedom, and joy to your days and action to your dreams. And if you have anything to add to the list, I’d love to read them in the comments below.
Nisha Moodley is a Women’s Leadership Coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Virtual Sisterhood. Inspired by the belief that the world will be set free by women who are free & sisterhood is key to a woman’s freedom, Nisha creates communities of ambitious women to support them in redesigning their lives & businesses. Find her online at NishaMoodley.com and download her free Take Flight Action Guide to explore the next expansion of your freedom at TakeFlightActionGuide.com. You can follow Nisha on Twitter or FB.
Image courtesy of Navy Blue Stripes.