The thing you’re avoiding is the key to your success
Come on now…we all do it don’t we? We do what we have to do and not what we want to do. We do what we must do and not what we should do.
So what do we have to do? Go to work. Make the family meal. Do the laundry. Hoover. Clean. Food shop…
But what do we want to do? Launch our dream business without feeling judged. Book that hair appointment without feeling indulgent. Work on our dreams without feeling like it’s a waste of time.
And what should we do? Exercise. Eat better, Drink more water…
Now I may not have put everything in quite the right order but I’m close aren’t I? You see, in the DARETOGROW community, we’re all united by a few common factors:
We’ve spent years putting others first; pushing our dreams to the bottom of the pile because it’s just the way we’re built.We feel bad, selfish even, for putting ourselves first. And ultimately we’re scared to take the next step towards our dreams because of fear. Fear of judgement. Fear we’ll fail. Fear we won’t be able to pay the bills.
But we all do have a dream to change our lives, to run our own businesses and, heck let’s be honest, to change the world. Don’t we? Don’t you? So what’s stopping us from re-connecting with our dreams, putting ourselves first and building our dream lives?
In truth, it’s unique for each of us.
What stopped me for many years was a desire to ‘make a success of myself’ according to other people’s criteria. Because I ran my own business this meant: win new clients, hire more people and make more money. I loved hiring people and I loved helping my clients but I didn’t love what I was doing. I never thought to stop and ask what would actually make me happy or what I would do if I truly believed in myself…I was too busy being successful to worry about my happiness. Does that make sense?
What’s stopping you? Are you too busy? Worried about money? Not sure where to begin?
For me back in 2015, it didn’t matter what was stopping me. The Universe was about to intervene!
It happened one day in July. I was on a run because I’d recently been diagnosed with depression. I didn’t want the pills on offer (I’d heard too many worrying stories) and so I took the other medication on offer: running every day for two weeks.
On my first run I decided to listen to motivational speaker Les Brown.
I’ll never forget that day. It was the day my whole life changed. Forever.
You see, I was busy, depressed, broke and lost. I knew I was capable of so much but I’d trapped myself in a great life that I simply didn’t want. And that made me feel guilty.
“I should be grateful for what I have”, I found myself repeating over and over. But I wasn’t. I resented how busy I was, no matter how lucky I should have felt to be running two six-figure businesses. I was exhausted from the weight of depression and I was fast becoming overweight from the sugar I was eating to keep myself ‘on a high’.
Something had to give and it did.
In late 2015 I put on my running shoes, grabbed my phone and headphones and hit the open road. It was about 15 minutes in when Les Brown asked: “What would you do if you found out you only had three months left to live?”.
I knew immediately. I’d get out of the businesses I was running at all costs; even if it meant paying off the loans I’d taken personally. I’d write a book. I’d launch DARETOGROW. And, I’d tell my now partner – Alice – that I was in love with her.
“***k it”, I thought, as I crossed the road, weaving between the cars, to continue my run, “It sounds crazy but that’s what I’d do”.
A few minutes passed and I was running in a pleasantly mindless state, looking at the trees in the upcoming field. As I tuned back in, Les Brown asked: “How to do you know you haven’t got three months left to live?”.
That was the question that changed my life. I turned on my heals, ran home and wrote down my list. 18 months later and I’ve done everything on that list (okay, so the book is only half done but still…).
It’s hard to believe I’ve done it all but I set most of this in motion back in 2015. The vision of my new life and the fear of returning to my old life pushed me through to the end of last year, the end of 2016. Recently, however, I’ve been feeling restless. I’ve had a little back pain, I’ve felt a bit sluggish and I’ve not been working as productively as I did back when I was going through those changes.
“What’s standing in my way?”, I asked myself last week. I meditated on the question and the answer came to immediately.
“Exercise, you need to exercise”.
I’ve been putting off exercise for months. “I don’t have time”, I told myself. “I’ll start next week”, I’d promise myself loosely.
It wasn’t long before I realised I was doing it again: putting myself to the bottom of the pile. I know how amazing I feel when I exercise. I know what a positive effect it has on my mood, the quality of my sleep and even my creativity. So why was I putting it off?
I thought I was too busy. I thought it would be better to focus on my work and fit the exercise in later. I had other things to do.
I told Alice and the next day she had us booked into a 45 minute boxercise session. She’s good like that!
Boxercise was brutal! Let’s get honest here! Fast paced, physical and, well, hard! Alice and I laughed our way through the first few stations – sit ups, Russian Twists, a little boxing. We were quiet through the middle section – the planks, the ski sit and the burpees – and we danced and sang our way through the final part – the skipping, the boxing and the free weights.
Once we were done we felt ecstatic. My back pain is gone. (Yes, okay, my legs are really sore today but I like that pain – it’s the pain of hard work!) I feel pumped full of endorphins and my clarity is back. We’re booked in to go spinning on Saturday and for a more gentle walk on Sunday.
You see, sometimes the key to our success isn’t a big bold play. Sometimes it’s a little self care – a little time to get back in tune with your body, to re-oxygenate those cells and stretch those muscles.
What’s the one thing you’re avoiding? The thing that’s key to your focus, creativity and ongoing energy?
It could be the inadvertent key to your success.