For a long time, I was feeling stressed and lost career and job wise. I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew how I wanted to do it, but every time when my day started and I ‘was supposed’ to be productive and actually work, I didn’t.
There were two factors that caused this, one was my idealism and high expectations of what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it and how far away I wanted to reach. (Which you can read about here, link) and the fact that I didn’t understand and I didn’t know how to connect and follow my tempo. My life tempo.
The second reason and equally important factor were that I didn’t admire or look up to my role models about lifestyle, happiness and tempo (how much time you invest in your work), so I was lost. I didn’y know how much time, dedication and effort I was supposed to invest on my career.
I would always prepare a list of things I had to do the day before: writing, videos, sessions and workshops and seminars preparation. I would wake up at 5:00 go to workout for an hour, come back very hungry and exhausted, I wanted to be ready to start working and I would work for an hour (my original idea was to work for 8 hours or more). I had so much pressure, mental pressure, that I would start feeling tired, stressed and exhausted really soon. Not being productive at all!
I started wondering why is that.
And what I discovered: I was following my family rhythm instead of mine. Specifically my Mom’s.
I remember when I was a child, my mother was always busy, working a ton of hours in one day and doing a lot of things. Often when I was relaxing or doing nothing she would disapprove of me, wondering why I am not working. Why am I not studying? And as it happens, this tempo crept up on me and unconsciously, I started acquiring a sense of tension when I needed to rest, or I wanted to take it easy or I simply wanted to enjoy a later breakfast. I wanted to be like her, or I thought I had to be like her, a nonstop woman, a super woman that does everything. Until I realized that I was doing this in a robot mode, when I looked closer I realized that she was really stressed, maybe she was not as productive as I thought and most importantly I didn’t see her happy. So, unconsciously I associated work with stress and unhappiness. I didn’t have the right role models to look up to and most importantly this wasn’t my life. I wanted to give myself the opportunity to discover and choose my own tempo. My own lifestyle. And succeed. Yes I wanted to succeed, but on my own terms.
What did I do?
I followed these steps: I started realizing what things I was copying from her and what things were genuinely mine. Not so many. My worry was if I think that successful woman needs to be stressed and do so much without being really happy; Could I be a successful woman following my own tempo and respecting it? Could I be successful, happy and relaxed? I had to think what success was for me (check this link for a Success article) and differentiate stress and success.
The steps I took to connect with my genuine lifestyle:
1. I became aware that I am not living the life I want (tired, not achieving my goals, not happy)
2. I understood what role model or program I am following (In this case was my mother’s who for me was a super woman)
3. Does it work for me? I started listening to my feelings and thoughts to check and understand what my tempo is.
4. I started practicing. At first, I felt tension… different thoughts came to me: that I am not doing anything right, that I won’t succeed, that I am lazy. If you feel the same, don’t worry, this is just your mind being scared because you are doing something new that it doesn’t know… breathe in and out. Follow your intuition and you will do well.
5. Practice, feel, practice and meditate on it. Connect, you will know that you already feel better about your own life tempo.
6. Share this with people, explain your process to them, this will help you release tension and increase your neuroplasticity. (link about neuroplasticity)
7. And enjoy the process. Love, love, love what you do. If you love it (or feel at least some pleasure doing it) your mind wants more of it. As one of its purposes is to feel immediate gratification. When it feels pain or it is not comfortable enough it won’t like to do it over and over.
What is happening right now?
My energy is back. I discovered that I enjoy doing sports in the evening or afternoon and that I need to sleep at least 7 hours and a half or 8 to be at my best. So I run in the afternoon instead of at 6 am. It is a relief!
Every Sunday afternoon I make a plan for the entire week, I organize my weekly calendar, this helps me a lot and I am so thankful to Ally Mona and her 90-day program for this. I create my goals in a long term (3 months time and I distribute the working hours according to the time I have).
The day before I have a mental plan, which I sometimes write down, about what I will do the next day (clients, meetings and working solo time). I respect my relaxation times or recharging, meditation times. Note: allow yourself to rest, for your mind and according to neuroscience it is super important. Take 15′ minutes a day “to stare at the wall”, do nothing to allow your mind to rest and reset.
I started building my life separated from an image of what it should be and separated from my mother’s (or anyone else’s) lifestyle. She worked from 9 to 6 every day (one hour travel every day back and forth) and I don’t. I achieved flexibility because I work as a freelancer but also because I don’t see my life as a constant string of work commitments anymore. I enjoy life because it has space for work, but as well space for wishes, needs, and dreams. And it is working! I am doing more workshops, more clients, I travel more. Success!
I dream big, but without pressure, I don’t fight with my tempo, I just follow it. Listening to my rhythm and tempo and respecting it, changed me and made my life better.
Decide your own tempo, your life! Dare to live a thriving life?.