I could feel the anxiety creeping up my chest, my throat was getting tight, my heart started pumping faster and my mouth was dry.
I was at a group coaching session with a coach I deeply admire and we had been working on goals. She was asking how committed we were to achieving them and the rest of the group were really enthusiastic shouting out ‘Hell yeah, I’m 120%, it’s gonna happen, I can’t wait to get started!’
Then it was my turn. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.
‘So Paula, how committed are you?’
Heart pounding, anxiety rising ‘Em, honestly, I’m about 50% committed, no really actually about 40%’.
The iron grip of anxiety was on me because I honestly felt so half arsed about my dreams! And, it was the best I could do! (For a second, I thought I was going to be politely asked to leave!)
I so desperately wanted what I wanted but I just didn’t have the drive I needed to get really excited or passionate about putting in the work. It seemed like so much effort and it made me tired and overwhelmed to even think about it. I had no clarity of thought and no idea how to get started. Sound familiar?
Then my coach said the magic sentence. She said:
‘The percentage of your Wellness equals the percentage of your Success’
Then it clicked! She had me sussed! No wonder I was only about 40ish% committed to achieving what I wanted! I was exhausted, I was stressed, my sleeping pattern was all over the place and my recycling bin was brimming with takeaway Chinese and pizza boxes!
I realised that I had to change my goals drastically!
Originally, I had wanted to grow my business, take on more clients, get more speaking gigs, create new programmes and make a bigger impact. This was to be on top of everything else I was currently doing! Then it dawned on me that I knew that there was no way that I could achieve these things at my current physical and mental energy levels.
I had to slow it down and instead of focusing on the external things I wanted to do and achieve, I had to focus on me and my own wellness. The percentage of my wellness equaled the percentage of my success.
To me, wellness means:
- Getting enough sleep
- Having fun and relaxing
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Daily gratitude practice
- Spending quality time with the people I care about
- Spending time in spiritual practice
- Feeling in control of my finances
Basically, it means taking care of me and my needs!
At the time, sleep-wise I was probably averaging about 6-7 hours per night but I was going to bed at 3-4am. Sometimes I got 3 hours sleep, sometimes I crashed for 12 hours.
I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun or relax because there was so much to do and I hadn’t earned the right for time out. I was eating crap, getting no exercise, going to bed stressed and annoyed with myself and feeling guilty when I was with my family and friends because I wasn’t really present with them, my mind was distracted and on over-drive! I was almost always feeling ashamed of myself. I hadn’t even contemplated changing my lifestyle! I was doing and being it all, giving away my time, energy and attention to everyone except myself.
There’s a brilliant researcher and author called Brene Brown and in one of her books she described a conversation she had with her therapist, she said
‘I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch. I need a shell, what can you give me? What do you suggest?‘ The therapist replied saying ‘I have an idea. Why don’t you get out of the briar patch? You’re getting poked and prodded and hurt, not because you don’t have a shell but because you’re living in a briar patch’.
That resonated with me so much! I wanted a shell. Something that I could just put on and get going, to keep on keeping on! But (reluctantly) I realised that I had to get out of the briar patch and change my lifestyle.
I’ve made a lot of changes and I still have a lot of changes to make but I’m definitely making progress! My goals are balanced now to ensure that self-care is as important, if not more important than external achievement and the difference that has made to my life is incredible! I may not be at 100% yet but I’m a hell of lot better than 40ish%
How about you? Are you trying to push yourself to do more, be more and achieve more when you’re operating at reduced wellness? Where are you at now? What is your wellness percentage? Have you ever thought about this concept before and does it resonate with you? I’d love to hear your feedback and get a discussion going so pop over the facebook page and drop me a line!
Update December 2016: This is actually an oldie blog! I wrote it based on an experience I had in 2013 and I’m revisiting it now because it’s sooo relevant right now! Not only for me personally but for so many of my clients in recent weeks.
We need to stop giving it away.
By ‘it’, I mean our time, energy, care, attention and love – leaving nothing for ourselves!
December is a time of busyness and our own wellness often gets pushed to the bottom of the agenda. This year, give yourself permission to take some time out for yourself. Stop giving it away and start nourishing yourself xx
Until next week, be well!
P.S If this article resonates with you, then check out my programme Get Clear, Get Brave, Get Going– This is is a yearlong journey for determined, open hearted and playful women who want to make 2017 the most incredible year of their life so far.
Just imagine what you could do with a year spent paying close attention to your life, your goals, your dreams. 12 months of inspired accountability and bucket loads of loving support! We spend a lot of time on this programme ensuring that you have the right self care practices in place so that your wellness supports your success!
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