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How to be creative and organised

How to be creative and organised

How to be creative and organised at the same time seems like a riddle that someone tells you (after hours of trying to solve it) has no answer.

We have so long designed our lives and businesses in such a way that they are either one or the other. The belief? That fundamentally we are one or the other and that creativity is the opposite of organised and therefore they simply cannot coexist.

Myths:

Creative people are free spirits, messy, chaotic, disorganised but wildly imaginative, open minded and flexible, not always financially stable, have to ‘suffer’ for their art, worked in many jobs. They make and create.

Organised people are rigid, systematic, overly scheduled, neat and tidy, studious, stoic, linear, methodical, structured, close minded, most likely reasonable stable financially, took a specific route in their career journey and stuck to it. They do and get done.

Truth

I think as children, we are encouraged to believe this albeit unintentionally by our adult counterparts. We are labelled as studious or artistic, shy or vivacious and it’s this time where we take one of our first forays into ‘boxing’ ourselves.

In fact I truly believe we all have a unique mix of all the qualities in us. We are all part of the same human spectrum and therefore we embody many different things all at once. We understand we can be hungry and happy at the same time or sad and have excess energy so why too can we not accept that we can be creative AND organised and that those things fluctuate on a daily basis?

I believe it’s why we can have a doctor who is methodical, studious and incredible particular about hygiene and tidiness at work who collects Harry Potter figurines and fills their home with them. One does not negate the other but at time different traits and feelings will expand as the others retract and vice versa. Like wood swelling or shrinking with changing weather conditions.

But why is being creative and organised so important?

When I am working with people as they build their businesses I often find they feel torn between what they want and what they think they should have or should be doing. It’s often this that finds them ‘stuck’ and, as we talk I find they’re bored or lacking in inspiration and there in I see a pretty simple truth.

In catering only to the one part of their personality and needs in their life and business they unintentionally starve the other.

Imagine for a moment that you fed each part of yourself daily. You exercised those muscles that work with those traits and you wholeheartedly accepted that both were essential to feeling fulfilled. Then imagine that you release yourself from the shackles of outdated beliefs about yourselves (that may never have been yours to begin with).

Now, let yourself wonder what you could achieve, what impact you could have unburdened by false narratives.

That’s why it’s essential to allow yourself to be creative and organised.

But how can I be creative and organised?

Good question! It’s definitely baby steps to start, especially if you’ve really leveraged one and have formed an identity around it. Thankfully you still own that identity but let’s see if we can’t help you harness the power of both a little more!

For those who identify as creative

If you are creative and have created a disorganised, free spirit persona then your energy is a whole vibe and that’s awesome but maybe you want to be able to increase the impact and audience for your art (whatever that may be) but aren’t sure you have the ‘boring’ part in you. Maybe you think you will never get that far without either selling out or stunting your creativity.

I get it. Being organised feels like a Chinese finger trap for inspiration but what if you knew that that thing you have/are creating could have untold value to others, that in the very access to it they themselves were inspired to create. What if the act of being creatively organised triggers MORE creative ideas and helps you bring them to life?

Well it ain’t no overnight thing I’ll tell you that much but here are a few things that people I have worked with during mentoring have found useful.

Tips

  1. Lose the distractions wherever possible so that when you create you can 100% create, no business just joy. Distractions are personal but one of my clients got rid of their TV. Another has every Wednesday ‘off’ and uses it to read, have long lunches and leisurely lie ins until she sits down and writes.
  2. Get rid of the ‘to do list’ and think instead about your day as a whole. What might be booked in and non negotiable – a medical appointment or an interview perhaps. Well that’s a block of organised time right there. What else would you like to get done that day? Do you dream of working on that project instead of the other one you have on the go? could that be before or after the non negotiable appointment – when is your creative energy at it’s best?
  3. Keep your ‘kit’ together and easy to access. It doesn’t matter if its on the dining table, in a huge trunk, takes up the spare room or it lives in a shoebox under the sofa – it’s whatever works for you just remember that keeping it together will mean you’re ready when inspiration strikes.
  4. Habit stack. Instead of dedicating 3 hours a day to ‘admin’ and organisation, how about adding mini elements of it into habits you already have? While the kettle is boiling for your morning coffee send some emails. When you’re brushing your teeth at night log your expenses etc wherever you choose to do that. Whilst dinner is in the oven forward your receipts/income etc. to your accountant. When you’re writing in your paper diary a new appointment write a reminder 3 days before too or set a reminder on your calendar for several days before.

Bonus tip

Make whatever the boring stuff is as joyful as you can. Create a playlist that you love and feel energised by for when you’re doing that work. Make sure you plan in something you love as a reward for immediately completing it – reward yourself with joy and fun and art and love and embrace it fully knowing you’ve done the stuff you didn’t think you were cut out for.

For those who identify as organised

If you have found yourself fully on the productivity train with linear thinking but know your business and life could benefit from more creativity and ‘outside of the box’ thinking…if only you were a creative type then I feel you. It can feel risky, even frivolous to consider doing something without purpose as such or without an immediate return on investment of your time and money etc. But what if I told you creativity is an amplifier of productivity when nurtured, that it can in fact improve every area of your business and life exponentially because it’s a source of momentum.

The very fact that you have built a business and are building your life the way it is is something of a creative act but, if you want to amplify your life, business and all then here are some things that people I’ve worked with as a mentor have found beneficial.

Tips

  1. First, start reminding yourself that research has discovered that a healthy brain engaged in creativity actually uses both the left and right sides of the brain (much to the dismay of the people still touting that we are either a left brained or right brained personality type) Don’t take my word for it, check out this article from Tara Swart
  2. Habit stacking – This is great for trying to be more creative too. For example, if you know you want to add a blog to your website and want to write, when you’re boiling your morning kettle spend that time coming up with ideas of ways you could help the reader. When you’re drinking your first cup of tea of the day instead of reading the paper or checking out your emails pick up a fiction novel that is outside of your wheelhouse.
  3. Cultivate experiences – go to watch live music, go to a poetry reading, watch a show, become a tourist in your town and immerse yourself in it. Go for a hike or watch the sunrise every morning and then just feel those experiences. No analytics just think about how your body felt during them, how full or peaceful your mind was. Experience these things as fully as you can – this will take practise
  4. Get a hobby unrelated to what you do for work and is in no way beneficial for your family or finances. By that I mean it’s only purpose is to be done by you. Maybe you could get a bunch of puzzles or paint by numbers. Maybe it will be sudoku or learning to play the keyboard. Maybe it will be starting to horse ride. Whatever it is it should be simply for the pursuit of doing it!

Bonus tip

If you find mess or clutter make it hard for you because you’re so organised that’s cool. Embrace it – keep the space where you practise these tidy, check your diary and keep up to date with your emails but then give all of your attention to these, this may mean switching off your phone or TV!

About getting creative and organised

The main thing to remember whichever camp you fall in is that there is no right or wrong way, you can embrace who you are and still do both. In fact you will find that some days you are more one than the other and then other days the pendulum swings the other way.

Like with everything, practise and joy make these so very much easier!

I say it’s time we embrace our multi-faceted natures and let ourselves find true freedom of choice. If you want to hear more, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter!

What do you think? Are you one or the other or a mix of both?

Catch you later,

Amy x

How to lose the weight of things that don’t serve you

How to lose the weight of things that don’t serve you

Let go Amy it’s time…

As I write this it’s October 2020. We are in the last quarter of what we might consider the weirdest year in our modern history and I’m 38 years old, my son is going to be 16 next month and I feel like the next 21 months until I turn 40 is my mind and body hitting a major milestone.

Lockdown during the pandemic eased it somewhat (yes I was one of those rare unicorns that thrived mentally and financially during lockdown) but the anxiety is there. The snowball of time goes faster than my feet can carry me at times and often I think these ‘milestone’ moments appear to highlight that.

As we approach milestones like this I think it’s a great time to pause and reflect. 

In order to figure out where it is you really want to be in work and life you need to understand where you are and start working from that place. I have really had to pay attention to my core beliefs and belief systems in terms of each area of my life. I recall an article about limiting beliefs by psychotherapist Amy Morin (read it here) and it was something I thought a lot about as I began to shine the light on myself.

It can be a bit daunting, illuminating these secretive, shy and shadowy parts of your business and self in this way but, with turning 40 looming what better time? It’s definitely helped me realise a few things.

What I learned from what I wanted to let go

Here is what my reflection of my last few years of myself and my work has highlighted.

  1. Health (mental and physical) is the truest commodity out there – let go of what other people think is right and focus on what’s right for me
  2. Who I am is evolving and it’s time to unbury myself – I like myself, quirks and all, I want to let go of other peoples opinions meaning more than my own and stop hiding behind the ‘acceptable’ bits of me
  3. I have been afraid that being successful in the way I chose would mean that people I love would stop loving me for me – It’s time to let go and be my kind of successful in life and love and business. Regardless of what other people choose to feel about it
  4. My ‘why’ is clearer than ever and I have found a purpose other than just being – I want to let go of perfection, of being all figured out and of missing out on something I enjoy. It’s about having a path
  5. Being myself and caring for who I am is the highest form of self care – I literally cannot survive without me. It’s time to let go of everyone being more important – there is no hierarchy, I am not responsible for everyone else but I am the only one responsible for me.
  6. I don’t want to carry the weight of what hasn’t served me or my business into the future and definitely not into my 40’s – Let go. Let go of bad vibes, painful memories and lessons learned, let go of mistakes, of unfulfilled dreams. It’s time to appreciate them all for what they were but remember that they have passed and I cannot wind back the clock. That weight is no longer a burden I choose to carry.

Health (mental and physical) is the truest commodity out there

Boy oh boy has the last 6 years played havoc with my physical and mental wellbeing. My body struggles. I have PCOS as well as an abdomen full of mesothelial inclusion cysts (these are a rare type of tumour, thankfully for me they are benign and have a low rate of malignancy though of 130 recorded cases in total I don’t want to take my chances) both of these issues play god with my pain and hormones. 

When they’re at their worst and flaring up I feel like everything is such a struggle I get arthritic pain, my nerves are trapped and my mood suffers a lot. 

Lockdown saw my mental and physical health improve exponentially and I realised that many of the things I do to be liked, loved, wanted, useful, not a burden etc. can be detrimental to myself. 

Conclusion? 

I believe that there are things about my lifestyle that I can improve to better support these conditions which I’ve researched so much, even with extremely limited case studies on MIC. If I can’t help myself my only medical option is to use the pain clinic to be placed on long term pain management meds and I don’t like how the make my mood dip.  In addition to this I am practising what I preach about mental health awareness. I am journalling, listening to my body, setting boundaries and learning to say no with love.

My health is my wealth and I only have this one body and mind to carry me through the rest of my life.

Who I am is evolving and it’s time to unbury myself

I talk a lot at the moment about unpacking the boxes that reflect part of yourself you put away for whatever reason and challenging your assumptions about who you are. I touch on it here in this blog post 

2020 was a blessing for me in many ways, I lost all my clients at the start of the year due to their worry about Covid but that simply made way for more (more ideal clients who paid even better and respected my boundaries even more) 

As all of the social stigmas and non essential business of day to day life was stripped away I started to reconnect with myself and it has been a revelation. As I unleash more of myself life and business are growing. 

Unblocking parts of myself that I felt ashamed, embarrassed or looked down on for has been glorious. I am emotional and I love that about myself – it is what enables me to provide such invested and in depth support to people. 

Certain things are important to me and more than ever I now understand what those things are. 

Conclusion? 

I’m allowed to like myself and I choose to carry that with me moving forward. I can embrace all the parts of myself and it’s in doing so that I will truly be able to live.

I’ve been afraid that being successful in the way I chose would mean that people I love would stop loving me for me

There’s a lot to unpick here and much of it isn’t my story to tell but suffice it to say that the experiences I’ve had formed a warped belief system and I just don’t want or need it anymore.

We create these stories and beliefs from our or our guiding adults/mentors experiences as they, with good intentions teach us their beliefs and fears. Our minds and bodies try to protect us from it and of course that can have a significant impact. 

This isn’t working for me anymore because I want the good stuff from that experience and I can’t if I hold myself back.

Conclusion? 

I get to choose to release those old, unserving beliefs and replace them with my own experiences of growth whatever that may be.

My ‘why’ is clearer than ever and I have found my purpose

I always thought this was a really twatty way to talk. In all honestly I felt like it was the language used by unscrupulous coaches who wanted to take your money for encouraging you to question yourself – even if it did also encourage personal breakthroughs.

However I also realised that I want people who work for themselves or aspire to to know that they can absolutely find a way to do this that is perfectly suited to them, their lives and their personalities. That there is no longer a one size fits all 9-5 perfect lifestyle to attain. It’s my mission to to help people find ways of thriving in work AND personal without compromising on their health, sanity or relationships.

Conclusion? 

Understanding that’s what I want to do with my life and watch people get happier, healthier and more successful (whatever that translates to for them) means that every move I take is easier because I have a reason for the journey.

Being myself and caring for who I am is the highest form of self care

Look, self care can be about bubble baths and face packs if that’s for you. For me it’s about allowing myself to like myself and to embrace the parts of my personality and needs that I love but often hide.

Things like building a business that means I can be flexible in the event of a flare up or a completely terrible period. Things like no longer saying yes out of misguided need to be liked and equally not saying no because I worry my loved ones won’t agree with me.

It’s taking time to enrich my mind, care for my body, strengthen the relationships I want to keep and gently releasing those I don’t in whatever ways I can in order to stay well and care for self. 

Self care is deeper than I realised. It’s about continually moving away from burnout and self pity and illness and moving towards a deeper understanding of my mind and body and their needs. FYI this can totally look like sticking to a budget or speaking to those you owe debts to and arranging payment terms. 

Conclusion? 

Leaning into what you need physically and emotionally is exactly the thing that will help you build strength, resilience and true wellness. In turn this allows you to do more of the thing you want, in my case help other people to build happier and healthier businesses that encourage them to live as whole people.

I don’t want to carry the weight of what hasn’t served me or my business into the future and definitely not into my 40’s

I just don’t. If I were running a marathon with an exceptionally heavy backpack on filled with old rocks I would take it off, put it to one side and continue running with less burden. It would help me feel better, move faster, stay stronger and I wouldn’t feel guilty because those were rocks I needed at some point in my life and so I popped them in my backpack but, instead of eroding as they were no longer needed they simply stayed.

I don’t want nor need them any longer. There is no shame in that.

Conclusion? 

Sometimes it’s necessary to reassess what load you’re carrying and if it’s not really yours, if it’s not supporting you, if it’s not healthy and if it’s something that should really have eroded long ago then it’s ok and even necessary to thank it for its service and let it go.

Maybe you have been thinking something similar, or maybe you want a helping hand as you move forward. If you fancy it you can check out my mentoring options and see if there’s anything there for you.

Catch you later,

Amy x

Why looking inwards to create outward success in life and business works

Why looking inwards to create outward success in life and business works

Why looking inwards to create outward success in life and business works.

Oh freedom seeker, it’s time to feel whole again.

Going freelance, becoming self employed and starting a business can unearth a lot of a lot of things about ourselves that we forgot about.

Over the course of a lifetime and over a career it’s pretty normal to soak up what’s going on in your environment, other peoples opinions, beliefs about who you are and who you should be and oftentimes we find ourselves packing small bits of us away until we have 2, maybe 3 outward dimensions. Mine was:

  • Customer Service expert
  • Mum
  • Nice approachable Amy

I didn’t really feel that there was a space for the other elements of my personality and I certainly didn’t feel like the many facets or dimensions of me were encouraged. Definitely not in my corporate career. 

After all, they need a specific set of skills and that’s what I was hired for.

In 2018 when I left my lucrative career and became a self-employed virtual assistant (check out my about me if you want to know more) the biggest challenge I faced was the realisation that I had outgrown myself.

I had shrunk myself into a tiny percentage of who I was and so began perhaps the biggest journey I have been on in this freelance life. In this life in general.

Looking inwards to create outward success

If you’re considering starting a business, going freelance or are finding it difficult to ‘level up’ or get to the next stage (whatever that looks like for you) I would ask whether you have begun to challenge your preconceived notions about yourself. Those identities you were led to create and then embellished for yourself?

The thing that you can never truly see from anothers journey is the level of personal awareness and growth you must take to build a life and career that gels together so well. You can’t see the mental battles that carry on when the people who inspire you aren’t sure what to do next, when they make a mistake, when they don’t have the skills required. And you definitely don’t see the change they make in themselves.

Unlike a diet and exercise regime we don’t recognise hard inner work on the face of those we admire but I hands down believe that the biggest, most inspirational success to you will have at the very least, started on this work.

I don’t write this as a qualified psychologist (because I’m not) but as someone simply talking from my own experience which I am the most qualified expert in.

The greatest growth in life and business that I have had, has been since I started unpacking all the pieces of me that I boxed up and put in storage for a later date. Either because I believed it wasn’t valuable to one of my 3 dimensions or as a way to keep it safe from scrutiny. Often these things are connected to the deepest roots of ourselves and we bury them. But what if we didn’t?

I don’t want to ‘little box’ myself. Do you?

I believe it’s time to stop looking at your work as a disconnected ill mannered part of your being. 

Necessary for survival but the antithesis of love, happiness, joy.

I’ve been learning how to unleash myself and build a business that supports, excites and evolves with me. Once that embraces my many dimensions and it’s all brilliant, I’m really building a business that works for me.

Do you want to build something that takes all of you and all of your life into consideration too?

Do you want your business to work WITH your life instead of against or in spite of it?

I have got your back.

Subscribe to my mailing list here and I will share the processes, the unpicking, the failures and the glories because maybe I can help you live the whole life, whole business dream.

Catch you later,

Amy x

P.S. If you’re interested in ways to work with me, here are my best bits.

5 Signs you could be headed for burnout and what to do about it

5 Signs you could be headed for burnout and what to do about it

How do I know the signs that you’re headed for burnout?

Well, picture this…

It was early 2015, I had invested my emotions in a relationship that was never going to go anywhere, I had a job I was working at for long hours and was extremely pressurised (sometimes 60, 70 and sometimes even 80+ hour weeks). It was the job I’d worked for and the relationship that I’d dreamt of (all butterflies and intense feelings).

Fast forward to June of that year and I was unable to get out of bed.

I’d been diagnosed with chronic daily migraine, my relationship was unhealthy and utterly disrespectful and my job filled me with fear and loneliness. 

You see, one day I drove to work and was simply unable to get out of the car. My body was fighting me and I was ill all the time. I remember telling my doctor that I felt like my body was toxic, that I was poisoning myself and I didn’t know how to make it better.

Like many of us out there I wanted the great job, the passionate relationship, the good money, the nice things, the lovely ‘perfect on paper’ life. Only in reality the great job was sucking my life away, my relationship was damaging my mental health and the good money and nice things never cared for me the way I needed to care for myself.

The ‘perfect on paper’ life was in fact a facsimile of a life. Something I was creating for others to look at and not for me to live in. With hindsight I realised I wasn’t just headed for burnout.

Turns out I WAS burnt out. 

If you’ve never really thought about what burnout is other than ‘having enough’ then this article by Alexandra Michel is a great place to start to understand the psychological science behind burnout. Burnout and the Brain

The main gist of this article is that this is an actual condition that is the result of chronic stress and it shows that this level of chronic stress actually changes the brain. With hindsight I know that this is exactly what happened to me back in 2015.

One of the most hideous moments for me was when my face drooped, my speech slurred and I was rushed to be checked for a stroke. Luckily, this wasn’t the case but my body was manifesting my stress so physically that I still experience some ongoing issues to this day.

Let me be brutally honest. I wasn’t sure I had enough left to come out the other side and in the worst times, I wasn’t sure I wanted to because there wasn’t much left in the shell of me. I look at the picture below, in the height of burnout in 2015 and I can see it, if I wasn’t just headed for burnout in this then I was fully there.

I still find it difficult to look at now, it makes me so desperately sad. I’m not there anymore but it has taken time. If you want to know more about where I’m at now check out my about page.

Amy Johnson in 2015 Suffering with Burnout

I don’t claim to be an expert in burnout. I write about it because it’s such a shocking experience. Even when you know you’re ‘off’ you don’t really associate it in this way.

Since my experience with burnout I have systematically taken steps to change how I work, how I live and who I surround myself with so that I never have to experience that kind of battle again. I started a business and now work for myself, I ended my unhealthy relationship, I prioritised my health over my income – it’s not been easy nor did the benefits show overnight but I can honestly say I am here today because of it.

Here are my personal top 5 signs of burnout and what I do about them.

  1. Tired to the bone. When I am leading into burnout one of the first things I experience is constant tiredness. The kind of fatigue that no amount of naps seem to help. The more tired I get the more unable to cope with my feelings I become and I drown them out with social media, mood swings, over eating and complaining about how tired I am.
  2. Illness. I have a chronic condition that was severely exacerbated during my worst times, now I know that my body is a physical manifestation of everything that’s going on so am aware of it changing. When I am nearing burnout I get ill a lot more, headaches, colds, breathlessness, achy joints, sickness, my periods worsen in intensity and my chrinco condition flares up in all its ugliness
  3. Procrastination. I am a huge believer in the power of positive procrastination. Taking a long walk can often lead to great ideas or clearing the garage instead of creating that workbook can make my mind fire off all the great content thoughts but when I find myself delaying everything, snoozing the alarm, putting off getting dressed in favour of a 3 hour bath, getting sucked into that 3pm channel 5 movie to the point of avoiding everything else, day after day after day, I know it’s not positive procrastination but pure avoidance because it all feels too much – burnout is creeping in
  4. Anger and frustration. As a generally placid person the fact that I want to slam my forehead into my steering wheel whilst screaming when the person in front of me has the audacity to park in a way that I find irritating is a sure sign of being overwhelmed. When I want to throw things in anger or cry in frustration that I already wore my favourite top and it needs washing before I can wear it again is utterly compelling evidence that I need to step back before the burnout gremlin takes my brain for a spin.
  5. Insomnia. Considering how exhausted I feel when burnout is there my sleep is one of the first things to go. I either cannot fall asleep for love nor money or, more often than not I wake up after a couple of hours of really heavy sleep unable to return to the land of nod. This is a particular form of torture that becomes self perpetuating and has extreme ramifications

Burnout is not the result of weakness, lack of intelligence or being bad at something. It’s a very real condition that we have built into our cultures by making people think there’s a preferred lifestyle and that to get it you need to do do do do do.

If you’re not doing, you aren’t productive. If you aren’t productive you aren’t successful. If you aren’t successful you can’t have that ‘perfect on paper’ life that’s splattered across every possible thing we can consume.

What’s even worse is that it’s such an insidious thing we don’t even realise that’s what’s happening.

Burnout can happen to anyone and at any time, what causes stress is different for everyone. That being said, just 18 months later I went from that to this and now, heading into 5 years down the line, many changes, focus on building a life and business that is designed to support me and embrace me I have gone from strength to strength:

Amy Johnson Smiling and Content

In order to reduce the likelihood of experiencing burnout I do these 5 things:

  1. I make sure that I am aware of myself, my feelings and my needs. I do this by journaling, taking time to be kind to my body, doing things that aren’t always fun but always help (drinking water and exercising) 
  2. I track what is making me feel consistent levels of stress. When I realised that my job was part of this and even dropping my role or my hours wouldn’t solve this because the job at it’s core would stress me out I changed it. I was lucky enough to have that as an option, if you don’t it may be time to discuss other options with your boss.
  3. I stop thinking of everything and focus on getting just one thing done. Reducing that to do list or simply scrapping it altogether for the time being can really help my sense of self and satisfaction
  4. I take vitamins and supplements, eat well and I am a huge advocate of speaking to your GP if it’s bigger than you can manage by yourself right now. You’d do it for a broken leg, take that same care with your mind
  5. I choose very wisely who I spend my time with and what I spend it doing. I choose to reduce my time on social media, I reach out to and lean on the support of people who are incredibly supportive and understand me.

Of course that list is not the be all and end all, your situation is unique to you and, over the years you will add things to that list as I have. If you want to hear more about my experiences and my tips to have a better whole life, whole business then sign up for my mailing list – I’d love to see you there!

Catch you later,

Amy x

What is the arrival fallacy

What is the arrival fallacy

I was reading an article in Red Magazine some time ago now which mentioned ‘the arrival fallacy’ and with everything going on in the world, the season of ‘new year new me’ fast approaching I think it’s a great time to revisit my thoughts on it. 

The article by Elizabeth Uviebinene introduced me to this concept which I believe (from basic minimal research) was coined by Tal Ben-Shahar, a positive psychology expert. It’s not a new concept as such but it’s definitely one I have thought a lot about over this last year and something I think we could all bear to take stock of at the moment.

Thoughtful, the arrival fallacy, black woman, gazing out of window

So what is the arrival fallacy then?

Simply put the arrival fallacy is the myth that accomplishing your goals is the key to happiness. If you’ve been in my world for a while now you’ll know I love a goal and so this really resonated with me in an unexpected way.

When we talk about goals we often speak as though the getting of the goal is what will determine lasting happiness, lasting success and yet when I was achieving them or indeed my clients were achieving, the feeling of joy was…momentary.

It was when I read the article I realised, with hindsight that my mind (and those of people I followed, admire, my clients and even friends and family) was stuck in a trap of sorts. A trap whereby there was always 1 of 2 outcomes. ‘Failure’ to achieve the goal and therefore the belief that you are less than or worse off because of it – huge disappointment or the accomplishment and then the sense of joy and loss. Loss of a direction, loss of forward momentum, loss of goal.

Having always been a believer in enjoying the journey I wondered how this belief that ‘when I hit that goal, when I get that achievement then I’ll be able to relax, then I’ll be happy’ might be negatively affecting my day to day joy. I’m sharing more about this in my weekly email, you can sign up here.

It negatively affected my day to day in many ways as it happens.

How the arrival mindset affected me

  • Feeling that I was behind other people in my industry
  • My self esteem was fragile
  • Speaking and sharing information in a way that reduced the journey to a necessary evil
  • I enjoyed processes in my business less
  • Feeling like a failure if I didn’t get what or where I wanted 
  • My goals felt heavy
  • Lacking enthusiasm for the day to day
  • I started living for the then and not appreciating the now
  • I was at times incredibly unhappy
  • My anxiety increased
  • I over extended myself over long periods of time to ‘achieve’ and burnout would creep in

The more I shared this theory the more I realised this is in itself a fallacy. Part of the ‘toxic positivity’ movement and that in order to better represent myself, in order to address some of these issues I needed to make some changes.

So how do you adjust your arrival fallacy mindset?

  • Don’t be afraid to set goals for yourself and your business but do so with intention to care for yourself along the way
  • Take time to enjoy the progress and growth you’re making as you work towards the goal
  • Share your enjoyment of the journey rather than the goal itself, shift your focus and you shift your mindset
  • Use your inner dialogue in a better way. I like to say ‘this is so challenging and I like it, it will be a great bonus when I get XYZ’ 
  • Take pleasure wherever you get it (in a healthy way obviously!) 
  • Daily work should and can be fun, figure out what makes it so. Mine is music, friendships and acting like a fool
  • Lots of people believe an appreciation or gratitude practice really helps with this
  • Take time away from your goals and allow yourself to enjoy ‘other’ time too – remember you’re building a life not a checklist

Woman, arms outstretched arms with blue background and balloons. Overcoming The Arrival Fallacy

I really love this quote by Dr Ben-Shahar

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey n our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

If you’re thinking about working together or would love to chat about how you might be able to improve in your unique circumstances head over to my contact page

Catch you later,

Amy x