Life & Business By Design

Building Balance into Business for people who work for themselves
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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

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