I’m a bit of a workaholic. Okay, that might be an understatement. I’m a lifelong, die-hard workaholic, and business is addictive to me.
Growing the online part of my business this past few months has added even more “to-dos” to my list, and between coaching individuals and businesses, trainings, public speaking, social media, e-mailing, blog creation, and all the other stuff I “have” to do for my own business, I’ve been in a constant state of “very busy”.
Until now. It’s February 2018 and I have come up to some realizations. “What?” you may be asking. “How can you be a Coach for such a long time and still come up with your own realizations?” Well, I believe that this is the beauty of this particular journey of self-discovery and personal development: It never ends!
It started with a casual conversation with a person dear to me. A conversation that made it clear that – no matter what I wanted to believe – I was not helping anyone through my devotion to my job and the neglect of myself. It was teaching the wrong lessons. Then, I started wondering “I am really demonstrating self-love, which I preach so much, by leading the life I do?
I realized that I had a belief that told me that I had to work really, really, hard to get what I wanted in life and in business- because there is no one out there to help me. That belief was place there by my -not so good- experiences in life, which I interpreted as “nobody understands me”, “I am weird”, “I have only me, to stand by me”. And although I cover everything with yet another thought “It is fun to do it all by yourself”, or “It is easier and quicker if I do not involve other people in what I want to create”, I understand now how isolating and lonely that path can be. And more importantly, that I am not doing a favor to anyone by living like that!
How could I stop working so hard, and start reclaiming the parts of my life I’d been neglecting? Well, the only way to know is to ask. So, I started applying my questioning techniques to other areas of my life. And … chaos ensued. I’ve always been hyper-focused on work -25 years in Corporate, and the last 6 years as an entrepreneur. My work has always been a major part of my identity—not so much in terms of what I do, but in terms of how my work ethics distinguish me. I take a lot of pride in being the kind of person who gets things done, and done right. But when I applied my questions to things like self-care and fun—when I started asking things like, “What if I made my working week a 5 day week and let the weekend just for pure enjoyment?” I was led deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, to the question at the core of it all: “What if I became the kind of person who takes care of all her needs, instead of the kind of person who finishes her work at all costs?” And although I thought I was behaving like that, I was not doing it to the full length I could. Excuses like the one noted above in the beliefs I tightly held, were leading me to have a life which at times yields isolation and exhaustion.
The thing was, when I asked the above questions, I could not picture that new person. I could not come in touch with her. She was so fundamentally different than me. She had a different set of priorities. She made choices about her life based on her vision about her future, not only about the needs of today’s projects. She had an actual schedule and followed through all of her commitments, not only the ones with deadlines and payments attached. I’ve not even thought that this version of me was possible.
Nevertheless, what I had thus far refused to see was, that she was—is—only a few choices away. My questions revealed to me that I could, in fact, have all the things I kept saying I wanted. The gateway is open. I just have to choose. I’ve always considered myself a disciplined person. And I have been—when it comes to work. Moreover, my dedication to my work has become an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for every other area of my life. And this is no longer acceptable to me. My questions forced me to see, what I had been avoiding: that I was the solution to all of my problems. By applying a simple, “What if,” I was able to see that all my whining about “I don’t have enough time for myself but for my work,” was a veneer.
“Thou must work hard” is not a Universal law. It’s a belief we take on and attach to our value. Hard work is rewarding to those of us who are driven. It generates “results.” For those of us who absolutely love what we do, work can be demanding our constant attention with its highs and lows. But it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. We can live, love, and work in our mission, and still have a life for ourselves. We don’t have to prove the worth of our mission by working harder than everyone else. In fact, when we claim our power fully, and put the magic of powerful questions to work for us, we may not have to work “hard” at all.
Thus, here’s a final question for you to ponder: “What if you could actually have everything you wanted, in every part of your life?” - You can’t expect big doors to open for you if you never set foot outside your comfort zone. Take the decision now. And lead your life to the path that takes you to true fulfillment. You owe it to yourself, if you truly love you.