Setting My Own Pace for Progress

Benjamin button graphic

Weekly recap

The past week was intense for me. You may have noticed with the goal I set of blogging every day for a week, that…yeah, that one didn’t happen. I think I did two posts over my normal goal of getting something out on a weekly basis, and then my poor brain just couldn’t handle more than that.

Blogging wasn’t my only goal for the week, and since I couldn’t do it all, something had to go. You might have noticed this site is not solely a blog anymore. That’s right – I bought the domain! Something I’ve wanted to do for months has finally come to be, and I’m pretty excited that it’s finally here and in the world. Is there more work to be done on it? Sure. But I’ll get it there, and I’m super grateful to be able to have

My day job underwent a lot of changes, and I now have a lot of new responsibilities to learn that take the majority of my brain power. It’s been a struggle balancing my time in the office at work and my time later on in my home office, working on my business.

There were times this week when I could have done a better job of setting boundaries. I’ve never had to do it before, so it kind of makes sense that I didn’t know what to anticipate. For example, a few nights I worked at my day job, came home and ate something, caught up with my husband on the day, then worked on writing until almost bedtime, trying to push harder to make “enough” progress. I barely saw my husband or pups. Logically, I know that pushing harder can often push away the very goal you’re trying to achieve, but apparently, it’s something I do.

I think I wanted to feel a little more in control of my life in view of all the external changes taking place so quickly. All I really accomplished was missing out on time with my family. Additionally, it took me longer to unwind after staring at the computer monitor for so many extra hours, and I woke up tired in the morning and unwilling to work out. Say what? Yeah. I still worked out, but that was a telltale sign for me. Even though my workouts are before dawn, I am always willing to do them. If I felt so crummy that I almost talked myself out of it, by my standards that’s pretty bad. Time to take a step back and look at what’s going on here.

Fighting limiting beliefs

Much like working out, so far I’ve found that the mindset work required to change your life is a constant. I don’t think you ever really reach a point one day where you say, “I’ve hit the mark! I’m set forever – see ya, suckas!”  Once you establish new thinking habits for yourself, that work has to be maintained because you’re still in a societal environment that isn’t built for your success. Society likes safety and sameness and routine – not risks or discomfort or uncertainty. You have to create a new environment for yourself, and that’s what you do when you change your mindset. You build and maintain your own environment for success.

Permission to slow down

When I sat down to journal as I do on weekend mornings when I have the luxury to sit and really consider my thoughts, I noticed something. All week a strand of Something had been sewn under the surface of my work life and my freelance writing life. Something that gave me anxiety, that made me feel pressured and contributed to a lot of stress. I finally pinpointed it to a thought. The one thought, actually, that is such an old thought for me that it must be camped out in a 17th-century trunk in the attic of my psyche, covered in dust and cobwebs. “Not enough.” You don’t know enough at work, you’re not going to do a good enough job, you’re not accomplishing enough to further your business, none of it is enough and therefore you are not enough. It is such bullshit.

It has all been my internal not-enoughness that makes me feel impatient with my learning abilities, with my writing abilities, with my accomplishments, and my abilities to adapt to new situations (situations which are happening all at once, I might add, and I think I’ve done a pretty damn good job of handling them with grace). It’s time I realize I am only one person and there’s only so much time in a day. Pick one thing and take action, any action, as my amazing business coach likes to say. I did use that maneuver this week, and it really did help my mindset exponentially. But now I propose a new take.

To build upon my own environment for success, I give myself permission to slow down. To not obsess over goals. To not beat myself up if something has to slide. To rest when my head feels mushy (hopefully before that point). To set healthy boundaries. To not take everything so fucking seriously. To read a non-personal growth book. To spend time with my family in the evenings and be present to enjoy them – not be up in my head with worry about that thing I might have screwed up at work, or whether that proposal I sent will get a response.

I’d like to end this week’s post with my favorite quote from my favorite movie because it seems a perfect way to close:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
– The Curious Case of Benjamin Button



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