I took a mini-vacation this week to refresh the mind, and give the body a chance to relax away from all the doo-doo’ing. As a high-achiever there is always more we can do and sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to pause so we can give ourselves the opportunity to reassess our direction and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. To be honest, the last few months have been challenging, and without going into all the details I have had to remind myself of these strategies on a daily basis. Life is not always in compliance with our needs and desires, and so self-care is essential when we feel overwhelmed, No matter what’s going on it will help you get through the hard times.
It’s easy to spend a great deal of time in negative thinking when things are not going well. The critic is alive and well and we frequently allow that judge to take control of our lives, thus limiting our ability to fully be present to the changes we need to make and be more authentic. Being more observant about the circumstances that set off the negative thinking, and turn these thoughts around is a conscious choice. When you hear negativity, reframe to a more positive statement. Be aware of self-judgment and learn how to give more self-compassion. In due course, this will become the norm, and the negative voice will have less power over you.
As the months fly by at lightening speed, I’m aware that keeping an eye on the goals I set for myself are high on the priority list. Some of them are still out of reach, but I want to be sure I’m not letting it go because I can’t quite get the traction I’m looking for. My acronym for goals is Great Opportunities for Accelerating Leadership Success. Whether you are a leader of your own life, or your family, or a leader of people at work, we are all leaders. Leaders at the top of their game establish a clear vision of what they want to achieve, and plan accordingly. Take time to think, reflect, get advice, and input from others, and prioritize the actions you will take to get you where you want to go.
Do you have an advisory board who will go to bat for you when you need them? Do they support you, champion you, and help you get to the finish line? Ask any successful person and they will tell you about their mastermind groups. Their unique and personal advisory board that helped them create breakthroughs in their business. A shared experience that helped them become a better version of themselves, and contributed to many of the opportunities that led to success? In short, the quality of a person’s life and business was hugely impacted by the influence of their inner circle. If not, then consider joining a mastermind to build yourself a powerful advisory board. We are only as strong as the people we have around us.
Too many times we focus on the failures of our lives. We forget that we have had much success too. When you look back over your history, find the markers of success along the way. It can be anything you want and doesn’t always include money and status. Friendships, creative projects, family, caring, times when you went above and beyond. We all have something we can be proud of. When times are hard this is the anchor that will help you move to the next level.
In this age of uncertainty and redefining our lives, and feeling isolated, self care becomes a priority that is frequently overlooked. Are you getting enough exercise? Eating nutritiously? Going outside to enjoy nature? Meditating. Taking time to rest away from the digital life. Getting proper sleep? This has been my focus all week, and I’m happy to say it’s making a difference. If you are an achieving person, it’s essential to give yourself time to be, rather than do. As one wise woman said to me, “what would it look like if you were a human ‘being’ rather than a human ‘doing?” At the time, I didn’t know, but now I can see how invaluable this part is.
As I wind down my mini-vacation these are the things that get me through the challenging times, and looking ahead to the future I want to create. I hope they are helpful to you too.
On a personal note, I am currently looking for an opportunity within a company or with individuals and open to conversations with decision makers. If you can help, please message me for further details. Thank you.
Jacqueline Wales is the author of The Fearless Factor, The Fearless Factor @ Work, When The Crow Sings, and The Fearless Factor: Women Leading The Way to be published in 2023.