Tackling Priorities with Self-Compassion

 
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I have a confession to make – the last two weeks I have pulled back the throttle at Speed of Life Coaching.

I haven’t kicked all of my goals.

I haven’t finalized a new worksheet I wanted to share with you.

I didn’t get last week’s blog post completed and posted.

 

That said, I certainly haven’t been sitting around doing nothing – I have been extremely busy!

 

It is just that my focus hasn’t been as strong on my business for the past two weeks – I have had my hands full with a continually sick baby, kids and school commitments and trying to prevent slipping into sickness and exhaustion myself.

 

Only dealing with the true priorities in my business and not the additional tasks I wanted to complete hasn’t felt as easy for me as it sounds. At times I have felt frustrated, annoyed and disappointed that I haven’t achieved as much as I set out to achieve. And that’s okay.  Really – it is okay!

 

I am a really high achiever, and a (mostly) reformed perfectionist – so not completing my to-do list is a big deal for me. My former self was relentless and I would have pulled out all stops to achieve what I thought needed to be done, regardless of my need for sleep, self-care and whether that to-do list was a true reflection of what ACTUALLY needed to be completed.

 

I have a feeling a few of you may also be silently nodding your heads in agreement with me at the moment – am I right?!

 

This begs the question, what did I do to make it ‘okay’, and I mean really ‘okay’. How did I ease my frustrations and disappointment to be okay with doing just the priorities for my business, and for me?

 

1.     Practice Self-Compassion

This is a big one for me – I needed to let go of my need to please, to be perfect and need to run until I couldn’t run no more (aka burnout).

So how? How the hell do I do that?!

I said to myself EXACTLY what I would say to any other mother in my situation.

“It is okay. You are doing the best you can. You are still moving forward. Your clients are happy. You are doing what is right for you, your family and your business. This will be over soon enough and you can get back on track again.”

 

2.     Don’t project my feelings of frustration onto others

Scenario: Pushing to get out the door to school after a very big, tiring long weekend and my middle son’s newly acquired handball goes missing and a complete turn-over of the lounge room doesn’t make it reappear. It is time to go, otherwise we risk being late for the start of the school day and my first full day back in the office for over a week.

Two choices:

a.     Lose my $#!t and just get out the door, with one very upset 5 year-old in tow, because after all, it is just a handball.

b.     Take a moment and stop. Acknowledge how hard it must be for him to leave for school right now without his handball. He won it at the school fete on the weekend and so it is his most prized possession. Explain that I will look again when I get home, but we just can’t spend any more time looking for it, as we need to get to school on time.

As much as option ‘a’ is a possibility, it just wasn’t going to help anyone; in fact, it would only leave my son and myself feeling like crap for the rest of the day. I chose option ‘b’ and he calmed almost immediately because I didn’t project my frustrations on to him.

 

3.     Prioritise my daily tasks, including my needs

I took the time to work out what I absolutely needed to do in my business when Harrison was sick, and then I worked out how I was going to achieve it. I also worked out a plan b, just in case he was too sick and things really couldn’t work out the way I planned.

I took the time to work out what I needed while Harrison was sick, so that I can keep on functioning – at the top of my list was sleep and downtime – neither of which were easy to attain, but absolutely necessary as my family cannot function with a burnt out mama. As soon as I positioned myself at the centre of my world, it actually became easier to listen to my needs above everything else and work things around to meet them.

 

So while I continue to weather the storm of illness in our house, I trust the one thing I know to be true:

By focusing on what I can do, rather than what I can’t, has allowed me be take care of my needs as well as the needs of my family and my business without the internal conflict - and most importantly - without the guilt.