This article was published in the 14th edition of Top Women Leaders. Written by Kate Emmerson, it appeared under the headline ‘Live light, live large’.
When life gets ridiculously busy, overwhelming and fraught with responsibilities, and you feel at the bottom of your priority list, perhaps it’s time to re-think some ground rules? As you chase your chosen goals (or your tail!) and step up to be the best version of yourself, while sticking to your values – every now and then it can all get too much. It can be useful to resort to my five simple yet counter-intuitive strategies, called the cheeky G-Spots, to kick-start a VIP relationship with yourself.
1. GO SMALL (CONTRARY TO THE GO BIG CONCEPT!)
One of the biggest traps women still fall headlong into is to make unrealistic demands on how they are going to change everything. Moreover, of course, change it all at once – the GUNG-HO approach – sound familiar? Then they usually land up changing zero, nada, nothing and are left bereft of their goals, and feeling far worse than when they started. However, everyone, including you, can START SMALL. Small tweaks for big leaps. Consider a realistic 5-10% improvement in one area of your life; when you have achieved that, you can start with the next aspect. One small chunk at a time. Step by step.
CHALLENGE: What ONE thing can you commit to shifting today and how will you shift it? Go small to end tall.
2. GEAR DOWN – STOP WORRYING ABOUT OTHERS’ OPINIONS BY GIVING LESS OF A DAMN
What other people think about you is NONE of your business. WHAT? How often is everything that you do, think, feel or act upon based on how others will possibly approve or disapprove of you? Your life is meant to be one of joy and stretching for what makes you happy. No matter what! If you don’t know what makes you happy, find out. Every time you put another’s needs ahead of your own for the wrong reasons and drop yourself off your priority list, you are in effect making their needs way more important than your own. The plight of the compassionate female! How will you ever achieve happiness? You can continue to think it is the most generous thing (giving of yourself for the betterment of others), which it IS, provided it is not at the expense of yourself. Be more in control of what you need to do within your space, take charge of your challenges and stop “vomiting” your stuff into other people’s space. Be the best version of yourself so that you are more available to others.
CHALLENGE: For the next five days, the moment you wake up, your challenge is to do something for YOURSELF first. Perhaps a quiet cup of tea before you wake the rest of the house, ten minutes journaling, a walk, etc. You can come back to everyone else AFTER you have taken care of YOU.
3. GRAND EXPANSION BY USING “AND”
We have been continuously taught life is about either or, one or the other, this or that, yes or no. Really? The concept of grand expansion is grasping the concept of the word “AND”. It boils down to self-belief and the idea that you can have what you choose in the way that you want it. Most of us have been taught to make choices, and that choices have consequences. But, when you have the courageous conversations with yourself and others about what is important to you, then you may be able to find a way forward that incorporates BOTH, or several options, the commonly known WIN-WIN. I prefer to think of it as the GRAND AND! It is a mindset of how you view the world and what you expect you deserve. It also links to point two – it is possible to put yourself on your priority list AND still be able to help others too! Ponder that for a moment.
CHALLENGE: Every time you hear yourself saying “OR”, reframe the sentence or request to use “AND”. Make a game of it to see how often you can rise to the challenge, and enlist the help of someone you trust to nudge you when you fall into old habits.
4. GUT-FEEL INSTEAD OF GUTTED
I cannot emphasise this enough. Your instincts will always give you the right answer and will show you the orange warning lights way in advance. You can also rely on your nasty, mean and self-deprecating nagging voice to try its level best to sabotage you and turn you against yourself. It is always that little voice’s job to make sure you doubt yourself, and yet your spirit-self ultimately demands that you listen to your gut. It’s your lifeline from birth to death. Make a decision based on your initial gut response, find reasons to support it and MOVE ON! Think back to anything that “went wrong” in the last year, and be honest about whether you knew it would at the start, but just never listened. So often we are merely scared to trust ourselves and will abdicate to others’ ideas and opinions rather than make any waves based on our gut feel.
CHALLENGE: A bit of a weird one to try: The moment you hear your nagging voice kick in, literally address it directly and say, “Thank you for your input, but I’m going with my gut on this one for now.” Try it!
5. GROUPY – LEARN TO HANG OUT WITH LIKE-MINDED FOLK
If you are brutally honest with yourself, which takes real guts, then you know whether you are disciplined and self-reliable in pursuing your goals or if you let yourself off the hook too easily. Even the most successful people that you know achieve massive results because they have grounded support systems and are accountable for the right reasons to the right people. Get a support group, a disciplined friend, join an online community course, be mentored and have a “go-to” person to help you stay on track. Quit trying to do it on your own and then beating yourself up when you inevitably feel like a failure.
CHALLENGE: Contact that “someone/group” today to let them know what you are working on and ask for their specific help in achieving your goals over the next six months.
I cannot wait for you to see how the shifts you will make lead back to the place in you where miracles can happen. Check out my website – www.kate-emmerson.com – where you will find out about retreats, mentorships, and all things geared to help you LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE.