Get rid of four depleting myths
Welcome to the energy series! This is the last of six posts about specific strategies to refuel energy so you don’t have to rely so heavily on stress to take you through your days. Why? Because relying on energy as a life fuel gives you more performance, productivity and feels so much better than relying on stress…
My goal in this energy series is to help you build a life that fuels, fits and fulfills you, by focusing on what gives you the most results for the least effort. In this last post of my energy series, we are focusing on four myths that keep you feeling like you’ll never make it, along with easy solutions to get you out of life’s potholes and on your way ahead. Ready?
Myth #1: Falling off the wagon – Falling off your new diet, exercise goals, or whatever else you want to improve means that what you attempted requires too much time, energy or willpower – or all three. So, let’s see how you can lighten up your goals – and get better results with less effort.
Solution: Instead of falling off completely, take a break, rest and reassess. Doing something positive for yourself doesn’t mean taking a harsh, punishing or perfectionist approach to life. For instance, you can include physical activity in your life in ways that feel fun and inspiring. Exercise isn’t something that requires a gym, and you probably get a lot more done by choosing something more fun and motivating. For me, it’s swimming in lakes in summer; hiking and taking salsa lessons in winter. Being more active doesn’t mean doing the same stuff over and over. And it doesn’t mean extreme performance. The criteria to keep going on your goals are simple: #1: make them fun; #2 is: mix it up and keep it fresh; #3: be reasonable. It’s not perfect, but it definitely works, because you do it.
Myth #2: Someday, everything will just fall into place. It won’t, unless you do it. Changing or learning something new will require you to focus on what you want, plan enough space, time and energy, then try it out, practicing regularly and knowing you’ll occasionally skip or forget: welcome to the real world.
Solution: be realistic and take a small step now. You’ll get there. Whether you want to learn Spanish, rock-climbing or knitting, you’ll have to make time for enough regular practice, to improve your skills, one day, one step at a time. Want to lose weight? Change a few habits, and give yourself enough time to build better lifestyle habits without feeling deprived. Since there is no someday, what about taking a small step today? It works.
Myth #3: If only you were more perfect. You’d do more in less time; you’d be promoted to your dream job; you’d be a perfect parent, perfect employee or boss, and you’d also look amazing, dress perfectly, have a perfect home and a clean car… and entertain like Martha Stewart. But humans are not superpowers.
Solution: you are enough. Trying to outdo Hollywood stars (who have a cook, a maid, a personal trainer and massage therapist, as well as a personal assistant) while you hold a full-time job, do you best as a parent and are a good human being? Not feasible. Be kind to yourself and instead of trying to do it all perfectly, focus on what really matters for you, simplify as much as you can and give yourself a break. You are enough, and trying to keep up with unrealistic, perfectionist standards only leads to misery and burnout.
Myth #4: After this busy time, life will slow down. Last, but definitely not least of the myths, this one can kill you, as you keep trying to swim in fast water that doesn’t let you catch your breath. I’ve heard this myth hundreds of times, but life doesn’t not slow down unless you decide to let go some of the 100’s of things you juggle. Your plate tends to fills faster than you can empty it, so you need to become an expert at letting go of the excess – what mostly doesn’t belong to you in the first place.
Solution: Let go of perfectionism, trying to do more with less, and working yourself into the ground. Life is not about doing more or going faster, it’s about enjoying the time you have. Time IS life, and using more time for work always means having less time for something else. Life is finite; it’s as simple as that. What can you remove from your to-do list, so you have time to slow down, take time for you and enjoy life more, right away?
These myths are all related to how we feel about ourselves: Am I good enough? Am I doing enough? Am I competent enough? Am I deserving enough? They are powerful, but only for as long as you don’t question them. Once you explore past the smoke and mirrors, you realize that each one of them is crazy-thinking, a fairy tale. Which of these fairy tales will you stop giving power to, and let go from your life? One small step today, can take you in whole new different direction. Give it a try.