Don’t feel guilty about slowing down

Ruth Kudzi45

We are so bombarded with adverts and social media messages telling us we can have it all tomorrow that we start to believe them. We think that if we just work that little bit harder or push ourselves that bit more we will get there quicker, and then we will be happy. 

The quest for eternal happiness keeps pushing us forward, we will be happy when we have lost that 1/2 stone or signed 2 more clients or sold x more units. We are so striving towards our goals that sometimes we forget to live and be in the moment. 

I am passionate about work / life balance because it is a balance, it is that idea that you need to look at your life as a whole and not just focus on one bit.

When you are a parent your pressures are multiplied – you feel that you need to do everything and this can be completely overwhelming. I have sat through many a conversation where mums complain they don't get any time for themselves, they are frazzled and they feel that they aren't doing anything right.

In this age of consumerism we want instant gratification and the slogan has always been work hard, play hard. I work with so many clients who had “made it” in the city and were on their 6 figure salaries with all the financial trappings they wanted but they burnt out. They couldn't physically or mentally continue doing it.

Although I love social media I can also see that it is damaging. We compare ourselves to others and when we don't measure up to their airbrushed vision of themselves our confidence is knocked. Often we berate ourselves and think we must do better – work hard, do more, juggle more and then we can be them – we can have this “perfect life”.

By comparing yourself to others you are doing yourself no favours, The only person that you ever need to compete against is yourself, and the only person who knows what you are really capable of is you. By coveting other peoples lives you aren't getting to know the real you and all the talents and abilities that are unique to you.

When you have a business the phrase “it is a marathon not a sprint” is really poignant. You need to be consistent and to sustain the effort that you are putting in, whether this is when you are pitching for clients, posting on social media, networking or creating new ideas. It is incredibly hard to keep going on full throttle for a long period of time.

Why am I such an expert on this? I have personally been in a situation about 6 weeks ago when I had taken on too much and I wasn't asking for help. I was growing, my business, my home life and my relationship were suffering. Luckily I recognised the signs and I spoke to my partner and my mum, I got support for my business and I started to do less – in those 6 weeks I have been more successful than I was in the 4 months before!

I have also worked with heaps of clients who come to me on the verge of burnout as they are juggling too much – they are hurtling through life and they don't have enough time for them. It seems to be a 22nd century malaise that we have to compare how busy and tired we are rather than savouring and being thankful for what we have. 

My advice is to step back. Still focus on your goals but take time for you and your family. Ask for help where you can and think about the little things that you can do on a daily basis that will make you happy. Make sure you get enough sleep and that you exercise and eat right. All the little things that add up. By taking life a bit slower and appreciating what you have you will feel more fulfilled and you will (ironically get more done)

If you want to crete a more balanced life in 2017 sign up to my free 5 day challenge

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