I’m guessing if you’re reading this right now it’s because things don’t feel all peachy in the flower garden at your end right now, let me start off by saying, I hear you and you’re definitely not alone.
I want to start this article by saying that the very best thing you can do in these situations is usually the hardest for most of us ~ that is to reach out and ask for a bit of a help & guidance. All too often we go all toddler on our own asses and whilst stamping our feet up & down we utter the words “I do it all by myself” and aggressive pop our hands on our hips. I know that this is the default position for so many but please know that you don’t have to navigate it alone. Perhaps all you need is a rising tide to assist you as a rising tide buoys all boats OR maybe you just need to lean on someone a little while, take the weight off a little. It’s not a fail to ask for help. You’re not proving you CAN’T, in fact it’s the absolute opposite. No business develops without elements of external input and we are designed as hoomans to have a little help & support along the way.
So let’s dive into some of the things that might just help & support you to navigate this path….
Stop Trying To Compartmentalise Things
BUT I just want to leave it at the door. I know, I hear you. It’s so tempting to throw yourself into work as a distraction or get frustrated at yourself because you want to close the door on what’s going on right now.
You’re seeking a break from it all AND that’s ok but work isn’t that break.
I often say that you have to be careful about the kinda of energy that you inject into your business. If you’re angsty and your working on your business then your business can wind up angsty, if you’re ill then your business can end up ill, if you’re furious then you’re never going to get any aceballs work done now are you.
So when we talk about compartmentalising there’s a bit of a conflicting messaging going on there isn’t there.
I’m saying that you can’t leave it at the door but equally I’m saying that, whatever the shite is, you don’t want to inject it into your business.
What’s the answer?
It’s about confronting where you are right now. Don’t ignore it and hope to use your business as a distraction (we will talk a little more about that shortly) but equally remember that bringing that energy to your business can be detrimental equally.
Your business isn’t milk, if it needs popping on the side for a little while whilst you work through things then it’s not going to go off.
But what if this not just short term shite? Well, it’s about navigating the path. If you’re exhausted, feeling like you’ve been hit by a stack of trauma, not sleeping well, not looking after yourself then that’s the time you need to consider whether you’re business needs a little less attention and you need a little more.
Stage One = Make sure you’re looking after you
It’s kinda the basic needs insofar as Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs is concerned.
Then you can let yourself off the hook a little bit. Carrying a whole load of guilt around about you and your business right now isn’t helpful. It’s not going to support you to get back on your feet and firing on all cylinders.
Stage Two – Be Kind
Then you might be unfurling a little so the next one to look at is boundaries and expectations. Manage your own expectations (of yourself and what you can get done) and manage your clients expectations. Perhaps you can effectively and efficiently work a few hours a day right now, then decide to do that rather than slogging through and burning out. People are very adapatable if they know where they stand (not so much so if they don’t though).
Stage Three – Manage Expectations
Then you’ve got to take it day by day. Some days you might be able to crack on and other days you might feel like you’ve been hit by a bus or that you have so many other things that are conflicting for your attention.
Stage Four – Expect An Element Of Ebb & Flow
Then lets go on to navigating it and some practicals to help you move forwards….
The first thing to think about is the practicals.
Becoming a practical solution seeker is super important here.
If the particular shit that you are navigating right now needs decisions to be made and stuff to be done then it’s important that that isn’t ignored. The decision to not make a decision is a decision to stay stuck and we don’t want that.
Think about the one liner “what would it take for me to……..” and add in the end there whatever it is that will improve the situation you are in right now. The last thing that we should do is become victim to the situation.
What practical steps can you take right now that will move the needle and improve your situation?
Firstly, brainstorm them out, schedule them into your diary and commit to taking the action.
Some shit isn’t that simple though is it? Some shit involved those pesky emotions and other people too.
Here you’ve got to make sure;
- Stop trying to ignore them, suppress them or hide from them. It’s important you feel the feels, acknowledge the feels. Let the tide wash over you but don’t get caught up in the undercurrent.
- Make sure you’re not making things mean shit that it doesn’t mean. It’s easy to assume that something means something or create a full story around it. Try to, as far as you can, look at the objective facts of what’s going on.
- Look at where you can get help & support to navigate beyond where you are right now.
- You’re communicating your needs ~ if you don’t tell people around you how you feel, how the situation is making you feel and what’s coming up for you then (1) how are they supposed to know (2) how can they help or facilitate any change. I know that it can be tricky to communicate what we need. I know that we don’t want to be a burden or “difficult” or whatever label your self talk fairy bring into the mix BUT it’s important.
- Once communicated then can you work together to navigate a solution or a path forwards?
- Are the dynamics of that relationship serving you and what can you do about it?
Working Whilst You’re Working Through The Shite
Here’s my top tips if you’re in a place where you want to keep cracking on with your work whilst other things are sorting out and getting done.
You don’t have to down tools in the long term if it’s going to be a process that takes time (but like I said earlier you may need to initially).
➡️ Know & accept that there will be ebb & flow and make sure you’re being honest with yourself about your energy and capacity each day.
➡️ manage expectations (yours and those of others).
➡️ Work to your strengths. These may well be different on different days dependant upon what you have the capacity for. If you can’t bear the thought of writing a blog today but could happily pull together an Instagram grid then do that. There’s a little article here that helps you with working more flexibly.
➡️ Focus on what you CAN do rather than what you can’t do.
➡️ Have key things that are priorities for the week so that you’re not missing any of the essentials/important/necessary stuff.
➡️ Make sure you’re having time off and I mean proper time off. Not spending all weekend or evening thinking about work or “just-ing” (just-ing is the art of popping onto your phone or computer because you’ll just do that one little something).
➡️ Make sure you’re looking after yourself. The tip top energy checklist will help you with that. ~ you can get that here~
➡️ Take the reins. You can create whatever change you want to make. One of the reasons you’re self employed, I’m guessing, is because you wanted flexibility, to be accountable to you and for you to make up the rules.
➡️ One I also use a lot “this too shall pass”
➡️ Reach out for help & support. You don’t need to navigate it alone.
➡️ Remember that sometimes we are in growth phase, sometimes we are consolidating and sometimes other shit needs our attention and all of that is equally valid and totally ok.
I want to end on – I’m here if you need me. Hit the contact page, send me a message on social, reach out in whatever way suits you. You can’t shock me, you’re not bothering me and you’re not wasting my time.