It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks for me. Throughout it all, I've found myself with an incredible amount of support thanks to the intentional work I've done this past year to focus on relationships and put the right people into my village. I'm grateful to God for these amazing individuals who often times, without even knowing, have made an impact on my life.
The whirlwind began, I think, when I started preparing my 2014 taxes (and included my cell phone cracking to the point of no return which forced the phone switch I had been delaying since October.). The tax prep process went on, and on, and on! Each step of the way I was reminded of the year that had just passed including both the successes and the failures. Like most, instead of focusing on the successes, my mind shifted to the shortcomings. As it did, I became angry with myself and held onto this anger for a couple of weeks. The voice in my head was saying things like "How could you go so long without tracking your mileage or your expenses?" "If you had done this all along, you would have time now to contact people about your programs." "Why did you add so many things to your plate?" "Why didn't you put things in files all year long?" "Why haven't you done all those trainings you paid so much money for?" "You had these same problems when you worked a full time job. Why haven't you learned?"
As time passed, the voice started talking more saying things like "Why are you still eating so much cr##?" "You look like you did after your oldest was born 13 years ago......before you had lost 60 pounds." "Why is your Christmas tree still up?" (Yes....3 wks after my last blog, it's still not put away! It was nice to hear my accountant today say that she was happy to see it up since hers was still sitting there waiting to be put away too. I was so glad I didn't rush to take it down yesterday out of fear for what she would think.)
Why does our mind do this to us? There are so many positive things my mind could've been thinking instead. Things like "You're business grew by leaps and bounds last year!" "You have a strong following that you didn't a year ago!" "You've planted lots of seeds this year and you will soon reap more than you've sown!"
The fact of the matter is that when a business grows as much as Z&B did last year, it's hard to keep up with all the administrative things that go along with it...and with the projects at home!. It's normal to have all the lose ends that are currently there (and if I didn't, I may not have served as many clients as I did last year.) I also sensed this growth at the end of 2014 and took steps to hire an accountant and admin assistant in Jan. The process I went through this year with the taxes was a great affirmation of the recent hires and sensing the need in 2014 should be celebrated!
It's easy to slip away from God during times like this. As I reflected recently, I realized that during this downward spiral I had stopped reading my bible at night and replaced it with watching episodes of The Closer on Hulu. (Oh, how I thought Hulu was great when we activated our year-long free subscription over XMAS break. Little did I know how it would suck me in and take my quite time away.)
So how does one turn this around? For me, I stopped to think about the various things I've learned from those amazing people I've surrounded myself with. The list is quite large and diverse (and unfortunately too much to list out of fear I'll miss someone.) Once I pulled myself out of self pity and was gentle with myself, treating myself as I would a friend, I was able to realize something quite important. The things I was upset with myself over are all part of my journey. Through my forgiving and letting go, I am able to move forward and rise above these challenges....then help my clients do the same. Rising above all of them is important because once I am faithful with what God has given me, I can then be faithful over much more. God HAS put me (and each of us) here to make a difference! Only by being humble and turning to Him for help can I do what He's put me here for.
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Someone told me today that they've been thinking of me a lot the past couple of days. Their week has been exceptionally busy and it doesn't look like it will get much better before April. Amongst the busyness they began to wonder how I fit it all in.
The truth of the matter is that during my workaholic days, before starting my own business, I fit it all in by not taking care of myself. I'd work crazy long hours, not eat much and definitely didn't fit exercise in (despite the fact that there was an entire workout center right below my office!). I also ignored my kids and my husband on the days I brought the work home (which was often). There's only so long this can last before your body starts fighting back. I developed migraines and had no idea why. Years later as I look back, I wonder why I had no idea that this wasn't a way to live or work.
The me back then wanted to be perfect and wanted to fit it all in. I was so busy adding tons of things to my to-do list and striving to get it all checked off (while trying to make everyone happy) that I didn't have time to realize how, or why, changing this pattern was important.
Nearly four years later, I finally see how treating myself, my body and my family differently back then would have brought me different results. I've learned that during busy times the most important thing I can do is to take care of myself by exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep. More importantly, I've learned that some things will get done in their own due time and losing sleep to fit them in will only make things worse, not better. Lastly, I've learned that trying to hide these things to appear perfect isn't necessary because revealing them makes you seem more real.
My XMAS tree you see above is a perfect example of one of those things I've chosen to just let go lately. Yes, it's the end of the first week of February and my XMAS tree is still up. Yes, I'm sharing that in my blog for anyone on the worldwide web to see for eternity (or at least until I choose to delete the blog). As the last busy month has gone by and I've worked hard to put first things first, I've consciously chosen each day that taking down my holiday decorations wasn't something to put first.
I even had a meeting with people at my house the other day and didn't care that they were seeing my decorations. Oddly enough, one of the people at the meeting also asked me how I fit in all in. I proceeded to not only let her see my tree on the main floor but to tour her around my house. Along the tour she saw rooms that were a disaster, others that were clean and still others that were in between. I shared with her that one of the ways I fit it all in is to be alright with a not so perfect house- especially when it means I have time to rest and refresh and to spend time with my family.
The other day, I saw the picture on the right posted on Facebook by my friend Desiree. In the post, she shared that her mother gave her this for Christmas. She added that the messiest room in her house is where the magic happens. As I look around at the dining room table full of papers from a busy week, I feel blessed by all the magic that has happened this week in my business and life!
Please tell me how you found me