It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the work-day and forget about doing the things that keep us healthy, nourished, and fuelled up – like eating, exercising and taking a time out from technology… and people. There was a time when I was driving myself so hard to achieve, that I became completely overwhelmed and out of balance. I was bullying myself into doing more, doing better, and doing faster. I would fall into a 6-8 week cycle of driving myself so hard I’d hit a wall and crash. I’d exhaust myself, ball my eyes out, sleep it off, get up and do it all again. This went on for years. It was crazy making, and so abusive.
You know when you get out of balance, how it’s really hard to get into a state of homeostasis again? I didn’t even really know what homeostasis looked or felt like.
What I did know is that I wasn’t doing one of the things that I used to do that made me feel good – yoga.
Each day that went by, my yoga mat sat there untouched. It was all rolled up in the corner of my living room, collecting dust. The thought of my previously nourishing and consistent yoga practice was a distant memory. At the end of each day I would look at my mat and feel the heat rise up in my body, a feeling that was laced with guilt-ridden emotions and self-judgment for not doing yoga… again.
“What is wrong with me!?”
Nothing. Absolutely nothing was wrong with me. I had simply created an ill-serving habit that was no longer supporting me.
I had fallen out of practice and now the thought of getting back into it was overwhelming to me. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The more I didn’t do it, the more I thought about it. The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t do it. I was caught up in a vicious cycle of overthinking, which led to analysis paralysis. It was eating away at me.
One day, I decided to roll out the damn mat and put it in the middle of my living room where I couldn’t avoid it – hoping that I would be inspired to practice. It was all rolled out on the floor ready and waiting for me. But each day I just looked at it, thought about it, and walked around it. The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t do it. The more I didn’t do it, the more I thought about it. Then, one day, I decided to sit on it. I wasn’t committing to beginning my practice, I was committing to sitting on my mat. And so, I sat for a while, in silence. And after sitting for a while, I decided to do a few of my favourite cat/cow poses. I was warming myself up to the idea of beginning my practice again. And my strategy worked. One baby step, led to another. And before I knew it, I was practicing again. Not like before. It was different now, but that was okay.
So exactly how do you move forward, when everything you do seems to be holding you hostage in the land of un-productive analysis paralysis?
Maybe for you it’s about launching your new website, becoming a thought leader, creating a leveraged product, changing your business model, being more visible, scaling up or scaling down your company. Whatever the case may be, it’s not about forcing it. It’s not about bullying yourself into doing it, it’s not about “manning up” and it’s not about whipping yourself into shape. This kind of tyrannical approach doesn’t actually work in the long run. It’s a form of self-abuse (and sabotage), which is not sustainable or healthy. And it leads to a cycle of crashing and burning, staying stuck and feeling victimized by your own lower self.
What if, instead of listening to our inner critic, we pulled in our voice of compassion? What if, we were more compassionate with ourselves about being in difficulty? What if we were more patient with ourselves and ditched expectations around timing? What if we worked in partnership with our body, and not treat it like our slave?
What is one daunting task that you have been procrastinating about, overthinking, analyzing to death, or just plainly not doing?
Stop overthinking it.
Dip your toe in it.
Test it out.
Start doing it imperfectly.
Take one itty-bitty baby step.
Act on it.
Action leads to more action.
Action breeds confidence.
Action creates results.
What is one itty-bitty baby step that you will commit to taking today that will move you in the direction you want to go?
Just do it.
And let me know what happens, by leaving a comment below.
To your success,
p.s. I’m on a mission to empower business owners and leaders to firstly, lead themselves, then to become more of who they are, so they can create success for themselves in all areas of life. If you want to help others create more success, share this post with them.