Point to Ponder:
Do you ever feel like you are chasing multiple things, and it’s preventing you from being fully present and being your best at any one thing?
In pursuit of advice, during the summer of 2012 I met with one of my mentors. What I gained from our time was exactly what I needed, but it wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. In an effort to fulfill my personal and professional goals, he suggested I let go of leading my weekly classes, as this shift would create space for additional opportunities and allow me to be a better leader for our team, our members and the business at large. Even though this was a punch in the gut, I knew he was right and that it was the necessary next step. I loved leading classes and it was one of my passions, but my life had changed since the beginning of iGnite when I was teaching a lot. What was once a one-man show was now a nine-person team, and I had Durant, who was eighteen months old at the time. My life was very different and it was time to shift… so I did.
Interestingly but not coincidentally, six weeks later I became pregnant with Malaine (unplanned), and in an effort to iGnite more lives, six months later we launched our first corporate wellness program for Harden Healthcare, all of which I believe were direct results of letting go of previous responsibilities.
I am currently reading a book called The ONE Thing, which is going to uncover “the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.” I feel like it was written specifically for me because the first sentence, even before the Table of Contents, sent a shock wave down my spine. It was as if my son Durant shot one of his foam bullets square between my eyes. It was this Russian Proverb: “If you chase two rabbits…you will not catch either one.”
Do you ever feel like you are chasing more than one rabbit and it’s preventing you from being fully present and being your best at any one thing? If so, you might feel like this journal was specifically written for you. While we all have a story, our experiences are not unique, which is why it is essential that we share with one another. It’s also why The ONE Thing is a New York Times bestseller. Most of us are chasing fifty rabbits, which is likely why at the end of each day we feel off-balance, exhausted and often unfulfilled.
I know we all know this, but I’m going to reiterate: we can’t be everything to everyone, and wearing too many hats and saying ‘yes’ to everything that comes our way is unhealthy and causes irritability, stress and an unintended outcome: us being less than our best. I believe that less is more, and depending on the season of life, goals and desired outcomes, we need to evaluate what we are hanging on to and ask ourselves why? Is it out of obligation, guilt or joy? If the answer is obligation or guilt, I suggest you let it go. Or, if your life has changed and you can no longer do the ‘job’ to the best of your ability, it’s okay to give it a rest. ‘No’ doesn’t mean never, it just means not now. After all, who’s to say you can’t pick it up again at a later date?
I’m very visual, so the way I’ve come to peace with letting go of things is to imagine my life as a balloon. While I want my balloon to be healthy and full, I don’t want it to be so full that it’s on the verge of popping. So, in order to create more space in my balloon, I have to release some air and deflate it a bit so I can fit more inside. Long story short: If you are hanging on to too many things, it’s very likely that there is no room for more fulfilling and enjoyable things to enter. I always have to check myself and remember that I am always modeling either healthy or unhealthy behaviors to my children, and being a basket-case because my plate is too full is definitely not my intended goal or example!
Evaluate what things you are hanging on to and ask yourself why? Is it out of obligation, guilt or joy? If the answer is obligation or guilt, let it go. Or, if your life has changed and you can no longer do “the job” to the best of your ability, it’s okay to give it a rest.