Permission To Take A Load Off!

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There's a scene in Pretty Women where Vivian (Julia Roberts) tells Edward (Richard Gere) to 'take a load off'.

Now, maybe she thought he was wearing too many layers, or perhaps her invitation was to chill out because as CEO of his own company, he was behaving a little stressed out and busy. 

Have you noticed that as business owners, we're very good at adding more to our To Do List? We fill our weeks with so much stuff!

We don't notice it at first, we think we're helping ourselves. 'if I do this, then I will be more successful/happy/profitable' until we create a weekly schedule that begins to feel more like a chore, than a pleasure. The irony is that it takes us further away from the thing we're trying to achieve in the first place!

Why is that? 

Because we get overwhelmed. And overwhelm is the thief of joy, creativity, and progress. 

You know, there's an old wives tale in many business circles that goes something like this...

You have to be prepared to work really hard in the first few years of business in order to be successful, and then when you get there, that's when you can relax a bit. 

Intellectually, and on some level, maybe it makes a little sense. It would have to, because so many people buy into it, and indeed do become successful as a result. 

But at what cost?

For me, it feels flawed and here's why.

Firstly where is 'there', please? And if 'there' really does exist, are you really going to naturally slow down if, in the last few years, you've created a habit that's the opposite of that? 

The concept of 'there' is an illusion. We can see it, but it feels just out of reach, and that's what keeps people pushing, striving, reaching and the mind becomes locked into the future rather than enjoying the journey, right here, right now.

Our markers of success become less about who we're being in that moment and more about what we're doing. Is that why we went into business, just to tick stuff off our list?

When you think about it, so much of what's on our list is because:

We think we should.
Everyone else seems to be doing it. 
We're worried about what will happen if we don't. 
So why am I writing this for you? 

Well, sometimes we get a sense of what we want to do (or not do), but we need permission. Sometimes, we wake up to ourselves a bit and realise 'gosh, yes I do far more than I need to do' but yet we can't quite give ourselves the permission not to do it anymore. 

So consider this the permission you need to take a load off your to-do list. 

What might that be? Here are some examples:

  • Permission not to be across all social media channels, maybe even permission to delete one or two. 
  • Permission not to broadcast across all types of media i.e. blog, video, Facebook live, podcast etc. 
  • Permission not to use that tool, technique or strategy within your work because it no longer makes sense to you.
  • Permission to let go of a particular service, or product that's no longer lighting you up. 
  • Permission to stop doing it all yourself, and invest in getting help. 

I say all this, but you know that you don't really need permission don't you? It's your business and you get to write your own job description. How exciting is that?

I get it though. Just a couple of weeks ago, I asked the women in my Mastermind for permission not to follow a launch strategy that I'd paid money to learn how to do, that when it came to implementing felt icky, unnecessary and not very 'me' at all. So I asked for permission to follow my own intuition and take all of what feels right and leave the rest. 

Permission granted. 

There's such a freedom to be had when you take a load off your recurring to-do list, and to realise that when you do, the world doesn't end, and nor does your business go bust, just because you had a Spring clean. 

Your turn. What will you let go of? What's coming up for you? I know there's something!

Put a note in the comments if you like. 

Sarah x

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