Do you give yourself a hard time because you don’t seem to get things done as quickly as other people ?
Or you put yourself down because you need lots of rest and breaks and get easily frazzled by a fast pace of life?
Maybe you’re a small business owner, and you’re constantly feeling ‘behind’ with the mountain of tasks to do?
You’re working as quickly as you can, yet still you worry about being ‘left behind’ (other people seem to be making more progress than you … and yes, you know you’re not *supposed* to compare yourself to other people, but we all do it (I think it’s a sign of being human!)
Does this sound familiar ?
Ahhh, take a gentle deep breath …
The truth is you can get where you need to go, at your own pace.
You really don’t need to push and push and exhaust yourself, to compete with everyone else.
You’ll get there eventually, via your own route, and at your own pace, whatever that might be.
Let’s go on a little journey….. with a tortoise and a hare.
I’m sure you’re familiar with this story from childhood.
The tortoise and the hare both start off on the same starting line, and they have a race to see who can get to the finish line first. The hare zooms ahead at top speed, certain that he’s going to win the race; he gets distracted by all sorts of things, he even stops to have a sleep under a tree, so sure is he that he’ll catch up and win anyway.
Meanwhile the tortoise has made a slow start, and continues in the same way, passing all the jeering animals who laugh and say that he’ll ‘never win’.
(He’s protected by his hard shell, so those wounding words just bounce off his back.)
He continues slowly and steadily, in his own way, eventually passing the hare who’s still sleeping under a tree.
And surprise, surprise, guess who wins the race ??
Yep, the slow and steady tortoise, in his own style, and at his own speed.
And if you’re a small business owner, who’s also sensitive, how are you going to win the race ?
Slow and steady wins the race ….
But hang on a minute, what IS the race?
There’s so much pressure to do things quickly in business. Perhaps it’’s not even about racing or winning anyway!
Maybe it’s simply about getting where you want to go in a way that honours who you are and in the way that’s most comfortable for you.
I’ll say that again,
Honouring who you are, and getting where you need to go in a way that’s comfortable for you.
Now doesn’t that sound inviting ?
How can you take the pressure off and do things at your own pace?
Firstly, allow yourself some time to STOP.
Give yourself some quiet time, without rushing around trying to get things done: time to reflect and to simply BE. You might want to take a walk in nature, stare at the clouds or simply sit in a comfortable, quiet place.
Secondly, bring to mind the things you *have* to get done.
Use this quiet time, to take a broad look at all those things that you think you have to do.
Ok, I can do that – so as I’m sitting in my comfy chair, I’m thinking I have to finish off that report, read a stack of emails and reply to everyone, do some more planning for the speech I’m going to give next week, search online for some Christmas gifts, make some phone calls (and I have to prepare myself for those).
Thirdly, pick one of those things, and notice what your critical voice has to say.
Choose one thing from your list, and with that in mind, listen to the words your mind is playing over and over. You might need to listen very carefully.
Ok, when I think of finishing off that report, I feel a tightness in my chest, and I hear the words
“You’d better finish it today, no matter how long it takes, and make sure you check and double check you’ve done it just right or the client won’t be happy”
“You can’t make mistakes, or they’ll think you’re not good enough.”
Give yourself some comfort and soothing words.
It’s important to stay with what you’ve heard, and show your inner self that you are listening. Speak to your inner child as if you were comforting a real child. Stay with that process for as long as you need to.
What ? You mean talk to myself ? That feels weird, but ok.
When I settle into it, and feel that scared little girl, I feel like saying to her
“Being told you’re not good enough would really hurt. I can see how scared you must be of that happening, and that’s why you feel you need to work long hours, even when you’re tired and would rather go to bed. But please remember this, you ARE good enough, no matter what anyone else says”
Finally, ask yourself ‘what’s the REAL truth?’
When you’re coming from a place of being fully witnessed, and not alone, you can approach things from your Higher self, and bring an objective reality that wasn’t available before.
What feels more like the truth, now you can look at it with fresh eyes?
Ok, those words of encouragement seem to have worked!
Now that I look at it again, I can see that I’ve actually done quite a good job on that report already, and it really just needs a final check through. I don’t need to work all evening to get that done. I really deserve a rest. I can check through tomorrow, or even the next day, and send it off then. The client will still be happy, because I’ve done great work for them before.
That feels much better!
You can get where you need to go, at your own pace.
So it seems the key to releasing the pressure to ‘get everything done’ quickly, is to be conscious of the messages we give ourselves. Knowing that it’s ok to do things at a more gentle pace, and still get to the same destination makes life a lot easier!
If it means you have the energy to enjoy more of your life, and space to reflect on the nature of your journey (instead of constantly playing ‘catch up’, and feeling frazzled) – wouldn’t you be happy to be a tortoise?
(I’m sure I would, and I could maybe put up with scaly skin and a limited diet … well, maybe not that far.)
A bit like those jeering voices in the crowd that laugh and mock at the tortoise in the story, our internal voices can give us a hard time, if we allow them to go unchecked.
Yet when you deal with those voices in a sensitive way, you can journey like the tortoise did, with a lot less stress and overwhelm.
And you WILL get there in the end, and you’ll arrive feeling refreshed, having enjoyed the journey with a steady, more relaxed pace. (Slow and steady wins the race…. ;))
Over to you !
I’d love to hear how you deal with your critical voice – and do you allow yourself to move at your own pace? Please share in the comments box !
I often find myself triggered into ‘hare’ mode and it’s completely exhausting – no wonder Hare falls asleep under a tree before the finish line 🙂
I love what you say about it not being a race but more about ‘getting where you want to go in a way that honours who you are and in the way that’s most comfortable for you’. That’s a much more inspiring and exciting position to come from, as well as being way more fun!
Thank you for this post, I really needed to hear this.
Thankyou Linda glad it was helpful! 🙂
Great article will share this to my readers 🙂
Thankyou Eileen! 🙂
Thanks for the great article Ann! I especially love the bit about enjoying the journey. I’m so familiar with that catch-up state and much prefer the scenic route. 🙂
Thanks Lure! Yep scenic route wins 🙂
Ann, I love how you bring the self-acceptance and self-honoring. Thank you so much! And now off to slowly move through this blessed day.
Love and light,
Thankyou Sue! Yes self-acceptance and self-honouring are jewels I’ve noted from your wonderful blog! May you move with grace and ease through your day! 🙂
A great post & I also love the idea of ‘getting where you want to go in a way that honours who you are and in the way that’s most comfortable for you’.
I’m working on letting go of the need to compare myself with others who’ve been in business longer than I have so this is a great reminder of what’s REALLY important. Thanks
Thanks for your comment Lesley, and for sharing your insights. It sounds like you’re beginning to honour yourself in acknowledging other people are not you – that’s such a great gift. Wishing you every success as you navigate your path in your own time! 🙂