This week with my coach and one of my clients, I was relearning a big lesson about acceptance, giving up and slowing down.
One of the frustrations for me in the past two years has been that I have been unable to be the person I was, in terms of energy and ‘getting shit done’. Before March 2017, I was very much a type-A personality, running at 3000 miles an hour, making sure everything was happening. I pretty much ignored any tiredness I felt, and just kept pressing ahead to get where I was going (or sometimes where other people wanted me to go) After my two surgeries in April and July 2017, I couldn’t physically work as my body wouldn’t ‘pick up the pace’. So, I had almost 18 months off work. Since returning from travelling in August 2018, I have been feeling stronger and stronger and be able to work full time in my coaching business for six months now.
Over the past month, I have been very busy with coaching and our wedding, and the energy I had started to take for granted again, has reduced this week. The reality is that my heart condition will not tolerate me doing ‘too much’ and guess what, my head is not in charge of what too much is… my body is. It is tough to be forced to slow down or stop because you have reduced energy. There is a lot of frustration and lack of acceptance that can come up and for my confusion with the concept of giving in or giving up.
So, today, I thought I would blog about how we recognise the difference between giving up and accepting. Sometimes it is tough to tell the difference and identify these. My coach mentor was excellent in working me through this, and I also used some podcast material from my favourite podcaster Brooke Castillo* of the Life Coach School.
Generally, we give up too quickly. Things become severe or are harder than we expect, and we decide to trade off what we wanted to achieve and accept something smaller or accept staying where we are. We play small. We talk a lot about what we want but don’t take the continuous everyday action which would get us there. Giving up feels a little sneaky. There is temporary relief in allowing ourselves to give up; however the energy we feel around it doesn’t feel great. When we are focused on whether we are giving up, it feels like we are losing belief in our ability, worrying about whether we are too weak, not good enough etc. So, if we decide not to give up, we can easily then spend too much energy and time driving ourselves to achieve.
With accepting, the energy is different. Acceptance should feel like peace. Acceptance is more accessible when the situation is out of your control. Often, we wrestle with understanding whether something is out of our control or not. Once we accept it is out of our control, we can accept the situation, let go of our sense of failure and move on.
There are always things we can change, things we can influence and things we can’t change. Knowing the difference is a significant skill in life. It helps us choose where we put our energy. As an example, in managing my energy, there are things I can change or influence like, what I eat, doing yoga, exercising, meditation and sleep. I keep focused on these to maximise my energy. However, there comes the point when I must accept; I will never have the energy that I used to and that I need to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to rest.
I learnt this lesson in a painful big bang way two years ago. I hope we can learn to listen to our energy and do what is right for our wellbeing.
Taking time to sleep, rest, create white space and think about where you are and where you are going, as well as how to get there, is incredibly important and will allow you to achieve far more than just ‘maxing out’ ever will. While I was resting on the couch yesterday, I took the time to look at my goals, plan my time and my next steps, and it was very energising. Today I feel better and have slightly more energy. I know that this is a lesson for me. Take time out. Time to think and rest make a vast difference in what we can achieve. The impossible becomes possible….