How to Thrive and Be Intentional During Uncertainty – Allowing Yourself to Be Supported with The EnerChi Architect
A 4-part blog series by Rebecca Thomas
As entrepreneurs we face our own set of challenges. That’s part of what we sign up for when we step out on our own. Now that we’re facing a pandemic, it’s easy to spiral even further into overwhelm, frustration, and isolation that are already commonplace for us. What can we do to shift out of these behaviors; not only right now, but FOR GOOD?
Who can relate to these things – burnout, isolation, overwhelm? I know I can. A year ago I quit my former work-from-home, salary position in email marketing to open my own Life Coaching practice. Have I experienced all of the things mentioned above? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I live a life full of purpose, sharing my gifts with others, to help them find the peace, purpose, and passion that so many of us yearn for. And I dare say those very things are what drive us as entrepreneurs.
But I don’t think ANY of us saw a pandemic in our futures; circumstances that would close so many businesses and opportunities down, while setting an unsustainable pace for others are our current reality. And with that comes a whole new dynamic for our unique set of problems. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about something that MANY of us are struggling with: support.
This is where we can really get into some trouble, especially as Women. Can we do it ourselves? I would say most of the time, yes (just my opinion). Should we? That will be a different answer for everyone. Do we have to? That is the KEY question. So here’s some food for thought. No matter what aspect of your life we’re talking about, how much support you allow is setting a standard. It’s teaching people how to treat you. Right now, thinking about it this way, what would you keep the same and what would you change?
Take it from a long-time “Rock”, when you do all the things yourself for years upon years, eventually most people will stop asking if you need help and assume that you have it handled. And that’s a lonely place to be, especially when we actually need the help. Make sure that you LET others show up for you. It’s only fair. It’s builds a level of trust, respect, and sets an expectation that WE show up TOGETHER. Maybe that looks like teaching your child how to help around the house more, or showing your husband exactly how you want the stove cleaned, or simply sharing some of your struggles with someone you love and trusting them with your most precious commodity, YOU. In the long run, this could literally be a life saver.
You’ve got a lot on your shoulders right now. Let someone in to help lighten the load. This approach is especially important now that we’re all home with our entire families (we’re all having our moments with this) and trying to pivot in our business models, hoping to come out on the other end in one piece. Trust me; we need all the help we can get. Share the responsibilities that someone else can handle, and focus on what only YOU can handle.
Sometimes the hardest part of this is choosing to let go. Let go of doing it exactly YOUR way (still a choice), letting go of it getting done on your timeline, with your expectations, letting go of the feeling that we HAVE to do it. How many things could you get off your plate if you were either willing to let go of them, or decided they weren’t necessary?
How do you get to a place where you are not only aware of what you don’t absolutely HAVE to do,
where someone else can pick up some of the responsibilities that you either resent or can’t absorb?
1. Take an audit of your responsibilities.
Which ones do you resent? Which ones can be shared? Which ones can ONLY YOU do? Once you get an idea of where you stand with the responsibilities you can make changes that align with that.
2. Now comes time to communicate the changes that involve others.
Do you need others to share the responsibilities, split them with you, or completely take them over? Sit down with the other party and explain what you need, why you need it, and what that looks like. Effectively communicate how you expect it to look (whether this means practicing until it’s done exactly as you expect, or the only expectation is the end result). Make sure everyone is on the same page, and expect there to be a learning curve. Resist the urge to take back control if something isn’t immediately being done exactly as you want it to be. Give it time. Give it grace. Eventually it will be done in the way you need (or at least pretty close).
3. Instead of focusing on what you “Should” be able to do, focus on what you’re teaching others by trying to juggle too much.
When we reframe our responsibilities in that way it gives us the permission, the power, and the awareness to be more intentional about WHY we do things. When we let go of things, we’re modeling the same for others. When we’re letting go of tasks, actions, and other things that don’t serve us, there’s a domino effect for those watching and involved. People WANT to be of value, and sometimes we forget that sharing responsibilities empowers them AND sets new standards and meanings. If we thought about the process this way – “You are valuable. I need you. We share responsibilities. It’s okay to ask for help”, how would the messages we created with that dialogue shift all of our behaviors?
I’m going to finish this with the same reminder as last time. This won’t be a perfect process. A lot of things feel weird or different right now. Our situations, feelings, and emotions can evolve moment to moment, and day by day. Accept that, and proceed knowing that. You get to decide what fits, what’s right, and have the ability to shape the process accordingly. That ability is power, and ALL of us have it. At some point we can fall back into a more familiar routine. Until then, do what you need to be okay. You’re amazing. Don’t’ forget that.