How to Show Up For Your Life
- Are you following your heart?
- Do you hear and then respond to the messages your body sends you about what it needs?
- Are you present with yourself enough to follow your intuition?
If you are like the typical busy modern human, you answered “no” to all three questions.
Everything about our modern way of life is pushing our edges too far and disconnecting us from ourselves, our bodies, and our most important personal relationships.
I am absolutely not pointing my finger at you, nor am I even wagging a finger at you. To the contrary, I am 100% identifying with you. I too struggle with the demands of life in 2015 and continually search for a better, simpler way of living and working — without (and here’s the catch) settling for less.
I want it all too: financial security, personal connection, meaningful work, a healthy body, and the elusive work-life balance.
But I feel we set ourselves up for failure when we strive for balance, as well as when we strive for happiness.
Achieving perfect balance tends to imply having to make trade-offs: “if I want more “x”, then I have to give up “y”.” And my opinion is that contentment with “what is” now, in the moment, is more realistic than searching for the totality of happiness.
The secret for showing up more in your life is not about extremes.
You don’t have to quit your job or sell your company or retire now so you can finally have time to do what you want to do. (Although those are certainly viable options if you desire them, and I have guided many clients through such major personal transitions so they can create a better life.)
The first step in shifting to a more empowered place of living and working is being compassionate with yourself.
Sit down and make a list of everything you do on a regular basis to just “get by” day to day. It’s a lot! And that list does not even include what you want to do for personal fulfillment and well-being.
Give yourself a serious dose of appreciation! Not just a pat on the back, but a twice or three times daily dose of self-love and gratitude. You are doing so much! You are doing your best!
The second step is asking for support.
Yes, if you push yourself hard enough, you can probably get it all done. But why? Why keep pushing yourself, increasing your stress level, raising your blood pressure, weakening your immune system? Why?
Make a list of the things others can easily do for you and ASK them for support. This is a team effort, people, you can do it! [I even asked my 8 year old and 4 year old for support this weekend after staying home sick for two days with not much getting done. They each offered (offered!) what they wanted to do: Ian wants to rinse the dishes after each meal and put them in the dishwasher. Miles wants to straighten up the playroom each day.] So, what excuse do your adult support people have? Even these kids can help out!
Third is asking yourself: Do I really need more? Do I really need to grow?
We as a culture are consumed with the idea that “more is better.” But, more just requires more: more time, more oversight, more management, more problem solving, more energy. Where is your “more” going to come from, especially if you are already overwhelmed and barely getting by?
What if “this” was “it”? How can you be grateful for “what is”? How can you enjoy and appreciate all that you have right now?
In a recent group retreat I led in Philadelphia, one of the participants shared with me that she realized she does not need to grow her company anymore. She gave herself permission to let go of that unnecessary driver, so she can nurture her current clients and projects. She even took the bold step of not creating specific, measurable goals for the fiscal year. (Gasp!) It’s a radical idea for a business leader, but one that gives her and her team more room to breathe and enjoy the business. I’ll be curious to see what comes from their more relaxed state of being—it’s usually surprising and positive!
To show up for your life is a gift, something to treasure. And if you want to do this more often, I invite you to do less, to simplify, to declutter.
If you’re not sure where to begin, and if you could use some suggestions, you may benefit from the simple tips and ideas shared in my Boost Your Performance foundational course.
A busy professional just like you who completed the six-step course early this month reported these results:
- 80% improvement in time spent with spouse
- 80% improvement in work-life balance
- 80% improvement in eliminating tension headaches
- 80% improvement in having better boundaries
- 60% improvement in eliminating anxiety
That was in just 3 months of experimenting with the simple ideas in my course!
Regardless of what step you do next, I invite you to take some deep, easy breaths, give yourself some love and appreciation, and let yourself off the hook to create some more space to show up in your life. You deserve it!