How well do you know your own rhythm and process?
Are you familiar with how you operate naturally? Or how you might be sabotaging your own natural rhythm which in turn perpetuates a “not good enough” story?
This is something I’ve been exploring over the past couple of years and I am starting to get very intimate with how I work best and how I sabotage myself.
I’ve noticed myself in sabotage mode for the past couple of days and wanted to share it with you to give you some insights into how working against your own natural rhythm pretty much always leads to frustration.
If you’ve been following my blog this month you’ll know I am on Day 9 of a 30 day blogging challenge.
I started out on Day 1 full of enthusiasm and gusto – totally confident I could manage to write (and share) a blog post every day.
How hard could it be?
Very hard! Yesterday I was ready to quit. I’d had enough! Get me out of here!
A few years ago I would have talked myself out of it:
It’s just one day…
I’ll do it tomorrow…
No-one will mind (heck they probably won’t even notice)…
What’s the point of me writing this blog anyway, I should beputting my energy into promoting my online retreat!
A few years ago the voices would win out and I’d miss a day.
I’d tell myself it was ok – a day won’t hurt.
(Of course further on down the road I’d have missed another day – and another – and by the end I might have stopped completely or most likely done about 2/3rds of the challenge – which is still better than not doing it at all!)
However it would be another area in my life where I’d let myself down – where I wasn’t “committed enough.”
And my “you’re rubbish” pattern would have been embedded a little more.
Thankfully I am now very wise to how my patterns play out – and one of the things I’ve been doing over the past couple of years is to explore my natural rhythm and process.
I now know that at the beginning of any new project or challenge I am full of energy – I see it as an exciting new opportunity and I am raring to go (even when I’m pretending it’s a nuts thing to do!)
And then at some point I’ll hit “the slump”!
And as I look back at various projects I can see this has played out everywhere – for example in October I launched my first online retreat. I was so excited, I’d planned it all out and when it was time to invite people to join I was raring to go.
Half-way through I was ready to give up.
It took me ages to complete the page – longer than it needed to – and I wasn’t 100% happy with it when it was done. But it was good enough, and I had to start promoting it.
However I learnt from that experience, and so when I experienced the slump yesterday I was ready for it! It didn’t stop it happening but I was able to ignore all the voices that were encouraging me to give up and instead notice how my behaviour was actually helping to trigger it.
For example, when I got up I was tired but instead of doing something which nourished me and set me up for a productive day, I got side-tracked in emails and reading through articles – interesting and needed doing at some point but it’s not what serves me best first thing in the morning.
And the day continued in that vein with distractions and procrastination which meant by 7pm I still hadn’t written my blog post.
Thankfully I remembered I’d written one a couple of weeks previously which I hadn’t shared anywhere so with a few tweaks I was able to use that.
But it was interesting how throughout the day I kept putting off writing my blog – I didn’t want to do it! So I procrastinated.
In the past I’d do this, it would get late, I’d be too tired and so I wouldn’t “bother”; a deeply entrenched pattern that I was unconscious to (I was too busy beating myself up for procrastinating!)
However this slump and wanting to bail is something I go through EVERY time I do anything.
It’s part of my process, and by knowing I’m going to experience it, I can put supportive structures in place to minimise its impact on me.
- It’s essential I prioritise the things thatnourish me –like getting enough sleep, journaling and walking in nature (andmaybe meditation) – and do them as early in the day as possible.
- It’s important to prioritise the challenge orproject but NOT to the exclusion of everything else – which often happens as Itend to be an all or nothing kind of gal! So again doing it as early in the day as possible works well – although Ihave to watch it doesn’t take ALL day (which is almost certainly why I sometimesleave it till later because I don’t get anything else done!) To combat this I could set myself a time limitand every day try to beat it!
- I need to get creative and so seeing how I canspeed up the process – for example with blogging I can look to see what I’vewritten in the past that I can maybe tweak a little and republish it.
I dare say there’s more ideas which will come to me as I start implementing these!
Of course this is my process – yours might be totally different. You might not experience the “mid-project slump” but there might be another time you get hooked – maybe getting complacent at the end of a project or challenge.
Maybe you leave things to the last minute and it becomes a mad rush right at the end (ok, ok I admit it – I do that a LOT too!)
However whatever you do, it’s vital that you stop fighting your natural rhythm and to this you need to know what it is.
So become a detective and start noticing your patterns and behaviour around the things that irritate or frustrate you– especially the habitual ones.
And if you’d like a supportive, nurturing environment toexplore this then join me in January for an online retreat where we’ll be eliminating sabotaging patterns once and for all!