This week I hit a wall. I often walk into things, as evidenced by many miscellaneous leg bruises… but on this occasion, I’ve also hit an “I’ve had e-fucking-nough of working” wall.
My last couple of blog posts were about feeling flat as a crepe (but much less delicious)… and whilst I do feel a lot less flat than I did when I wrote those, I still feel completely unmotivated, uninspired and unenthusiastic about my work.
All the uns!
Whilst a bit of demotivation here and there is par for the course for all of us, I’m not used to experiencing all the uns for long periods of time.
I’ve taken snippets of time off over the past couple of months – 4 days here, a camping trip there… and they’ve all helped.
But every time I sit back down at my computer I have a strong desire to run away and hide in the cupboard.
And whilst I’m sure this is “normal” for many of us on many occasions in many jobs, I don’t buy this as a normal state of affairs. When your brain and body continuously react to something over a period of weeks or months, the message is pretty clear.
I know to listen to my body on these matters, I coach my 1:1 clients on such things too, but I’m still susceptible to falling into the trap of Neville’s harsh, unrelenting logic: “Yes but I just have to do XYZ, and I can’t let XYZ down, and I need to keep the business running, and who am I to take time off…”
So I spoke to a wise friend over in Mexico and sighed at her with exasperation
“Gah, I just feel like I want to run away from both my businesses and all my responsibilities and go camping by myself and sit and stare blankly at the ocean!”
“Do it do it do it” my friend shouted, and proceeded to talk me into doing exactly that. “You KNOW what happens when you follow your gut” she reminded me. “Do it.”
And so, I did, me and my computer, we escaped Melbourne and went and worked from a tent down in Wilson’s Prom by myself (I slept next to a knife just in case…) for 4 days and it was magical!
Except the midnight working session stuck in the laundry attached to a powerpoint with a head torch on like a total creeper because I couldn’t work out how to get the lights to turn back on and I needed my battery full for my 1:1 clients the next morning.
But alas, my solo camping trip helped me meet a few wombats for the first time!
After adequate sitting and staring at the ocean sessions, my mojo started to return and I felt lighter and clearer.
Then I came back to Melbourne and became promptly overwhelmed and fuzzy in the head just a few days later.
Then my coach pointed out that I’ve been recharging my empty battery back to 20% and then jumping straight back into work and running myself down again before I have a chance to fully recharge. Over and over and over.
So then New Secret Man and I drove down the Great Ocean Road to a friend’s place at the beach and worked (sort of) from there for a week, and it was magical!
Except when I had a panic an hour before running a corporate workshop on Zoom having forgotten the adaptor for my second screen.
But then we saw some koalas and a double rainbow, and all was well again.
And then I came back to Melbourne and immediately felt like everything was all too much, again.
And so, last night, I spoke to another friend who put her foot down and ordered me to take a proper break.
“6 WEEKS!” She shouted, and then texted me a list of reasons why it was necessary and reasonable to take a long, proper break. Probably for the first time since starting Project Self 7 years ago.
I took a lot of convincing – an hour and 45 minutes in fact.
I have a lot of internal guilt and judgement about ever being “lazy” or entitled.
But even Neville can agree that at the moment, I’m chipping away at work but not making any meaningful progress. I’m draining my energy, while not really achieving anything particularly useful at all.
As my friend pointed out, WTF is the point of that?!
And so, I emailed all my clients and my team to say I’m taking a big ol holiday for a few weeks.
I can’t remember the last time I had more than 2 weeks off with no work at all… which seems baffling to me now that I realise it.
So you won’t be hearing from me for a bit longer, I’ll be back when I’m feeling re-energised, refreshed, and reinspired (all the “re”s) and ready to hit the ground running (perhaps skipping?) with new ideas, new blog posts, and new energy.
I could not for the life of me figure my way out of this pickle myself –
I needed the help of my friends and my coach to give me permission to do what I know I need to do even when my mind tells me no.
Please, for the love of pickles, give yourself permission to do what it is that YOU NOT SO SECRETLY KNOW YOU NEED and stop listening to your mind (or anyone else) when they tell you you can’t.