As a recovering workaholic/perfectionist with Superhero Syndrome delusions, I’ll be the first to tell you that the road to recovery isn’t easy. It’s fraught with obstacles and U-turns perfectly positioned to send you right back to where you started.
But I’m also here to tell you that it DOES get easier. And the rewards of staying on the path are well worth it.
Following are three tips for getting started on that road.
1. Value your time off.
This one is all about mindset.
If you don’t value something, it isn’t a priority, so it likely won’t happen.
Think about exercising, for example. We all know we should exercise regularly, sure. But what sets apart the people who actually DO it from those who just talk about it?
It’s their mindset.
People who don’t exercise regularly say things like, “I really should start,” or “Tomorrow, I’ll start my exercise program.” People who do exercise regularly don’t talk about it—they’re out there doing it.
I used to be in the first group. I spent a lot of time talking about how I “should” start exercising rather then actually getting off the couch and working up a sweat. But for a long while now, I’ve been regularly exercising, except when I’m traveling, but I get myself back into my routine as quickly as possible when I get back home.
What changed? My attitude/mindset.
I decided exercising was something I needed to do for myself. Once I started valuing it, I prioritized it, which made it easy to then do.
So when it comes to your time off, if you find yourself saying things like, “Yeah, I really should take a weekend off,” or “One of these days, I need to take a vacation,” then I can tell you right now it’s not going to happen. Because it’s not something you value.
2. Treat yourself well.
Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here. The example that comes to mind for me is my razors. (Ha!)
You see, for years, I bought the cheapest disposable razors available to shave my legs. And for years, I constantly nicked my legs with them. They would sting in the shower, and then I would have to dredge up a Kleenex to sop up the blood to keep it from getting all over the floor or on my towel.
Needless to say, shaving was one of my least favorite activities.
Then one day I received one of those name-brand razors in the mail as a promotional stunt.
I tried it, and wow, what a difference! No cuts, no nicks, no stinging, and no blood!
Now, you’re probably wondering where on earth I’m going with this. Stick with me.
The reason I bought the cheap razors was because of my mindset. Even though I hated them, hated shaving, and hated hurting myself constantly, I told myself the low cost of the razors was worth it. Why pay an extra few bucks for a name-brand razor? I could suffer through a few cuts and burns. It wasn’t a big deal.
But really what I was telling myself (and the universe) was that I wasn’t worth the extra couple bucks for a name-brand razor. I wasn’t worth the extra couple of bucks to not hurt myself.
So how do you think the universe responded?
What I WAS attracting was more sickness, exhaustion, burnout, stress, etc.
So I had to completely change my attitude around how I treated myself.
But (and this is an important “but”) it was not just about spending the extra money on myself. It was also about taking time for myself.
I realized I also needed to get regular massages each month to help minimize the pain in my back and chest I experienced from the hours spent hunched over my computer writing.
I also take time each day to exercise and stretch. That doesn’t cost me anything except time. And again, by doing this, I feel better and look better.
So what are YOU denying yourself? I’m not talking about spending money you don’t have or putting yourself in debt or avoiding the tasks you really need to do. I’m talking about the little indulgences we tell ourselves we don’t need when, in truth, they’re exactly what we need.
Maybe you love real cream in your coffee, but you constantly buy that white powder junk because it’s cheaper. And you tell yourself it doesn’t matter.
But it does.
How much money are you REALLY saving by not buying real cream for your coffee? Is it enough to suffer the consequences of telling yourself and the universe you aren’t worth the real stuff?
Or maybe your indulgence is putting that coffee into a pretty cup, not a chipped mug with that ugly corporate logo on it. Or maybe it’s allowing yourself 10 minutes to sit outside and enjoy that coffee, rather then gulping it down while you get ready for work.
What messages are you telling yourself that are keeping you from the life you deserve?
In the end, treating yourself better sends a message to the universe that you ARE worth it. (And guess what? When I started treating myself better, my income started going up, too.)
3. Hire a coach.
If, as you’re reading this, you’re seeing a little too much of yourself in the examples, and worse yet, you don’t know how to fix it, then it might be time to hire a coach.
A coach can help you shift your mindset, so you DO start to value yourself and your time. The right coach can also help you when your business starts taking off.
But above all, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re used to always putting yourself second, changing your perspective isn’t going to be easy. So be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to take baby steps with a few indulgences here and there. Eventually, it will get easier.
For more on how you can change your business and your life, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.