I haven’t logged into Instagram for almost two weeks now and I can tell you it is like a huge weight has been lifted, I can also tell you that I will not be logging back in any time soon either. That is not to say that I don’t miss or appreciate the community I’ve built up over all these years, more that I am starting to learn that I have been pouring hours, days, weeks and years of my life, and more importantly my headspace into someone else’s business, and not seeing the ‘growth’, in business terms, that one would expect from that number of hours work. Moreover I’m learning to understand that my wellbeing, and nurturing my own business, in more organic ways, is more important than what I have been conditioned to believe I need to do in order to ‘succeed’.
Now I’m not just talking about Instagram here, I’m talking about a whole culture that sends us messages of ‘keep going’, ‘hustle’, ‘do more’, and worst of all ‘if you do x, y, and z, so much of your life will fall into place and you will be able to feel and do all that you have been wanting to’.
However, all these people on the internet are not ME and therefore, can have no idea about what ‘success’ really means for me.
As a conditioned ‘doer’ I fell into a negative cycle of ‘doing’ from very young. When my family fell apart my ‘work’ was like my life raft, my safety net, work was I guess what numbed me, my proverbial sand into which I stuck my head. The cycle continued as I moved countries and my personal circumstances meant that I was often on my own, my ‘work’ was my company and as my chapter moved into mother hood my ‘work’ became intwined with my self worth. There is a lot to un package there, and believe me there is A LOT more in the suitcase, but in order to do that I need to break the cycle of doing and start being, something which, for me, is an incredibly hard thing to do. The mantra my father chanted to me as a child was , “Just DO your best”, you can see how this trend is rooted strong.
After years of ‘doing’ being an integral part of who I am, it is a HUGE step for me to reevaluate and to feel so much of what I have been numbing…. For someone like me stepping out of the comfort zone means doing less, instead of MORE.
As doers we become jugglers, professional multi taskers, slowly conditioning ourselves of ways to optimise our time and process, setting goals and writing to do lists, setting ourselves up for never ending waves of highs and lows, feelings of ‘accomplishment’ and ‘failure’, ebbing and flowing between not feeling like we have done enough and therefore feeling like we are not enough.
So as a self taught professional juggler what do you have to do to break the cycle? You have to do the thing that will make you feel the most fear, the thing that you have spent years perfecting and avoiding, you have to DROP ALL OF THE BALLS.
Let them drop.
“Say what?”. I know I know, but friends, this is not a conversation about quitting, this is a conversation about dropping the balls so we can choose which ones we want to pick back up again, which ones we want to get rid of and perhaps learn our art in a different way, we may not even want to pick any of them up again.
I dropped all my balls and it felt so freeing, for now my days are filled with running my home and painting when the kids are at school, but most importantly learning to be so I can let go, that is the hardest part, letting go of thinking, feeling that I have to be ‘on’ all the time, freeing the headspace that was switched to ‘what do I NEED to be doing next,’ and ‘what do I need to be keeping up with’ - social media being the main culprit here. I’m slowly remembering what life without social is media used to be like.
I’m also blogging once as week, this is mainly for me to process, but also because I am 100% sure there are others like me out there that need to drop their balls and give themselves a much needed break.
There is SO much more I want to share with you and SO much more to process, but for now I just wanted to leave you with a question that I heard on the Hurry Slowly podcast this week - “Who are you without the doing?”.
So friends, I would love to hear form you if this post resonates with you, doing hard things can often feel like a lonely path to walk.
Until next time friends, please remember just how 'Strong and Capable' you truly are!