Calm. Relaxed. Peaceful. Authentic.
As I journaled about where I saw myself right now, these words came to mind: calm, relaxed, peaceful, authentic, secure, joyful, and genuine.
I thought you might appreciate some of my reflections on how I’ve cultivated a deep sense of peace in the midst of numerous professional and personal responsibilities. Here are some principles that have guided me to where I am today, and some anecdotes from a vacation this past summer to help illustrate how they can play out in daily life:
- Forgiving Myself: Sometime between the last time I used an autoresponder and last August, my e-mail synced with Facebook in such a way that when a Facebook group update hit my inbox, my autoresponder would bounce back and be posted as a comment. Since I didn’t check e-mail at all for 10 days, I had no idea this was happening until I arrived home on Sunday. In the past, I would have Freaked Out and felt horrible about the situation and kicked myself for not being more “responsible” and checking e-mail even though I was on vacation. But I’ve let go of my perfectionist mental habit patterns enough that I was able to approach this snafu from a place of calm, delete the comments where I could, apologize to the group administrators, and get added back into the groups. Everyone told me “No worries” and thankfully I was in the place where I could also tell myself “No worries.” This release from demanding perfect performance of myself at all times has contributed greatly to my overall sense of calm.
- Being Authentic: After having just completed my book manuscript, everything in me longed for refreshment. So before I arrived at my vacation destination, I made a short list of what I wanted to do for me: sleep, exercise, read, and pray. Even thought there were so many other activities that I could have done during my free time, I didn’t push myself to do them. I decided that I would rather “miss out” on cool opportunities and do what I found genuinely refreshing for me. The plan worked, and I came back from vacation recharged and ready to plunge back into life.
- Thinking Small: When I did decide to go and visit a place, I set my expectations incredibly low. I knew traveling in a new location often takes extra time and that getting lost is part of the journey. So on “travel days,” I just had one location per day. Within that city, I would decide on a couple of sights that were really important to me and just focus on going to them. If I saw anything else, great. If not, I didn’t worry about it. I also didn’t make any commitments to be back for an evening event at a certain time so I wouldn’t be stressed on the ride home.
- Asking for What I Want: I used to think that if people didn’t automatically know what I wanted or if they didn’t directly ask me what I preferred, that meant that they didn’t want to know. I’ve fortunately since learned that I just need to speak up more when something really matters to me. The people who are close to me are happy to help me have what I want to need. This willingness to be more open has lead to a lot more happiness and fulfillment in my life.
Now over to you…
- Forgiving Yourself: Where do you tend to be very self critical? How could you respond to yourself with a greater sense of compassion?
- Being Authentic: What are you doing that you’re not enjoying? How could you stop doing it or make it more genuinely pleasurable?
- Thinking Small: Where could you lower your expectations or make less commitments so you’re less stressed?
- Asking for What You Want: When do you tend to hide your true preferences and then feel upset later? How could you be more upfront about what you truly want and need?
I hope you find these insights encouraging on your path toward achieving more success with less stress….
To your brilliance!
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.
McGraw Hill is publishing my first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress to help you make and keep your time management New Year’s resolutions in 2013.
Elizabeth has appeared in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes and on NBC and is a monthly contributor to the99Percent.com blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of 2010 by Stiletto Woman and as a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council featured inThe New York Times, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and many other media outlets.
Elizabeth’s time coaching clients have the opportunity to go through her exclusive Schedule Makeover™ life transformation process through phone coaching and custom action guides or in-person training.