You may have noticed I didn’t publish a blog last Friday.
I decided to give myself a break.
It’s been a really tough few weeks (nothing compared to this week but anyway, still hard) and I knew I just needed to get away from it all.
I knew I had a million things to do, including writing a post just for you, and I even considered taking my laptop so I could work from our boat.
But I quickly bitch-slapped myself and said “Don’t be stupid, they’ll understand, you work bloody hard, you deserve to take a day off. Tell ‘em all about it next week”.
Which is what today’s post is about…
This is something I’ve struggled with for the past 11 years.
And I still do actually on most days. Friday was a perfect example.
BUT what I really want to know is this…
Why do we beat ourselves up for taking time off?
I mean seriously, I torture myself all the time — even now that I have a huge team around me and it all looks like rainbows and lollipops on the outside. I feel like they’ll judge me and think I’m a slacker if I’m not busting my balls every day, night, weekend — every waking minute for crying out loud!!! What’s wrong with me?
We went to Vietnam for 3 weeks in January this year and I felt so guilty.
I felt like I didn’t deserve it.
I wasn’t ‘there’ yet. (You know that place, yeah? There!!!)
I shouldn’t have bought those tickets.
I shouldn’t stay in that fancy hotel. Or drink that $24 glass of Dom Perignon. Or get that massage.
I wasn’t successful enough… YET.
I didn’t have enough money in the bank… YET!
I hadn’t earned it… YET!!
Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Lack. Punishment. Guilt. Pain. Shame.
Second-guessing and torturing yourself to no end instead of just kicking back, chilling out and enjoying this thing called ‘life’.
Do you ever get these feelings?
Why do we beat ourselves up so much and what the fuck are we waiting for dammit?
Why do we think we have to ‘wait’ to buy that thing, take that holiday, get that facial, take a day off to play golf or in my case, go fishing? I love fishing and yet I hardly ever go.
Why do we feel it necessary to punish ourselves like this?
“When I just hit X amount of turnover….”
“When I just get someone to help me I’ll take a holiday….”
“When I just break six or seven figures, then I can take some time off….”
“When I just have this much money in the bank…”
“When I just make enough to support our family ‘properly’?”
Why do we make ourselves wait?
Success is now.
Freedom is now.
Life is now.
In the moment.
And we damn well deserve to live it, right?
Then why can’t we just live it? What’s stopping us from just reaching out there and taking what is rightfully ours? Fun. Laughs. Happiness. Holidays. Experiences. Memories.
Why are we in this rut of just work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat, work, work, work? Argghhh!
I drove to the gym that Friday morning thinking about what I was going to write about that day. I was pondering (or psychoanalysing if I’m honest) about the latest things the Universe had thrown my way and how I could share those lessons with you to save you the heartache.
Was it my initiation to take things to the next level? Did I have to earn my stripes? I know it’s meant to be but why in this way? Why did I have to endure so much pain to get there? What was the underlying lesson?
I was deep in thought my entire workout. Then on the way home we drove over this big hill (still deep in thought) and we looked out across the postcard like islands and the water was like glass. It was magical. There wasn’t a breath of wind and it was so beautiful you almost couldn’t see where the ocean met the horizon.
I said to Simon “Look at it out there babe, it’s the whole reason we moved here and all we do is work! We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and we lock ourselves in our house when we are here and… just…. work…. work… and…. freaking…. work!!”
And for what?
Didn’t we in fact start our business to follow our dreams? Achieve the impossible? Make a difference? Work three days a week? Not have to worry? Or stress? Or travel the world if we want to?
And experience TRUE FREEDOM in every sense of the word???
I mean yeah, we go out for dinner and drinks every Friday and maybe get out on the boat once every two months (if we’re lucky) but this doesn’t feel like living to me.
We’d made it to the Whitsundays but we still weren’t ‘living’. Not the way I’d hoped anyway.
We just keep waiting.
What’s with that? Why wait?
I’m all about hard work, and I truly believe you’ll never get ‘there’ without busting your ass, going above and beyond and doing what 95% of the population couldn’t even stomach…
But why the hell don’t we stop and smell the roses along the way?
In most cases I choose my business over my friends, my family, even my partner at times. Yes, I am a truly selfish bitch but in reality, I’m only robbing myself. But why am I doing this? Why did I start this journey in the first place? Why am I making all these sacrifices if I can’t even enjoy a day off now and again, completely spur of the moment?
And then it hit me.
And I will.
And it’s only me that’s holding myself back. I call the shots.
I created this reality. No one else.
As did you.
It’s up to you to shift your thinking and re-train your mindset to allow yourself to just STOP every now and again and take time for YOU.
And NOT feeling fucking guilty about it!!
Because no one is telling us we can’t.
It’s only us that are dictating these stupid rules, these parameters, these ridiculous guidelines we ‘think’ we should live by.
Fuck the rules. You deserve it. I deserve it. We all deserve it!
You work so hard, you take so many risks, you put up with so much shit that the average person couldn’t even begin to comprehend. You never stop. When you wake in the morning. It’s work. At night. Work. Work. Work. Work. It consumes you. It starts to define you. Clients consume you and test you and push you to your limits.
And before you know it, it’s all you can talk about when you do actually go to a party or BBQ — because all you do is work and you’ve lost touch with reality. You’ve lost touch with ‘life’.
This isn’t living. This is being a slave to your business and we must put a stop to it now.
So when we’re driving over the hill, admiring the islands and Simon said “We should be out there”…
I said “Fuck it, let’s go!”
He had sales to make and I had blogs to write, emails to answer, critiques to do, strategies to write and staff to attend to but you know what?
It was all still there on Monday… and no one even noticed.
We had the best weekend ever and came back so refreshed and renewed.
Simon caught a marlin, we took photos of incredible sunsets, we cruised breathtaking islands, had deep and meaningful chats about our next 10 years, what we’d do if we only had a year to live and all this other amazing stuff we wouldn’t have spoken about had we not gone.
I didn’t even read a business book, or do an online course or check my phone. I was 100% tech free!
Just two days on the boat had made such a huge impact on our headspace, our stress-levels, our sense of wellbeing and even our business that it left me thinking “Why the hell don’t we do this more often?”
Two days on the water felt like two weeks.
I felt inspired again. Ready to fight another day. Ready to go back into battle.
Simon got to check the marlin off his bucket list which was cool (I’m still waiting for mine!).
And it felt like everything — all the stress, the long hours, pain, headaches, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, tears and sheer panic — was all just finally WORTH IT!
It’s taken me a long time to get here but I’m taking a pledge to you right now, today.
I pledge to start living more in the moment and enjoying the fruits of my hard, tear-jerking, sanity-testing work. I’m no longer going to judge myself for taking time out for me. Or for us. Or criticise myself for being selfish. Or worry about what people might think. I’m done with that shit. Done. Done. Done.
2015 is going to be different. I’m going to do some deep internal work on my blocks and my self-limiting beliefs and starting actually living life — on my terms.
And I’d like you to join me.
We are the Freedom Hunters.
We will not stop. We will keep fighting. For our freedom. For ourselves. For our health. And for life. It’s ours for the taking — we just gotta reach out there and grab it.
Are you in or out?
What do you think? Share your comments below.