What I learnt this week… work hard and be present

Wow, what a week! I know that last week’s roundup wasn’t that exciting or full of amazing learnings, but I must say I feel pretty good about this one. I can hardly believe that so much has happened over just 5 days!

The power of coaching

My hectic week started on Sunday afternoon after an impromptu call with two of my collaborators to discuss the content and form of our second workshop day on Tuesday. We’ve been struggling a bit to find the right connections between our own agendas (of what we wanted to teach our participants) and on Sunday evening we finally agreed on the best way forward. This, unfortunately, meant that I had to add quite a few slides to my section and I really didn’t have the time to do it as I’d already planned almost every minute of my day on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, I felt really anxious and stressed as I wasn’t sure if my content makes any sense or if it fits within the rest of the day, plus I was getting really behind on client work and I had one particular new client that I really didn’t want to let down.

That’s when one of my collaborators (and an amazing coach) came to the rescue.

I currently have two formal business mentors and a handful of business friends who help me on my journey, but I don’t have a coach who would work on ME personally (instead of me as a business). I always thought that I have it all together [instantly laughs at this nonsense statement], but recently I’m realising how much work there is that’s yet to be done!

What I love about Thora is her ability to translate incredibly complex neurological systems and rules into plain language. She offered me a quick 10-minute phone consultation to help me overcome my anxiety quicker and to be able to continue working.

Only there and then did I realise the power of coaching and how handy having small practical tactics to cope with stress and overwhelming pressure are when needed. Even though I’ve worked with her for over a year now and I’ve learnt a lot about her work, beliefs and stuff that she’s teaching, it was only when I experienced her help first hand that I realised how powerful coaching can be.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Since I started running my own business, I’ve learnt to embrace change and overcome the fear of doing unknown things. I’ve got to enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone and doing new scary things. But over time I’ve realised that I’m actually staying in my comfort zone again – only this time the comfort zone looked different and was a bit broader than two years ago.

The thing about getting out of your comfort zone is you need to keep trying new things and pushing yourself in different directions to keep evolving. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is believing in myself while I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty difficult.

This really nicely leads me to my next topic…

Are your goals aligned with your actions?

I know lots of people who have big dreams and aspirations. They want to create, grow, earn lots of money, save or conquer the world. But only a handful of them are actually doing something about it. The majority just talking a lot, coming up with new excuses or complaining about how unfair the world is.

My question is – What are you really willing to invest and sacrifice to succeed? (or reach your goals, change your life, conquer the world?)

No matter how appealing and cool freelancing might look right now, being self-employed or running a business isn’t for everyone. It takes lots of hard work, dedication and resilience to actually create something sustainable. You really need to love stepping out of your comfort zone or at least learn how to cope with it, as being self-employed can be really challenging.

I have another question for you – How badly do you want to succeed? Are you desperate enough to put all of you into making it work? Or is it just something that would be ‘nice to do’, but you actually don’t care that much?

I know that I might sound like Gary Vee right now (and I’ve got lots of my wisdom from him), but I’m not implying that you need to work insane hours like him. All I’m saying is look at your life, priorities, passions and dreams – are they balanced and equivalent to your goals?

What’s my point? There’s a fine balance between investing into your own well being and taking care of yourself (be it doing sports, relaxing with a book, having leisure time with friends/family or making sure you’re eating healthy) and just not willing to push through to continue going even when you don’t feel like going or when it gets uncomfortable.

How about you? Do you want it badly enough or would you rather spend your weekends watching TV?

Be present

Just to put the previous topic into perspective, I have to share this:

In the middle of this week, I found myself pushing too much, going too fast and doing too many things at the same time – until my body pushed me down (quite literally). Usually, I would feel embarrassed by falling down or start blaming myself for being too clumsy, but this time I knew that the problem is somewhere else.

I wasn’t present! I was too much in my head, planning, thinking, having epic monologues with myself, but I wasn’t aware of what’s happening around me. At the same time, I realised that I’m late for a meeting so I wanted to respond quickly, speed up my walking and… that’s when I found myself flying down to the ground.

That’s when I realised that I need to slow down and be more present. It doesn’t mean stop or work less hard. It means paying attention to now and then rather than spending too much time obsessing about the past of dreaming about the future. I love daydreaming and visualising what I want to achieve in the future, but to get there, I have to be present (so I don’t trip again and smash my face again).

Do you also struggle with being present? What are your strategies to live more in the moment?

Book Corner

This week I decided to take a break from reading (listening to) business and personal development books and have some leisure time with a fiction book. I usually read 3-5 books at the same time, but when I stumble across something really engaging, I can go all night until I hit the last page.

And that’s exactly what happened to me over the weekend when I started reading Hot Mess: Bridget Jones for a new generation by Lucy Vine. I had my eyes on this book for a while, as it sounded like the perfect combination of Bridget Jones Diary and Sex and the City – which are my two guilty pleasures.

It’s been brilliant, hilarious, but also relatable and warm reading. It reminded me how relaxing it is reading something just for fun!

How about you? Do you take time to read something just for fun? I’d love to know what leisure reading is on the top of your book pile at the moment.