One thing I know, we must nurture ourselves to allow inspiration to find us and FLOW through us.
For years, I’ve been leading Women’s Renewal retreats. I share in these programs how we can revitalize ourselves in order to more good in our lives, for more years and with more joy. I teach this because I did not always live it. In fact, I tended to do the opposite and abuse myself with overworking. Eventually, I had no choice but to slow down. I hit the wall with fatigue. So now, I always find time to renew myself. What I know to be true is that when I feel good, good can come through me.
A few years ago, I was asked to sit on a panel for a Youth Entrepreneurs Program (YEP). This competition for high school seniors encourages entrepreneurship. The finalists in Siskiyou County were brought together in a large auditorium to be judged on their business plan and pitch. After the panel viewed each presentation and asked questions of the presenters, we rated each business idea and eventually voted on a winner.
What do you do when you hit a wall?
During the half-day event, the audience (hundreds of students) were invited to ask questions of the panel. The panel included a combination of business owners, teachers, and professionals. One of the questions had to do with burn-out. “What do you do when you hit a wall? When are you stuck in overwhelm? When you are tired but still have a lot of work to do to reach your business goals?”
My panel members shared some great answers. They included ideas like ‘sticking with it’, ‘review your why to get motivated’, ‘exercise your willpower’, ‘think of the long-term benefits’, ‘just get it done’, ‘know it will be better later’. To me these were all valid tactics that I’ve used, driving and willing myself to the finish line.
Go get happy!
But when it was my turn to speak, I shared, “What to do when you feel stuck? … (long pause) … Go get happy! Take a break. If it’s a minute, twenty minutes, hours or longer. Go do something to feel better and re-energize.”
The panel looked at me, with a quick smile to show agreement with my semi-contradictory response. I believe we all knew the truth of it. “When we are happy we make better decisions and do better work,” I continued. I wanted the students, our future entrepreneurs to get it, and I knew they did because the audience clapped and waited to hear more.
I shared, “I don’t make decisions until I’m in an inspired place with a clearer intuitive knowing. If I’m tired, I postpone big choices. If I’m burned out, I stop because I know that later in the day or the next day I will accomplish more in less time.”
I hope a few of the young future leaders heard those words that day. If this encouragement influenced them into habits of self-renewal, the world will be a better place.
And isn’t it true that we work and connect at our best when we feel good?