“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy”.
Susan Polis Schutz
For a long time, I thought if I was 100% amazing at my job, walking out my days out as a secure, independent single woman I would be accepted by my workplace, my peers, my family and maybe even a potential mate. This goal was never attainable though, and it often left me feeling inadequate.
I would mentally beat myself up when things fell apart and in turn, I’d focus on my weakness’, hoping that if I could just be faster, less creative, more analytical, then I could move further away from failure.
While self-improvement is never a bad thing, camping in this place made me pretty unhappy. The more I worked on my weakness’, the more I moved further away from the things that were intrinsically me and close to heart.
This happened when I landed my first TV news reporter gig at Channel Nine.
I beamed from ear to ear when I got hired as a freelancer. It was a dream come true and I was ready to take on the world (Perth) one news story at a time. But very quickly my shine faded with the 3 am starts, 12 hour days, chasing interesting but, more often than not, sad news stories and reporting on depressing facts. Not to mention the pace, it was fast and I struggled to keep up. Plus, my deep over-thinking tendencies which fuelled my creative ways were getting pushed to the waste side. I had no time to look after my body, process the work, spend time with my family or even think about creative projects. On my days off I would lie on the lounge room floor and stare blankly at the ceiling while I waited for the washing machine to spin and I remember thinking to myself, ” is this it, is this really living?
It’s taken me a while (several years), but the more I become aware of my limits, the more I’m able to play to my strengths. Not only do I have more headspace and time, but as I play to my strengths, the more fearless I am when it comes to doing everyday life.
Here are a few practical limits I recommend putting in place that’ll help you play to your strengths.
Change your work schedule.
It’s a crazy notion but if can, try and work a nine-day fortnight, start your Monday at lunchtime or take Fridays off.
As a freelancer, I try not to work Mondays, it’s my day for creative projects and headspace. Yes, it affects me financially, but I’ve decided my sanity is worth more.
Move your beautiful body.
Is the gym your thing? What about dancing in your bedroom, or running through the streets with some sick beats. Not only does movement get your heart rate up, it pumps the blood faster through your body while opening your pores, aiding the release of toxins. I try to be gentle in this space, either walking or doing yoga once a day.
Find a spot in the sun or the corner of the lounge and just sit in the moment. Quiet spaces are uncomfortable, but more often than not they bring the gift of clarity. If you’re sensitive to sound like me, grab some earplugs from the pharmacy and sit and listen to your breath. I’m so over filling up every area of my life, which is why I’ve decided to take back time, I have to make time. Time to process the past, the present and even the future.
You only have this one life that was given just to you.
Fear less what people will think when you stand by limits and start playing to your strengths.
Do the work, take back your life.
You are a priority and you’re worthy of this space.
Life is too short to be someone you’re not.
Plus, everyone else is taken.