Do you ever say that to yourself?

When you know you should be doing one thing, but instead do another?
When you know what to do to move your business forward and just don't do it?
When you feel guilty for not doing better?

In our recent Starship chat, “I'm so bad” jumped out at me.  I heard it (in some form or another) from everyone.
From hard-working, thriving mavens.
From successful, I can't fulfill demand crafters.
From just getting started, don't know where to go next adventurers.

I thought (and said): You're doing what you can. This takes time and you're on the path. You might not be there yet, but you ARE taking steps to get you there.

And then, out of town visiting my mother-in-law for her birthday this weekend, I had a seizure of panic on Sunday morning. I turned to my husband and said, “If I was only working harder, I wouldn't feel so bad about taking this weekend off. If only I got more done last week! Ugh, I just feel awful!”

Jay, wonder-hub that he is, said, “You couldn't do anymore. What you're doing is enough. And you know it. You know that longer hours and more work doesn't lead to better work or more sales. It just wears you out.”

He was convincing and I was calmed, but I got to wondering, where does this come from?

Is there some gold standard of productivity, some level of business that we're all striving for? If so, where in the heck did it come from?

More importantly,  how did it insinuate itself into my relaxed, experiment-rich, journey of a business?

I find there's a tension (for some of us) between wanting to thrive, to grow, to move AND wanting to keep a Sabbath, to respect the cycle, to grow organically.

We worry that we're not doing, being, pushing enough while also knowing we need naps, floor stretches, and novel-reading.

We embrace the tenets of self-care and rejuvination when we're tired and burnt out, but rush back to pushing and judging when we're short on cash.

Clearly, an experiment is order.

But what?

What would help YOU remember that by going slow, taking time, taking naps you are refilling the well, not shirking your duty?

Share your thoughts in the comments and we'll build an experiment together.

10 Comments on I’m so bad…

  1. Julie Jordan Scott
    May 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm (9 years ago)

    I followed you here from twitter and the morning pages hashtag… I was so fired up from my morning pages and dream boarding that I am taking a wild leap. I forgot how much I love doing that and how good I am at doing that and now I even manage to fill to the brim with self care before, during and after the leap…yes, it is possible (intentional, conscious, loving)… 

  2. Kate
    May 17, 2011 at 11:31 pm (9 years ago)

    I remember it sometimes, but usually I remember when I’ve already been forgetting for a while and feel crappy, so I’d love to find a new reminder. Ideally one that doesn’t hurt so much. 😛

  3. Anonymous
    May 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm (9 years ago)

    I give my recharge times ridiculously long titles in my calendar.  This reminds me both to actually recharge my well, and not to take myself so seriously.

  4. Tara Swiger
    May 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks Christy!
    So you you schedule recharging time…but how do you keep from feeling like
    you aren’t doing ENOUGH (whether you’re recharged or not?).
    Any ideas?

  5. Tara Swiger
    May 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m specifically looking for a reminder that keeps me SATISFIED I’m doing
    enough, instead of expecting an insane amount of productivity.

  6. Tara Swiger
    May 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks Julie!
    I’m curious: what’s the wild leap you took?

    Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello!

  7. VickiB
    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 am (9 years ago)

     What if you made a diagram of the creative cycle where you could mark your current place in the cycle?  Then you could see when you were in the part of the cycle where you need restoration.  

    And maybe some tracking method where you mark off some kind of unit and when you reach a certain possibly arbitrary number, it’s enough.  Like writers who have a certain word count or number of pages.  If I write 10 pages a day, I can do a draft of my novel in five weeks, with weekends off.  

    I’m inclined to start something and stay with it until it’s done or until I’m done in.  The concept of little and often is one I’m slowly integrating into my life.Something I’m working on is integrating self care and refueling/self-nurturing into my routine, blending them with chores.  My husband and I make a point of talking/playing while I do the dishes.  We have nightly devotions and I do a load of laundry.  (He’s handicapped so there are things he can’t do.)  When I help him with his physical therapy I do some stretches and exercises along with him.  I’m trying to be okay with sitting on the porch with a book and not feeling like I ought to be pulling weeds or something.

  8. Tara Swiger
    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh, Vicki, I love this!
    Thanks so much for sharing what you do to stay mindful of your energy!
    And the idea of a tracking method/diagram appeals SO MUCH to the
    office-supply geek in me!

    Thanks again,

  9. Liberty's Yarn
    May 24, 2011 at 2:51 am (9 years ago)

    I seem to need a neon billboard sign somehow attached to my head playing music load enough to be heard over my kids. Do they sell those at the LYS? 

    My weakness is getting so excited that I start too much and think I can have it all done in half the time it needs. Then when it isn’t – I feel all burned out and like I’ve failed somehow. ick. 

    June is ‘yoga-a-day’ month. I hope I can knock out a couple goals by doing that. =)