I’m sitting in a beautiful garden in mid September surrounded by hedges, lavender bushes, butterflies and Robins and I feel anxious. How can you feel anxious in such a peaceful, serene and beautiful setting you may be asking yourself?
I just asked myself the same question. The answer is because it took me too long to get here.
I’ve been self employed for a grand total of 9 months and this is the first time I’ve stopped. Not stopped working. But properly stopped. Stood still, slept, slowed down.
I booked my place on this Yoga retreat in April. I don’t do yoga. The thought of having a whole weekend to myself was enough to make me transfer the deposit and secure my place. I didnt even own a yoga mat.
I’ve not brought any work with me either. That’s a first for me, I took work on both my camping trips with my family through the summer holidays.
Now I find myself emotionally and mentally worn out. I have come to this retreat not a moment too soon and hopefully not too late.
I have a confession. I don’t plan on doing much yoga.
I’m sat here, battling with my anxiety wondering how I got to this point. I think I know what it was and it’s what I’m going to share with you here;
1. Not taking enough time for myself
I’m a mum to three children and a step son. When I’m working I feel like I should be with them and when I’m with them I worry about all the work I have/should be doing. That’s not sustainable. I have to work to pay our bills but I also have to have time with my family, if I don’t why am I even bothering. What is it all for?
2. It’s my first year of business
I fell into the trap of thinking more clients meant more money. Actually more clients means more work. Greater value and higher prices mean more money.
3. Being too available
Feeling like I have to be available to everyone, all the time. To my family, my children, my friends and my clients. Feeling like I have to answer messages and emails immediately.
Not protecting my boundaries. Not reminding my children, family, friends and clients that I have a schedule and they are each a part of it, not the sum entirety of it.
We All Do It
We all think that we are the most important people to the person we are working with and perhaps forget that our priorities might not be the same as theirs. Sometimes we forget that
Emails don’t have to be answered straight away. I’m not delivering a service that anyone’s life depends upon. Nobody will die if I don’t reply to an email on Friday night or answer a message on Saturday morning.
My advice, for what it’s worth, to anyone running their own business, is that – you are the most important part of your business. Without you, there is no business. Your health is important, your happiness is important. Not just to you but also to the family, friends and clients who rely on you.
So stop, regularly. Take a breath. Do nothing. Sit and watch the bees and the butterflies.
Do it because one day you won’t be able to and you’ll wonder what the point of it all was.