SLOW DOWN: MY NEW WAY OF HUSTLING
This is the first thing I have written since May. I took a 3-month break from “creating content”, i.e., writing blogs, posting on social media, sharing anything really.
I didn’t do it because someone said it would be a good thing to do (because actually, no one says that) or because I read about it in some book or saw someone do it.
Pay attention: this is the point of this blog. No one talks about how to slow down.
I took a break because I had to. My soul was begging me to listen to my heart instead of my head. Which until I started paying attention, I couldn’t ever tell the difference.
Learning how we operate on an individual level for optimal happiness is an ongoing process. One that takes commitment and time and even scarier … listening. By listening, I mean to the thoughts in your own head.
What works for Dylan won’t work for Dianna. You hear people say this a lot but you don’t see people practicing it. You know why? Because it ain’t easy. It’s hard to take a break when everyone is telling you or showing you that you should be doing more. It’s hard to zig when everyone is zagging.
Now, I’m not saying look at me and how strong and brave I am. Because that’s far from the truth as well. I just got completely burned out on doing things the way others were. I couldn’t anymore, I hit bottom. A place I’ve been before and know somewhat how to navigate out of.
The first step I took was getting off the drugs, er, I mean social media. I knew I would never be able to find my truth while consistently comparing it to others.
I look up to a lot of amazing women entrepreneurs in the fashion and wellness space. These women are crushing it ... by societal standards of success, i.e., attention, money, and admiration (measured in likes). Everyone always seems to be doing more and I felt like I would never catch up.
Now, this wasn’t easy. I fought myself daily, weekly, about this decision and many others. With thoughts like this …
Why are you so lazy?!
Is this quitting?
Why am I taking a break!? I need to be doing MORE.
The only way to be successful in life is to work harder, faster, longer.
What’s wrong with me?
I have this issue with thinking I need to do in order to be. Not doing the things society has deemed worthy and sexy (like creating, earning, building) left a lot of open space for me to see just how attached I’m to what others think about hustle and how I should work.
Hustle. In fact, hustle harder is the mantra that gets thrown around a lot. How will you accomplish your dreams and be successful without working really, really hard, right? Our society rewards those who lose sleep, sacrifice relationships and put everything on hold to work tirelessly on one goal.
current mood board
*All images are sourced from Pinterest
NOW, I’m not saying this isn’t an approach that’s successful. As this blog is pointing out, we all are different and this way works for a lot of people, but just not for me.
For years, I have tried to fit myself into my round self into that square hole. If there is one thing, I am it’s tenacious. I have done all the morning routines, made all the lists, planned my days out to on the hour, but after a week or so of forcing myself into that work harder, do-do mentality, I end up crashing and falling even further into paralyzed nothingness.
These cycles always end the same, in self-loathing and criticism. What’s wrong with me. Why can’t I be like all the other successful ladies out there.
It wasn’t until these past three months that I finally decided to try another way … mine.
I thought why not accept that my natural tendencies are to go slower and be way more intentional with my actions because energy is precious.
Here is a list of some of the ways in which I’ve changed these past few months:
Focusing on one thing at a time. Accomplishing 1-2 tasks a day is a success.
Stop looking at what everyone else is doing as the only acceptable path. Comparison is truly the thief of everything.
Dial back on social media. I 100% see the positive but we have to remember that Instagram was created to be addictive. If we don’t police ourselves, it will controls us.
Find expanders. I learned this from Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. (Her work is changing my life) Expanders are people who are doing what you want to do that have similar circumstances to you and show you that it is possible to have the life you want.
Only working on what feels right, aka what lights me up. This has been by far the hardest part for me. I learned at a young age that work is hard, making money is hard, and doing something that you love will never make a living.
Stop sucking in my stomach all the time. I know this might not seem like it makes sense, but think about it. This consistent idea that I have to be/look a certain way all the time is exhausting, and cementing the idea unconsciously that I’m not good enough as I am.
Why Don't You Try...
Learning a bit more about yourself. Dig a little bit deeper into that mind of yours and find out what truly inspires you. The work of Lacy Phillips is supporting me in this process.
Check out Lacy’s blog, Free + Native Here
Spending 5 minutes every day for a week in the morning, asking yourself a question and answering it in your journal.
Giving up social media for one day, or more. (gasp)
Spend time making notes of how you feel before and after engaging in social media.
Have the courage to switch up your habit when you notice judgement, criticism, and low self worth creeping in.
it's an Emotional ride
For the first time in a while, I'm listening to my needs, slowing down, and actually enjoying life. I can imagine that some of you reading this are like "easy for her because of XYZ (excuses you have created in your mind about my situation or yours)", but let me clear some things up.
I’m scared almost every day that I won’t be able to pay my bills and worry I'll be this lazy blob who is incapable of being successful because she can’t stay focused enough to do anything.
I worry what my husband thinks of me. Am I contributing enough?
BUT in spite of these thoughts running around in my head, there is a strong current of trust. A feeling that what I’m doing is right for me. Coming from a girl who has spent her whole life making people happy and putting her wants second, this is a huge step.
I’m not perfect. I have no idea if I’m doing this right, but just the fact that I want to share this journey with you, is a sign.
I’m not someone who likes attention. In fact, I fear it because attention means criticism in my eyes but I feel like this path I’m on is one that others might be able to relate to and if that’s you, Hello there! I hope you find comfort in something written here.
All the love,