You do your best at work, at home, in your marriage, with your children, and in nearly every interaction you have during the day. You are hardwired to bring your full self to whatever is in front of you. Being there for others. Really listening. Hearing and seeing not just what is happening, but what's underneath it.
All of this with one goal in mind: to be better.
You are already so good -- more than anyone expects you to be -- and then you strive to be even better than that.
That's why you like performance reviews, personality tests, Brené Brown...there is always more to do. It's thrilling at times, overwhelming at others, and just feels like who you are.
I'm saying all of this, so you know who I'm talking to. If you nodded your head, then please keep reading. If you thought of someone you know, your best friend, your sister, someone everyone in your circle counts on, then you may want to pass this along to them.
I have two things to say to you (today, anyway).
First, keep doing what you're doing. It's needed. It's appreciated. It's working.
Chances are that you already know that's true. If, however, you don't believe me, you can do the It's a Wonderful Life test to imagine what would happen if you weren't there. Preferably do it while in conversation with someone else, so they can keep you honest. After all, Jimmy Stewart had Clarence the angel.
Next, I have a short assignment for you.
This comes by way of some of my favorite clients, just like you. Dedicated do-ers and life-lovers.
When they are making headway, they are on fire, checking off to-do lists, enjoying synchronicity, and in the flow. So much so that when it's not like that -- when answers aren't coming naturally -- it feels disconcerting.
It causes them, and perhaps you, to think that they have to put in more effort, be better, in order to get that mojo back.
Instead, the second thing to do is breathe.
"Of course," you say, as my clients have recently. They and you already know how important breath is. You just don't always recognize when you need it.
When you think you have to find more energy from some reserve you have yet to tap, that is the precise moment to take 10 deep breaths.
Even if you don't feel that way right now, close your eyes or focus your gaze on where the wall and ceiling meet, and breathe in and out slowly. Notice the air moving through your nostrils, filling your lungs, and then hold it for a second before releasing it through your mouth. Ten times.
Relax your shoulders, your jaw. Let thoughts float on by without judgment.
Go ahead, and do that now.
I took ten deep breaths too. My lungs feel tingly. My brain, spongy. What do you notice?
Maybe that you need more than these ten breaths. You need a nap, or a walk outside. Something rejuvenating to your spirit.
Do it. Find five minutes or an hour, and make it happen. This is the secret sauce for you to keep doing better.
In fact, this makes the difference between someone struggling, haggard and constantly climbing uphill, and someone else (possibly you?) firing on all cylinders with those magical synchronicities you love so much.
On the other side of these breaths and quiet time is more of you being the best you possible. We are all so lucky.