Are you achieving your potential? This is a question I ask myself all the time. We are being told all the time that life is short and we have to live every minute to the fullest. I know deep in my soul that that is important, really important. It was one of my most fundamental shifts after I was so ill. I felt deeply that I needed to live and be fully present every day.
I do… most of the time!
But I’m human. Sometimes I am tired and I have to allow myself to rest. Occasionally my family life takes over and I have to be there to care for my children and my work takes a back seat a little bit. At times I have to put self care first. When I have my 6 weekly injection it can really wipe me out for a day and there is little I can do about that.
Should I beat myself up at these times?
Is it frustrating at times? Yes!
Do I have to accept that that is life? Yes!
Would I be happy, healthy and walking my talk if I pushed through and chained myself to work every time something came up to derail me a little? Of course not!
Could I stand up and talk about the importance of giving our children the love and support they need, and preach about how vital they are to the future, if I locked myself in my office every time my own children needed me? Well, I could try but it would be inauthentic and you would see through me in no time.
Would I be able to tell you how important self care is, and how crucial it is to look after yourself, if I didn’t stop and allow my body to rest when it is being challenged? You’re getting the idea aren’t you?
If I don’t listen to my own advice, then how can I give it?
Do I always rest when I’m tired? Honestly no, but do I make sure I rest as soon as I can? Yes I do. Because I have learned the hard way that if I don’t my body takes matters into its own hands and forces me to.
Does the fact that I am giving myself time out from my work mean that I am not achieving my potential?
No! If I pushed through and worked 24/7 I would burn out really quickly and then I wouldn’t be any use to anyone.
Are there times when I could do more?
Yes there are. I work hard to create the best resources and provide the most helpful information possible, but I am phenomenally bad at shouting about it once I have finished creating. I am learning that it’s all very well working hard and creating brilliant resources, but if no-one ever knows they are there, then there is really no point.
It’s all well and good being knowledgeable, but if you can’t share that with other people it has no value at all.
So what am I going to do about it?
Well, I’ve already started. I am putting myself out there more. I am more active on social media, I’m writing for new audiences, I am responding to journalist requests, I even applied to be on a TV show! I know!
I truly believe that I have a lot to share with the world, and I am trying to be brave and tell everyone about the amazing work I do.
Is it easy? NO!
Not even a little bit! Would I be happier hiding in a cave writing and making beautiful resources?
Yes, most days!
But knowing that the people who need my work most will never see it or being able to benefit from it if I don’t tell someone and learn to step into my own power and achieve my own potential definitely drives me forward.
Every day when we wake up we have a decision to make about whether we make the day count or we allow it to wash over us. If you decide to read a book or go for a walk is that making the most of your day? Yes if it makes you happy and if you really benefit from it. If you sit watching TV all day? Well, if your body needs total rest then yes, in some circumstances that might be the best use of your time. If you are watching brain chewing gum and just distracting yourself from all the things you know you should be doing, then it really isn’t helping you to build the life you want to live is it?
So why am I sharing all this with you?
Well, partly because I think it’s important for you to know that I too am a work in progress. We all are, forever, so get used to it. But I also want you to stop and think about your own life. That’s what this is about. It doesn’t matter to you whether I achieve my potential.
There was a study done many years ago where end of life carers were asked what they were most often told by patients on their death beds. It was always things they wish they had done, people they wanted to have had more time with.
According to the Independent the most common regret was:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”
Achieving our own potential, isn’t always about earning the most money, having the biggest house or the most expensive car, it may be knowing that you have really helped someone every day or that you were the best mum/dad/nurse/teacher/plumber you could be. Whatever you need to do to really feel that you have given it your all and you will have no regrets when it is your turn to lie in that bed and look back over your life.
Live in the moment. Be your best self every minute. Be aware of your impact in the world. Make sure you are changing the world for the better – not someone else’s idea of better, your idea of better.
What are you waiting for? Take a deep cleansing breath and step out of your comfort zone and into you creative arena!