I used to drive at every problem, challenge and goal with full force. “Fighting for” what I want, has been my ‘default mode’ for as long as I can remember. I come from a difficult family background and had to work hard to escape my circumstances. I took on loans to study, sold everything I had to travel, saved up to start my own business. Fight, fight, fight! With the Rocky theme tune: “Eye of the Tiger” always in the back of my mind, I’ve glamourized the struggle to an extent.:)
And this way of being really served me. I’ve always been proud of it. It was a coping mechanism that I needed to adopt to get through my teens and twenties. These days, I have had to make room for new coping mechanisms. Fight mode is still a huge part of how I survive the daily struggles that a growing business has to face. But it isn’t as effective as it used to be.
Storming at every obstacle has often caused me more pain than an approach of trust and faith (in myself and others) balanced with hard work. I refer to faith in the broadest sense here. Faith as in “the belief and confidence” in something or someone.
Work and effort is cognitive and physical, relying on the mind and the body. Trust relies on the heart. More and more as I get older, in my business and personal life, I have learned to activate my heart. Without it, I feel burnt out and betrayed when things don’t work out exactly when and how I want it with negative effects on myself and others.
I recently had to rent out a commercial space. It was very important that we find a tenant. And to the very last minute we had no one to occupy it. I had tried everything to market it, spending a load of my time, energy and resources on it. As it seemed that it would all be a disaster, I started to panic and feel angry and defeated. Then I just cut myself some slack, sat back and reflected on all the efforts that I had already put in and actively tried to activate my heart. As I started to trust that it would work out, the perfect tenant walked in.
So I am learning to
- Set the goal in great of detail
- See and believe that the goal is already achieved
- Put in unwavering effort and commitment
- Then TRUST that the efforts will bear fruits.
So much in my business and personal life has been teaching me lately that old coping mechanisms may be out of date in my current life. A more balanced strategy makes for a healthier, happier me. And the new challenge: to hold on to this… (or is it to let go?)