My dear Valentine,
Beware of The Other Mistress... the tyranny of the urgent
Too often the urgent pushes the important out. Everything you do is taking a piece of your time and energy. So who or what are you giving yourself too? Work, parenthood, a partner, health concerns, etc. Life has become so hectic, demanding, and downright difficult. Each day is a rush to get everything done that we need to get done. We end up depleted, exhausted and down-right overwhelmed. The sad part is, the next morning when the alarm goes off we wake up and begin the mad rush all over again.
Where did your hopes go? Your desires? What about the life you imagined that you would live? Has your practice become a demanding mistress? Is it stealing all your leisure time? Is it leaving you unfulfilled? Are you having to schedule every moment of every day in order to get everything done that needs to be done?
What if you could change your life so that you could do less and have more? Marcia Wieder, in her book Doing Less and Having More, maintains that it is a matter of learning to say no and choosing when to say yes. Remember your dreams! Don’t let the urgent fill your day.
Starting a new business or growing a private practice will take a lot of extra time and dedication. So you need to evaluate your present reality and make plans on how to transition in a healthy way. If you don’t, you will soon burn out and your dreams will be the first to go up in flames.
Begin by evaluating why you are wanting a private practice. Is it for more money, more time, more meaning? Each extra dollar earned has an emotional cost so it’s important to have a clear plan laid out for building the life you really want to live.
Maybe what you are desiring is a life that is balanced and centered. The choice is yours and the freedom to get to a balanced life is also yours. What things do you want less of- less stress- less fretting- less anxiety- less work - less wasted energy? To make less you will need to get rid of things. Here are some ideas on how to do that.
TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE
- Determine what’s of value to you- before you can take out the trash in your life you need to determine what it is you want in your life. What gives you the energy to get up each morning and keeps you going when you are tired? Make a list of the things that matter most to you. Some ideas are: owning your own home, having a car, having a family, having a vacation each year. Or maybe even simpler goals are: having a walk in nature each day, reading a good book, going out for coffee each week with a friend. Work needs to supplement your dreams and desires not run your life - all hours of every day of your life.
- Get rid of damaging patterns - is your value hanging on to your job title or the amount of money you make? Is it coming from being a workaholic so your superiors will speak well of you? Do you feel guilty if you are sitting still for a moment instead of working all hours? Prestige or titles are not always what they are cracked up to be. If you strive for more and more you will have a driven life full of worrying about money and life. Kick work out of the driver’s seat, you may well find you have signed a new lease on life
- Get rid of emotional baggage- lots of us have beliefs about ourselves that are from our growing up years. These need to be discarded in order for you to have freedom in your present life. If you know you have issues but are unsure if you have the courage to go it alone, get a therapist or life coach to assist you. Partnering and teaming up with people is an amazing way to help build your new life. Having people who stand with you and cheer you as you cross each milestone is extremely important.
- Change your priorities - if you lose yourself by living on the treadmill of the work world, you can reclaim your sense of self as well. If you feel you have lost your soul you may need to simplify your life. Do you really want to compete with the Joneses? Are the titles behind your name giving you the fulfillment you thought they would? Is the six-figure income fulfilling you?
- Create space in your life - make clear choices and decisions that help you find yourself again and to feel fulfilled in whatever you chose to do. How many of you are concerned about meeting the needs of others, of fulfilling expectations they place on you, instead of being true to yourself?
A lot of these principles are what I am learning about myself right now. A friend gave me two of Marcia Wieder’s books about discovering your dreams by discovering who you are. When you know who you are and what your dreams are you can take steps to start living your dreams. Even better than that, sometimes you can begin to do less and end up having more - an oxymoron I know; so I will keep you posted as I continue to discover what it all means.
Watson, Heidi. Your Dream, Your Life: Private Practice Workbook. USA, Electronic Health Information System, 2017.
Wieder, Marcia. Doing Less and Having More:Five Easy Steps for Achieving Your Dreams. New York, Quill,1998.