Recently I was working on a business related project and it was going nowhere. I had a bit of a head cold and the ideas just weren’t making it through the congestion. As I kept at it, I became less and less productive and my inner critic got louder and louder. The voice of the worst boss ever- telling me all the things that were very unlikely to help me turn things around. In fact, things just got more frantic as I tried to prove to this inner mean boss that I was really a very very good worker.
And then I paused.
And recognized what was happening in my body and mind.
I asked myself what I would need to hear from the best boss ever and then told myself those things in the most compassionate tone I could. And then I continued working for the period of time I had allotted with more acceptance of what 100% really looked like for me that day. I might not have been moving forward at the pace I had been expecting of myself, but those expectations were not in alignment with what was really possible that day. And I was still moving forward.
There is a natural ebb and flow, an expansion and contraction that is part of all things. Our best work is going to look different on different days, and fighting this is going to lead to suffering.
I love the story that meditation teacher Jack Kornfield sometimes tells in his talks. A police officer pulled him over as he was driving to the class he was teaching that evening. The officer asked him what he does for a living. “I teach people to slow down” he said, as the officer wrote him a speeding ticket.
We all get stuck and we all need to recalibrate. Other ways to pause and reset-
- stretch and literally shake it off
- take a brisk walk around the block
- re-read your vision for your business
- do a head stand and flip your perspective
- dance around your office to an 80’s power ballad (it can be a very sweet thing to have your own office!)
How do you respond when things aren't flowing? What helps you be a good boss to yourself? Share in the comments below.
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