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Sometimes It's About Doing Less

The Fabulous Author - Elizabeth Gilbert

I've recently been reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic. She speaks about how creative genius is an unknown being that sometimes graces her with its presence. Most of us see creativity as an innate skill we are born with and therefore a result of our own genius. Whereas, she sees her role as being a conduit of ideas that roam the world, and in order to catch one she must remain undistracted, patient, and in tune with herself and her surroundings.

She explains, that the version where we take credit for genius often ends up in the scenario of the tortured artist. When we solely believe it is all dependent on our abilities, and when inspiration doesn't come that day, all the negative self-talk begins.. I'm a fraud, why am I not good enough, am I just lazy? The other way of viewing creativity is that it is not part of who we are, it is a visitor that comes and goes. We just need open and undistracted minds in order to notice the moments of inspiration.

I see many parallels with this outlook on creativity and the journey of entrepreneurship. Often my days are filled with endless lists of things I need to do. Currently, I have lists called " to do today, to do next week, to do priority, personal to do's, high-level thinking to do's , website edit to do's.. really it is endless. In order to tackle it all, I often time block my calendar to the minute in an effort to fit it all in. Although mostly at the end of the day I feel like there was never enough time and I didn't get through all my tasks, therefore it leaves me with a hint of guilt and failure. Even if you aren't an entrepreneur you might also be familiar with this feeling?

So, lately ( having been tired with the guilt) I have been practicing being more in tune with what my body and mind want to do in the moment rather than what I had planned to do. This is my way of being more in tune with myself and my surroundings in order to be open to moments of inspiration when they come my way.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Take It Easy

For example, I had believed that in order to be a high functioning human, I would need to be awake and ready to get started by 7:00am. Somehow, no matter how hard I tried, and trust me, I tried for many months, I would wake up at 7:30 and roll around in bed till 8:00 am. I essentially started off each morning feeling like a failure that I already did not achieve the goal I've been working so hard at. I've always heard successful people wake up early and have finished working out by 7:00 am. How is it that I couldn't just get up for 7:00 am and get to my desk by 9:00 am? Am I that lazy?

The truth is, I have been called many things but lazy has never been on that list, yet somehow I was internally shaming myself with that word. One day I shared this perpetual cycle of failure with my entrepreneur friends, who asked me a simple question "why"?. I often find that this question "why" is so simple yet effective to jolt you out of false narratives we believe in. Why you ask? The answer was because I thought it was what I had to do to have enough hours in the day. I had to get my work out in, have 'me' time in the morning, and get all my work done in a day. But why 7:00 am and why do you need to be at your desk by 9:00 am? I find if you need to keep asking why over and over again until you get to the real truth. Although, a word of warning that question can be triggering at times, especially deep down when we don't want to face the truth.

The true answer for me was because I believed in a false narrative that successful people had their shit together enough to get up early. I soon started to decide to stop being my inner tyrant and my company is not going to fall apart if I am kinder and less hard on myself. I wanted to listen to my body and what it wanted to do at the moment. Have you ever found that when you do less or stop pushing so hard, that what you wanted to happen comes to fruition more naturally? Now that I don't use an alarm, somehow I always wake up before 7:00 am ( now often much too early for my liking) and I've accepted that my body just likes to roll around for 30 minutes to stare at the ceiling before getting out of bed, and that's okay.

I even had a 'me time to-do list', meditate, journal, read for 15 minutes, work out, go for a walk, Duolingo Spanish app for 10 minutes, shower and get ready.. no wonder I could never get to my desk at 9:00 am. Don't get me wrong I still have goals and tasks for the day, I just try to be less rigid about them. Instead, my mornings are now wake up and see what I feel like doing on that list, maybe it's a walk and read morning or maybe it's a meditate and run morning. In being more in tune with my body, I realized that what made me stressed was the feeling of time pressure. That feeling that I only have 5 minutes left to get what I need to get done. Rushing from meeting to meeting kept me feeling anxious and also a much angrier driver.

In being more in tune with my body and the moment, I came across new realizations about myself. I was able to narrow down what truly brings me daily joy, where I felt the most contentment and my days are starting to feel much more purposeful. I had started out this blog thinking it would be a weekly blog post and recently took an extended break from writing due to the state of the world. Many things were happening in the world that needed to be heard much more than my voice on entrepreneurship. Now that I am back writing, it will also be in a more purposeful way. I will be patient and open to await inspiration to visit me, so you can be sure that my writing is more genuine and in the moment. I look forward to sharing more of my entrepreneurship journey with you.

- Gloria



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