I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to take care of everything that needs to be done in my business, but it’s a constant effort and discipline for me to take “down time” for myself. Fortunately, my diet is excellent, which gives me a lot of energy, but it is not easy for me to “turn off” my business to rest and relax. It’s hard because I absolutely love what I do and it drives me to make a positive difference in the world, so it doesn’t even feel like a job to me! And I know I’m not the only one.
While this is true for some men as well, I especially find female entrepreneurs have a much harder time with this.
We have to do a better job of taking care of ourselves.
Personally, I do pretty well with all except rest, sleep, and leisure at #3. #5 below.
First of all, you need to be aware of the many facets of self-care and how you are doing in each area:
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest), rate yourself how you are doing in “The 6 S’s to support your personal care” and see where you need a boost.
1. Service: First, let’s recognize that when you give, you ARE receiving! It feels good to give, so give yourself credit for that. Service comes in many forms:
- Help people and do good things for others.
- Giving time, money and/or resources to charities or causes you believe in
- For entrepreneurs, getting your message and transformation across to your customers and the world
- Legacy is a form of service. It’s the mark you want to leave on the world after you’re gone. It’s the difference you want to make and how you want to be known and remembered.
2. Surroundings: This is the bridge between your outer world and your inner world. Your outer environment reflects the state of your inner well-being. Take a look at your home and work environment to see if they reflect the “grandest vision and best version” of yourself and your dreams. If they don’t, take steps to organize and beautify your space. The tradition of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, aligns your environment to support your health, wealth, relationships, and happiness. One of the most basic principles is to clean up the mess! The definition of clutter is: if you don’t like it and/or don’t use it, it’s clutter.
3. Support: An extension of your physical environment is who you surround yourself with. Jim Rohn said that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Do these people support who you are and who you are becoming? Do your best to limit your time with or stay away from “energy vampires”—those people who bring you down and drain your energy.
Sometimes our well-meaning family, friends, and those closest to us are the biggest offenders. Keep raising the bar of the people you surround yourself with and be surrounded by positive, inspiring and uplifting people.
mentors: Having a mentor guide you is one of the most powerful forms of support you could have in your business and in your life. Choose a mentor who is an expert in the area you want to improve and whose life is a model of what you want to achieve. It is best to choose a mentor who is living proof of what you are teaching and someone you respect, trust and admire.
Equipment: Whether she has a job or a business, today’s working woman can’t do it alone. There’s just too much on her plate to do it all yourself. Take small steps to outsource tasks you don’t like, don’t do well, and others can do for you to free up your time and focus on doing what you love, do well, and only you can do. You can trade or trade, or start outsourcing low-cost, hourly activities that you are doing yourself that would free you up for personal care or income-generating activities.
4. Systems: To be more productive and effective with your time, start documenting the things you do on a regular basis. Create written standard operating procedures (SOPs) to capture best practices for what you do and how you do it. I do this in virtually every area of my business and my life. Because? First, because that way I don’t have to have everything in my head. And second, because then I can easily delegate and coach a team member on how to do it as well or better than I could, and it frees me up to do what I do best, what I love, and what only I can do. This takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth it.
Building systems is the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life that has allowed me to build a support team around myself. This frees up my time to focus on the income-generating activities in my business AND the parenting and self-care activities in my life.
5. Personal care: You can’t delegate your self-care! This is one of the most important reasons to perform steps 2-4 above. Your self-care is what recharges, replenishes, relaxes, restores and nourishes you. When you take good care of yourself, you have much more energy and vitality to do your service and work in the world. There are many components to self-care, including but not limited to:
- Practices for personal and spiritual growth
- Health practices such as nutrition, exercise, rest and sleep.
- Personal enrichment time for learning.
- Free time for fun, vacation and travel, recreation and entertainment
- Social time with family and friends.
- Romantic and intimate time with your partner, sensual and sexual pleasure.
6. Sacred Self-Indulgence™: This is my personal favorite and the one I think is the most important of all. Your Sacred Self Indulgence™ is your passion. It is what brings you pure joy and bliss that you love with all your heart. It’s the thing that when you do it, you get completely lost in it and lose all sense of time. When you are doing it, you may even experience that it brings you closer to God or makes you feel one with the Universe/Source/Creation. Your Sacred Self Indulgence™ is only for you and no one else. You do it out of pure love. For some people, it may be some form of creative self-expression like singing, dancing, or painting. For others, it may be an activity like sailing, golf, or hiking. Whatever it is, it is important to identify how often and how long you need your Sacred Self Indulgence™ to feel completely alive, happy and fulfilled. The benevolent side effect of regularly giving yourself and receiving this gift is that you become magnetically attractive for positive things in the form of people, opportunities, and prosperity to enter your life.
Based on how you rated yourself, start taking steps to improve each area. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. Expanding your capacity to welcome, embrace, and receive is a journey and a process. Ultimately, increasing your ability to receive in all of these areas is the ultimate leverage in increasing your ability to fully give. It’s the ultimate win-win for life!