It is a battle cry of our culture of productivity and innovation - to push through, to get the job done, or (as Nike admonishes) Just Do It. For much of my young life, I set my jaw and said yes to doing the work with little regard for the impact that doing the work was having on me.
At the ripe age of 29, during the tech boom of the nineties, I was working 70 - 80 hours per week making 6-figures when I realized with horror that there was no amount of money that was going to make the work I was doing satisfying to me. Furthermore, the pace and the pressure were inhumane.
I set off to find a different way and, after recreating the same kind of conditions in my OWN business at least once (more like twice), I found (and applied) the secrets to doing hard things. I call this approach my hustle-free, heart-centered, hedonistic AF approach to getting the hard things done.
Commitment: this may sound like every other damn "get it done" commercial you've ever seen, but here's the thing. I want you to stop saying yes and committing to stuff you feel "meh" about. Stop doing what you "should" do, or what your neighbor or your mom thinks you should do. When I invite you to commit, I want you to say yes to the path that is yours. Often this is the thing that scares you, the thing that nudges you in the middle of the night when you can't sleep, the thing that calls your name despite your repeated rejection. Yes, commit to that thing.
Compassion: Saying yes and committing to The Hard Thing is difficult enough, but then, there is the onslaught of naysayers and inner judgment. Often, before we can even begin, our inner critical voices shut us down. We walk away from ourselves with record speed. Honestly, you have to be relentless in telling the voices (and the naysayers) thank you, but not today. You have to be absolutely impeccable in addressing the fear and the uncertainty with self-compassion as you live into your commitment and take the next step. Most of the women I know struggle with self-compassion - I get it, I can struggle with it as well. But to do hard things, you must challenge the hateful inner dialogue and practice self-compassion. (You can find a bunch of self-compassion practices through Kristin Neff's Mindful Self Compassion.)
Care: Finally, we come to care. Compassion is tending the inner landscape of doing hard things, but care is the way that we tend our energy and actions in the doing. This is everything. What do you need to maintain your energy and do the thing? Believe me, it's more than you think you should need. What kind of movement nourishes your body? What kind of food? How much stillness do you need in your day? What about sleep? What are your true, no-shit boundaries for productive time? Are you better in the morning or the evening? How much connection and support will buoy you in the dark moments? When will you play? Who do you want to be and what do you need to be that person? How do you want to feel when you say, "I did it!" and what is required in the process to make that a reality? Especially if you are a woman with a sensitive nervous system, say no to the critic that is screaming at you to give yourself as little as possible and be fully on your own side with this one. Don't give yourself just enough, wrap yourself in cotton candy clouds of care and you will amaze yourself with how much you get done in the time you spend on your commitment.
Commit to what is yours to do. Be absolutely fierce with your self-compassion. Practice absolute devotion to giving yourself the care you really need in the doing. You can, and you must, do hard things - but you can choose to wrap yourself in compassion and abundant care in the doing.
It's your turn - tell me what comes up for you when you consider the three secrets? Tell me everything. I love to hear from you.
I am dedicated to supporting you as you come into right relationship with money, heal the scarcity wound, and claim peace, power, and freedom. I can't wait to see what you do, sister!
Your time is now. Let's do this.