What I Do When I Don’t Feel Like Working On My Business
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’
~ Mary Anne Radmacher
What I’m not talking about in this article is those days when you’re just feeling a bit demotivated, we all have days when we have less energy or feel less inclined to work. On those days, I do believe in picking myself up and doing what I can to get what needs to get done, done.
Instead, what I am talking about in this piece is those times when external circumstances are seriously challenging and impeding our ability to focus. Things like the threat of world war, humanitarian crises, a global pandemic, illness, bereavement, moving house and so on. Big things that affect us deeply and knock us off centre, making it feel extremely difficult to focus on work.
I’m also not talking about work that doesn’t matter, work that you don’t need or truly care about. I’m talking about your livelihood, the work that pays your bills and keeps a roof over your head, your purpose, the work in the world that is deeply important to you and to those you serve.
Navigating difficult times while maintaining your ability to focus on your business becomes crucial in this context. I personally don’t have the luxury of not showing up to work when I don’t feel like it. My business is my livelihood and I have a full roster of clients who are counting on me to be there.
So how have I got through these difficult times, without dropping all the balls, throwing the towel in or killing myself to carry on in the process? On the other side of it, I’m able to share what I’ve done to get through this challenging time.
1. I feel the feels
I allow myself to really feel what I am feeling. This one is easy for me because I’ve never been one to bury or hide my emotions. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve and been dubbed too sensitive by my family, ever since I can remember.
So in some ways, I don’t really feel I have a choice in this one but it bears mentioning anyway, because so many people feel like they have to hide what they are feeling from their friends and family and also from their clients and colleagues. I don’t do this, I tell my kids when Mama feels sad, I tell my partner when I feel like I’m struggling and I let my friends and clients know when I don’t have it all together.
For me, it would be exhausting to put a brave face on and pretend everything is okay and in not doing so, I believe I release a great deal of pressure on myself.
2. I do less
My typical day-to-day is very full. With my business, a household to run and two energetic little boys to parent, I have a fair amount of stuff to do on a day to day basis. A while ago, I hit a wall with this and just didn’t feel like I had the capacity to keep being as productive as my schedule demanded of me. So after a tearful conversation with my partner, I came to a place of acceptance with the fact that I needed to just do less for a while.
That meant cutting back on non-essential business activities, like this newsletter and the creation of my forthcoming short course and focusing solely on my 1:1 clients and group mastermind.
Instead of using the time between client calls to do admin, work on content or creating new products, I took a pause from work. Sometimes this meant sleeping and sometimes it meant watching the heartbreaking news (not always the best move, but in some ways related to point #1).
It also meant that I wasn’t as on top of other things like housework or doing my daily exercises.
3. I ditch the guilt
Like many people, I can be prone to feeling guilty when I feel like I’m not pulling my weight or doing what I said I was going to do. For example, I’m very aware of a dynamic between me and my partner where I can, if I let myself, start to believe that I am letting the side down when I’m not at my best.
Similarly, when I find myself not sticking to personal plans or goals I’ve set myself, the temptation to start beating myself up is very present. The thing is, I learned many years ago that all guilt does is keep us trapped in a negative loop.
I know that if I make myself feel bad for not feeling great, then I just feel worse than I otherwise would. Whilst I may still succumb to guilt momentarily, these days I’m much better at calling bullshit on it and stopping it in its tracks more quickly.
4. I get support
This one doesn’t come easily to me as I’ve always suffered under the illusion that I can do everything myself. In recent years, however, I’ve gotten much better at seeking out support, from my partner, from friends and even from other practitioners.
I had an incredible EFT session with the wonderful Liesel Teversham and felt so much lighter and even joyful as a result. Just sharing what was up for me and then using EFT to release what wasn’t serving created a powerful shift.
I also upped my virtual assistant’s hours so that she can do more of the busy work that inevitably piles up when I’m not on top of everything. Handing more things over to her over the last few weeks has brought with it a lot of relief.
I know how easy it is to retreat when I’m not feeling at my best and that still happens to a degree for sure, but recognising that there is support available to me and using that support is, and has been, a game changer for me.
5. I don’t let it run on indefinitely
When we cut back on our activities, it can sometimes feel hard to get back to doing them again. I don’t tend to have this problem and I believe it’s because I really allow myself to step back when I need to, in a way that allows me to recharge and come back stronger.
After I have really embraced my feelings, let go of the shoulds, reduced what’s on my plate (without the guilt), rested more, gotten support from others and in doing so, I was able to get myself back to a place where I felt good again fairly quickly.
Then at the beginning of a new week, I mentally prepared myself to start the week with a renewed commitment to my work and to feeling better. I completed my daily exercise, made all the beds and wrote a newsletter. I think it’s safe to say, I was feeling more like me again! :)
Is the world still messed up in many ways? Yes. Do I feel more resourced to deal with that? Yes.
So there you have it, five things that help me stay on track, even when I’d rather crawl under the duvet and sleep all day. I hope you find them useful and I would love to hear from you what you do to keep going during difficult times.
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