Do you think of looking after your health as a priority? Or does it tend to fall to the bottom of the list?
This episode is kind of twofold, you’ll see why. I want to talk about how as business owners we’ve kind of been trained into this ‘hustle’ mentality that puts looking after yourself waaaaaay down on the list of priorities.
But it also encourages us to ‘hide’ certain things that might be going on in our personal lives for fear of judgement or ‘putting people off’.
So you’ll see why they’re linked in a moment, all will become clear! But I feel like they’re both important points to make and things to think about.
Do you ever get the feeling that when you’re creating content or running your business that you need to ‘hide’ certain things about yourself?
This idea that ‘If people knew that they would judge me’
Or ‘not buy my stuff’
That can be pretty exhausting. Feeling like you’re kind of living this double life where you can’t fully be yourself. It can massively add to that good old feeling of being an impostor too…because you kinda are being a little bit, right? You’re hiding something on purpose because you don’t want people to find out!
I see it all the time with people at the start of their business, feeling like they need to hide the fact they still have a job or are only just starting out.
Where does that idea come from?
That you’re not good enough if you have a job or if you’re new at something.
Who do you relate to more…the seemingly ‘perfect’ people out there on the interwebs?
The people where everything seems cool but something just seems…’off’ and you can’t quite put your finger on what!
The people who are taking you on the journey with you and being honest about where they’re at?
I know which one I relate to more! Trust is a BIG thing in business. And it’s something that’s harder and harder to find these days.
In my opinion, if someone judges you for being honest…they probably aren’t your people…so you may as well be yourself…far less stressful!
So recently I had some health news I wasn’t expecting (now you’re going to see why i’ve linked the two!_
I have stage 2 adrenal burn out.
Meaning that my poor little adrenals have pumped out SO much cortisol over the years that they’ve flatlined and aren’t producing it anymore.
There was a split second when I got the results of my DUTCH test back where I was like…yikes…I help people with stress and overwhelm and I’M burned out?
That’s not great! HA!
But actually, now I think it IS great!
Because I can bring you along the journey to healing it with me. AND hopefully inspire you to take better care of yourself before it happens to you!!
I had the initial…’how has this happened to me? I meditate, I journal, I use heart math, I’m busy sure but I don’t feel stressed!’ I use ALL the tools!!
but…here’s the important part, that also weirdly made me feel a little better ha…the damage had already been done a LONG time ago!
It’s easy to go to, oh fudge, have I failed? How have I got this wrong? (I’m human too but also thankfully these kinds of self-doubting thoughts don’t hang around long at all anymore, it definitely would have in the past!)
Turns out, this is from DECADES of high functioning anxiety from about 11 years old. Decades of pushing myself in my studies and my career. Always needing to ACHIEVE, ACHIEVE, ACHIEVE! Burning the candles at both ends. Always jumping to the next thing and not recognising when I need a break or a rest.
(Plus…I’m an Enneagram 6wing5 meaning I’m ALL about the need for ‘safety’ and planning out every single eventuality which can be stressful in itself if you aren’t aware of it! ha!)
They said, ‘I’m actually really surprised you don’t feel worse than you do’ because in theory I should want to be asleep ALL.THE.TIME! It might be expected that I feel depressed or anxious or more irritable, lacking focus.
But it turns out the tools and techniques that I already use have been supporting me, making me not feel as bad as I could.
It also highlighted something that had been low level Bugging me recently, which is brain fog. Walking into a room and forgetting why I was there. Which now makes so much sense.
I’m lucky because I’m a productivity ninja and always know what I’m supposed to be doing in the day so it also makes sense why I hadn’t noticed it so much.
Another thing it got me thinking, how many of us are walking around feeling like the way we feel is ‘normal’.
This baseline of actually not feeling that great. Of being tired, not able to focus, lacking in motivation?
And how many of us are also making that a mindset issue, or something that’s ‘wrong’ with us on an identity level when it could actually be a health issue?
You have to look at the whole puzzle, not just the pieces.
You can’t look at the mind as separate to the body. They’re not separate!
Your health affects your mind, your body affects your mind, your mind affects your body and your mind can affect your health.
What you eat, drink, if you don’t drink water and fuel on caffeine, if you eat processed food vs organic, how much sleep you get. You have to look at the whole picture!
It’s not saying you have to be ‘perfect’ at living a wholesome life…i’m certainly not! But it means you have more power of choice.
I’ve found out about my poor little adrenals now because I have a functional medicine doctor and naturopath because I know how linked the mind and body are, it’s important to me now. I’ve always been into the more natural side of things and I had a complete DUTCH test. I’m also currently having my thyroid tested.
Your health needs to be a priority.
How do you want to feel day to day?
What might be causing you to NOT feel that way?
I’m obviously not a health practitioner in any way so I can’t give you any advice, but I CAN tell you that I’m now on a mission to look after my health in ways I never have been before, and it’s easier than it ever has been before, because there’s more at stake.
I’ve always taken my health for granted, eaten badly, drunk WAY too much booze in my twenties and early thirties, not exercised enough….and now I have advanced arthritis in my knees, leaky gut and stage 2 adrenal burnout. Yikes!
I’ve been looking after my mind for YEARS but I ignored my body for most of it.
But here’s the thing. Habits are hard to break and start…UNLESS you have some major motivation behind it. (this is why it’s always super important to really know why you want to do something!)
Now I’m looking after myself in ways I never have before. Some small, some big.
Here’s what I’m doing…
Concentrating on how I want to FEEL.
I always feel good when my skin feels good so I’ve been moisturising daily and turning into something lovely instead of a chore. I’m using the fancy stuff you usually keep for ‘best’ and acknowledging that so many of us do that but it’s actually bonkers when you think about it. Why do we deny ourselves the things that make us feel good? Make us feel fancy!
I’ve cut out all gluten from my diet (I’ve been told several times in the past I needed to cut out gluten because my body just can’t process it and I was a petulant child about it every time…until now!)
Eating organic food. To be fair we were already doing this where we could but it’s more of a focus now. We buy an organic veg box and organic meat box that gets delivered to our door. I always thought this was going to be a way more expensive way to eat but it’s actually working out cheaper!
I’m using the Revitive zappy knee thingy that my parents got me after my (rather cold to be fair ha!) diagnosis from one of the top knee experts in the country that I just needed to deal with it and there was nothing that could be done until I’m old enough for a double knee replacement…which by the way is in your 60s usually…I’m 37!
I’m not accepting that and researching natural alternatives.
I’m taking certain supplements under the direction of my naturopath.
I’m researching cook books so I can learn to cook healthy, whole foods (that are still delicious and don’t feel like a poor substitute)
I’m listening to my body and resting when I need to. I just took 4 days off and I regularly take naps during the day and I’m saying no to opportunities that I would normally say yes to, even though I was super busy.
I’m looking at ways to make my business even more flexible.
I’m researching movements that I can do without damaging my knees further. Tai chi, certain types of yoga, pilates (that isn’t boring!), Qigong, certain types of dance. I’m concentrating on having fun with it and enjoying it.
If ever I was trying to do a diet or lifestyle change before the focus was usually on losing weight, I wouldn’t bother otherwise. Now it’s a far stronger motivation and it will be SO worth it and I’m sure the lbs will melt off 😉
It’s also been a great thing because I have a bit of an obsession with wellbeing, things that make you feel better. It means I’m going to be able to bring this into my business more. I love it ALL but now it makes perfect sense to include it! I’ve already got an Amazon link where i’ve curated a load of my favourite wellbeing bits and bobs that you can find in my Instagram bio @imfranexcell and i’m SO excited at the prospect of combining this with my work in stress and self sabotage and helping you understand why you do the things you do.
It’s more pieces of the puzzle I get to give you as I research and learn myself.
The bottom line is, that thing you think you need to hide for whatever reason, could it actually help someone if you talked about it?
Could it help people connect with you more?
Could it help you feel less stress and anxiety and less like a fraud for talking about it?
Worth pondering, right?
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage at www.franexcell.com
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