20 Sep Blog #11 Put your money where your mouth is…
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about what I’d learnt over the last 2 years from a personal and a professional perspective, the 5 key areas included defining focus, saying no, asking for help, actively listening and above all… acknowledging ego.
Each one of these areas involves a deliberate set of actions most of us are too scared or distracted to take, setting boundaries, learning the art of ‘no’, prioritizing, understanding that everything has its time and its place and being brave enough to decline the ‘busy status’ so many of us wear as a badge of honour. What are we scared of? These are perfectly reasonable and in fact, necessary actions that we all should be taking daily??
Well, the answer is complicated, it’s unique to each person and it changes depending on where you are in your life, simply put… there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and so it falls to each of us as individuals. Sure, we get support along the way in various shapes and forms, appurtenant social media scrolling, protective spouses, encouraging colleagues, semi-interested family members, enthusiastic besties and of course the people who say ‘I told you so’ or ‘I knew you could’ because they probably did BUT it needed you to come to the realization in your own time. And that’s something I want to emphasise… everything happens in its time. Your time is different to my time. Understanding and acknowledging this is critical because very often not putting it into perspective leads to that ugly, all-consuming word regret. Our individuality is centred around ‘our time’.
So, let’s go back to fear and why I’m writing this piece today, well I have recently had a realization and had to face my fear so I could maximise ‘my time’. After my surgery last year to remove cancer and because 2020 was generally a sh*t year for most, I wanted to ‘get back on the wagon’ and in true Kelly style wanted to throw everything I could at life. I signed up for a BSc degree in health science and psychology, I volunteered as the VP of WiCyS Southern Africa, I kicked off two new businesses, I got involved with my husband’s new business, my husband and I embarked on the complicated time-bound journey of starting a family post-cancer and ahead of future surgery and of course I was trying to heal mentally and physically.
I hit a wall, which as you read this, I’m sure you’re saying – well of course you did! But for me, my fear of not being relevant, not driving change and not helping people where I knew that I could (the list goes on!) all summarized as my ego or emotional blindfold was driving me to try and be everything to everyone. And as they always do, the quieter, less demanding needs like healing so I could start a family took a back seat. Soon (some might say not soon enough, but again time is individual) it dawned on me that the goals and dreams I had both personally and professionally weren’t going to be realized if I had no focus, if I didn’t ask for help and if I didn’t listen to my doctors and loved ones. So I had to face another fear, perhaps far greater than the first especially for a perfectionist and a people pleaser (there I said it!) – I had to start saying no. It didn’t happen overnight, I battled with
will it look like I wasn’t capable?
I’ve failed – I can’t do it all!
everyone else seems to have all their duckies in a row, what the hell are mine doing!
I’ve let people down etc.
But when I did get brave enough to start saying no, I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received from the people around me.