The best advice I was ever given

I used to be really stressed. Really, really stressed. All. The. Time. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed my life and my work, but I’m a perfectionist and someone who can’t be idle. I was very good at prioritising everything, sticking with things I just had to get finished before I could move on, and often prolonged my efforts trying to resolve unimportant detail. I always wanted to please and couldn’t say ‘no’. Now on their own these things aren’t necessarily bad, but as an approach to living and working? Well, it wasn’t working for me.

It got to the point that I felt I was juggling too much, trying to be too much to too many people and things. While I felt the work I was doing was meaningful and important, the stress and pressure I was putting myself under was burning me out, at work and personally. Then, someone very important to me pointed out a simple fact: ‘You’re getting paid to go to work and do your job, not to die of a heart attack’. Something in that simple sentence – said to me in so many different ways by that same person many times before – hit home.

A light bulb flicked on inside my head and I opened myself up to the possibility that things didn’t have to be this way. Since then I have been on a journey towards a better way of living and working. I started small – taking 5 minutes every day to plan and prioritise my day, learning to delegate better, and starting to say ‘no’ (in a nice way of course). I also learned the value of meditation and mindfulness.

Then I started to leap. I left my steady, stable job, knowing that striking out on my own would better help me make the tangible difference I want to make in the world. I found a great mentor, who taught me to question my beliefs and habits, and to respond to my world vs. react. I was introduced the concept of working smarter, not harder, and now fit more into my days than I ever have before. I’m in no way perfect. And I’m still learning – I hope I always will be. In a way, with a growing family and business, I’m busier than I ever have been. But I am calmer, more relaxed, more confident and happier. I love my work and I love what my business is here to achieve. I hope I can share it with you sometime soon!