Wait! What? I know you are asking, "How old are you woman and you still cannot stay upright on a bike?" I know right!
Let me give you a little background a couple of years ago now my youngest son learnt to ride his bike and oh boy he was good and quick, only one problem, I was pregnant again so the better and faster he got on the bike the fatter and slower I was getting with the pregnancy.
So I bought myself an e-bike cute little retro thing it is. I bought the e-bike, motor and all because I knew with the new baby, carrying or towing them, backpacks and kitchen sink (as you do when venturing anywhere with children), I would be chasing my Son. That has definitely been the case as we have pretty much ridden our bikes (carry half the house) everyday since.
Well that was until my latest little "fall". This will be my 4th bike stack in total now, with every single "stack" having an audience (aka witnesses) and getting bigger and better with the dramatic flair each time.
My first 2 stacks were minor, only thing that was really scratched or bruised was my ego!. The 3rd stack was brilliant and resulted in a diagnosis of Bursitis in my left knee which is still causing me issues 3+ months later, Which brings me to last weeks "Stack" - yep you guessed it Bigger and Better than the previous 3, down I came like a sack of potatoes with all of my weight and the bike (loaded with daycare and school bags) landing directly and with full force on the "Bursitis knee" and down the concrete/gravel driveway I scraped. As I write this the final diagnosis is still pending the MRI results, But in the interim you can call me "Pirate PJ" or Hop a long Jones".
So now back to the title - What did I learn, well the obvious to start off with were
* I am a clumsy bike rider and my driveway is out to get me
* Falling really hurts, even when it is in slow motion
* My scratches, cuts and Bruises never accurately reflect the level of pain I experience
* Dry humour is my saviour and go to point
* Aging is a reality - I am after all in "Hip replacement territory" now as many kind people like to remind me
But more importantly I learnt
* That it is okay to rest
It is okay to stop, take a step back, take stock and re-evaluate your situation. But once you have done that you must continue to move forward (in Life and in Business). You are allowed to cry, sulk, and do the wooo is me, take the time you need to heal. It is important to recognise this and the need to go through these emotions, give it its time, and then draw that line in the sand, pull your socks up, pull your big girl panties on, shake it off and RE-FOCUS.
For me the time I give myself to do this does vary and I like to think it is proportionate to the severity of the setback, it could be a couple of hours, a day or a week (but no more). If after that time I cannot shake it, it is time to seek additional, extended or professional help. (Obviously there will be situations that you come across where you will need more time physically and mentally – this is up to you to gauge what is right).
I can hear some of you now saying to yourself as you read this “I cant afford to take time off!, Things will stop if I stop, No one else can do my job and more. But I say in response - You may feel that taking time away is impossible, whether it be time away from your business, your workplace, your family, children anything you can think of. But it is not if you manage it well. You may feel that no one else is competent enough to do your role – but I assure you they are and they can (maybe not all of your role but below I will discuss this further).
Think about it like this if you take 1 day off to reset yourself and return to work at full capacity for the next 4, surely that is more effective and productive then if you were to "soldier on" remain unfocused, unhealed, unrepaired and only be able to provide 50% productivity and effectiveness across all of those 5 days . Think on that for a while, you do the maths.
* Asking for help is a good thing
It is not a sign of weakness to seek support and help, in all honesty it is actually a sign of strength! Yes to have the strength to entrust yourself, your care and even your business to someone else takes strength and confidence and a little pro active planning.
Asking for help can be as simple as seeking information and advice. But it can also present itself in the format of delegating small functions and tasks and expanding as your confidence and needs grow. Outsourcing is also another valuable tool that you should consider, this can be as simple as engaging a cleaner (when you cant walk around the house to do it yourself, like when you fall off a bike) through to engaging Virtual assistants or contractors to complete set tasks or full projects on your behalf as you grow and expand your business.
By asking and accepting help into your world you are again giving yourself the “space” to reflect, expand, grow, and change!
* Change is a good thing
Whether it be in times of change, or whether it be a change that has occurred in your life or business that gives you cause to pause. A change in your circumstances whether internally or externally imposed provides you with the opportunity to slow down from your current pace, re-evaluate what you currently do and your processes, and find new and different ways to conduct your activities.
Change provides you with the opportunity to test new boundaries, try new things, be resourceful in your thinking and implementation and even simplify your practices. Viewing change as good thing enables you to view change as an exciting adventure and challenge to test and strengthen your capabilities. Just remember you are never too old, committed (financially or otherwise) to PIVOT and adjust your current trajectory.
* Self Care is paramount
We have all heard the current phrases being bandied around such as “Selfcare”, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” “Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line”, “An empty lantern provides no light”. Whether you resonate with these phrases or not – it is important to understand that when you take the time to collect your thoughts, repair what is broken, you become stronger and more capable than you give yourself credit for.
So if for example you fall off a bike it is important to take the time to heal and repair from within so that you can get back on that bike stronger and faster next time. Now I know it is easy to set the example in a physical situation, but it has more applications and impact if you provide the same self-care elements across all aspects of a persons life, physically, mentally, personally, relationships, in employment and business.
* Systemisation and Automate can be your saviour,
And this is one of my favourite, when you can find ways to become more efficient and productive in your tasks, processes, business and life, You give yourself time back, your life back and how valuable can that be.
This can be done by grouping similar activities into “bundles” of work, where by doing them all together you can reduce duplication and give yourself more space and time. I like to think of it as minimising effort whilst maximising output – or “Win/Win” for me.
Ask yourself do you need to manually do certain things, or are there applications, systems or machines that could automate what you are now doing and allow you to focus on more important activities in your life. You would be surprised what is out there that can help you all you have to do is look. (or ask as discussed above).
Not only do these functions provide space if utilised effectively you can also find that you can get ahead of yourself, Pro-actively scheduling work, and tasks so that they can be done as far in advance as practical and possible and when you need to take a moment or a pause, things can continue to tick along quietly in the background without losing momentum until you return. Systemisation and Automation tends to go hand in hand with delegation and outsourcing and can provide you with the forward planning that will allow you to work ON your business and life rather then IN it.
For me, all these lessons point to one main feature, and that is Resilience when something knocks you off your bike (so to say), how resilient are you to the impact this will have on you? But the best thing about resilience is that if you do not feel that you have it naturally, well you can develop and nurture it to your advantage.
And remember “You do have to at some stage Get back on that bike”, but you must be open to the knowledge that it may just be a completely different bike when you do. By taking from the above lessons what resonates with you this bike will be one of your own making and you will master it.
It is important for me to say that whilst I would like to think that you will be able to consider these options and find what resonates with you, the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author and are presented for information purposes only. This material is in no way intended to replace professional medical advice, care or attention by a qualified practitioner and cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or treatment.
Future Blogs coming up soon
· Organising and scheduling your action plan
· Maintaining momentum – having a daily focus on success