The thought of going for a run makes my whole body cease up. I used to think there must be something wrong with me. I’m not one of those “cool sporty types” and can’t “keep up” with all those people running around the sports field.
I distinctly remember one cross-country in high school my teacher ‘encouraging’ me to just ‘run for a little bit, you can do it!’. Well intentioned I know, but the fact that I simply couldn’t keep up, would be huffing and heaving within a few breaths and then need to slow down to a walk anyhow, always made me feel a little less than.
In my adulthood I’ve since come to realise that running just ain’t my thing – and by no means does that make me less than. There’s plenty of active things that I just love doing, and I don’t even mind a bit of huffing and puffing at times to do them, that fill me up with so much joy. Whereas running, just doesn’t, and that’s okay.
I’ve also learnt that there’s a tonne of things in my life I’m just really good at. And those things also make me feel incredible doing it. I love a good plan. Am super organised. And am great at making others feel good about themselves.
All traits that in some way I used to feel a little cringe-worthy in my personal life, yet absolutely honoured in my professional life.
At work, being organised and planned was a big big bonus. I’d get praised for it, so I’d keep doing it. Plus it made me feel good to do a really good job on projects and have them finished well ahead of time. The skill felt worthy and valuable.
At home, well organised, I didn’t exactly apply the same level of systemisation, project planning or prioritisation that I did at work. And at times I’d even hold back a little by not letting those around me in on the elaborate planning, in case I looked a little crazy. ?
There’s been a few key turnarounds on this for me in the past few years that have shifted entirely the way I ‘run’ my life, and has also had this beautiful impact on my relationship too.
These have been things that really I wouldn’t have thought twice about at work and in a project setting, but at home had just never thought to put things into the same system.
Here’s just one example that’s really transformed things for me. In our relationship we sat down and literally divided up our ‘tasks’ one day. All the stuff that goes unsaid and then builds resentment, we just put into words and then onto paper. Like I’d always end up ordering the groceries online – now that’s my assigned responsibility. Or the bins would start overflowing – now it’s clear who takes them out. Such simple things that make up the quality of our life, yet we just hadn’t clarified ‘who does what’.
In my professional life, who does what was always a point of clarification. At the start of a meeting I’d make sure it was clear what we were all there for and who was doing what (my agendas were so clear), or when I’d start working with a new line manager we’d sit down and talk about ‘ways of working’ (I loved getting to know each other’s dynamic early on).
I wonder what you’re really good at in your job that you could be taking those same learnings or system over into your personal life? Maybe you’re the one always there for everyone else (are you there for yourself enough at home?), or that is just incredible at prioritising the important stuff not just the urgent stuff (do you even know your priorities at home?), or perhaps it’s more that when you’re in a meeting you feel super present and focused on what’s going on (how often do you feel in the moment at home?)?
There’s so much that we do in different areas of our life, that where they feel great and successful, could give us valuable learnings when applied to other aspects of our lives – like giving ourselves enough me-time, relationships or even our health and well-being.
I have soooo much more to say on this topic. And I bet the moment you start scratching the surface you too will start seeing so many opportunities to shine that light of yours onto areas that just need a little more love and attention right now to get them to how you want them to be.
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