Out of Alignment

Y’all, I’m out of alignment.

Not chiropractically.  Energetically.

I can tell because my to-do list has gotten out of control (like two pages, single spaced), I have a constant sense that I’m forgetting something, and I’m withdrawing from activities and people.

What got me here?  Why am I so out of whack?

When I’m balanced, my achiever and maximizer are what help me drive my business forward.  My achiever is what gives me the energy to set a steady pace and define my productivity, it’s the boost of power that helps me tackle new challenges.  My maximizer helps me make the most of my skills and talents.  It keeps me trying for more and better.

But, every strength has a dark side, and those come out when we’re under stress.  Understanding those is what helps us overcome our challenges.  When things get overwhelming, my achiever and maximizer go into overdrive – creating projects and tasks seemingly out of thin air – causing me to measure my success by the number of things I check off my list.  My achiever causes me STRESS by adding unnecessary tasks just so I can feel GOOD by checking them off. My maximizer is that little voice inside me saying I’m not trying hard enough, or getting enough done.

Eesh.

I never know what triggers it.  Like many entrepreneurs, I suffer from depression and anxiety, so maybe it’s something chemical.  But, the fact is, I’m there now. And, I gotta do something about it.

Here’s what I know.

I’ve lost sight of the big picture.

I’m in the weeds.

I’m working in my business, not on my business.

Yada, yada, yada.

What do I do now?

Whelp, I just so happen to have two other strengths that I need to pull out of my arse…nal, to help me kick into gear.  They are STRATEGIC and FUTURISTIC (ta-da!).

My strategic gift helps me sort through the clutter and find the best path forward.  My futuristic self helps me create a detailed image of what lies over the horizon, and that vision keeps pulling me forward.  (yep, these two suckers have dark sides too – like spending too much time daydreaming about the future and not spending enough time getting the work done)

So, here I am.  Out of alignment, lost in the to-dos, and needing to reconnect with my long-term vision and goals.

And, happily, now we can turn the discussion from the touchy-feely stuff back to more practical strategy ideas (aka “my happy place”).

My three simple steps to re-alignment:

  1. Audit my to-do list. If I can’t connect a task to my long-term goals and objectives, I have to ask myself if it’s really that important.
  2. Prioritize. Revenue generating/client work comes first.  Strategic tasks that get me to those oh-so-important goals come next.  Anything else gets pushed to the bottom of the list.
  3. Get to work. Yes, my achieve and maximizer can’t stay quiet for long, but when I am working on those things that will move me forward to my goals – they’re rocket fuel for my success!

Of course, there are a million little tasks that HAVE to get done in order to run a business, especially when you’re a solopreneur.  I have tricks for those, too!  One of my favorites is the “scramble”. I’ll set an alarm on my phone for an hour or 90 minutes, and tackle as many 5-10 minute tasks as I can during that time.  It clears my list – and my head – and creates space for me to work on more important and strategic goals.

So, here’s the thing.  Every strength has a weakness.  A dark side. Understanding how your strengths and their opposing challenges play together can help you manage your time, and your energy, in a more balanced and productive way.

Running your own business is hard work.  You’re going to shift out of alignment sometimes, and that’s going to make it harder. The trick is not to beat yourself up if you’re struggling.

Take a deep breath.

Think about the things you do really, really well.

Put those strengths into play to overcome your challenges.

Where are your strengths?  How do they show up in your business?  What do they mean to YOU?  And, how do they challenge you when you’re stressed?

Your strengths and values are what form the basis of your brand.  If you or your business feels out of whack, it might be time to dig into those foundations to better understand how you can leverage them to reach your success.  Schedule a discovery call and let’s explore yours!

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