Growing up on a small North Dakota dairy farm, the promise I inherited was that working really hard was the path to feeling confident, successful and fulfilled. When I set out on my own, I worked really hard. No matter my circumstances, my go-to strategy was to just put my head down and work really hard. But, feeling truly confident, successful and fulfilled alluded me for many years, especially when things didn’t go as planned.
By the time I hit my mid-fifties, I was going to bed most nights feeling stressed out, burned out and full of self-doubt, and would mentally beat myself up for not working hard enough to feel good. Worse yet, a lot of resentment built up over the years because the promise wasn’t playing out as true for me.
My desire to let go of that resentment became the catalyst for doing my inner work, during which I learned that as well intentioned as it was, the promise I inherited was ever so slightly flawed. You see, there’s a difference between working really hard as a way to feel good about myself and working really hard as an expression of feeling confident, happy and successful.
Recognizing that flaw opened my eyes to how I was making things hard just for the sake of working hard, how I ignored new ideas and collaboration opportunities and how I was shoving down and dismissing my emotions. Releasing that flaw and the emotions attached cleared the way for acknowledging and understanding my emotions so I could quickly shift from feeling triggered to feeling confident and calm, for finding my FLOW and living a purposeful and fulfilling life.