There are so many things in life that can feel like a race. I wonder if I’m feeling it extra hard because a) I’m over 30 (and being over 30 seems to carry a weight of expectation) and b) I’m in the online business world (and competition/comparison can feel pretty damn real here).
Or perhaps it’s something we all feel. Like there’s a rush to succeed, to accomplish… to reach some sort of finish line that no one quite knows the location of.
I’ve always felt a little behind. Certain things have made me feel like I’m on the outskirts of adulthood. Quietly tapping on the window, wondering when the grown-ups inside will notice me and open the door.
I think this is mainly due to my living situation (on and off with my parents until making the move to Guildford last year) and my learning to drive later than all my peers (there’s something very childlike about needing a lift from your dad to meet friends or go on dates).
And now I’m venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, I have a whole new set of people to feel behind of. Launching and running a business on the side of a day-job, with limited time does slow things down.
Sometimes I see people in this world doing incredible things at what feels like the speed of light, while I limp behind, stuck in treacle.
The fact that I’m ‘side-hustling’ is what slows me down. The way I refuse to forgo self-care slows me down. Sometimes my anxiety slows me down. These elements are my treacle. They stick my feet to the ground and make it that much harder to put one foot in front of the other.
You might have your own treacle, slowing your progress. Maybe it’s childcare. Perhaps it’s supporting with the healthcare of a loved one. It could be your mental health, or even your physical health.
Something I’ve learnt, and I’d encourage you to do the same, is the importance of getting to know your treacle. Learning to accept it. Factoring it in. Remembering it next time you find yourself comparing your productivity with someone who doesn’t have your brand of treacle (sorry, I’m committed to this analogy now).
And then? Learn to accept going slow. Take it as an excuse to slow the rest of your life down. Stop looking at everyone else and keep going on your own path – it may be sticky, but it’s YOURS.
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Look behind you and see the trail of accomplishments you’ve already left. Look ahead and see the wide open space yet to fill. Your journey may take a little more time, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s any less fulfilling.
Find joy in your journey when you can and self-compassion when you can’t.
I hope these words acted like a kind cheerleader, standing at the side-lines shouting “Keep going!” and “You’re awesome!”, because you really are.
Next Sunday (27th January) I’ll be sending out my monthly musings newsletter so wanted to mention it here in case words of encouragement are your thing (there are lots of them in my newsletters).
This month the theme will be ‘mindful’ a word that is resonating deeply right now, not only in my self-care practices, but in the way I act around others and even online. If you want to subscribe, you can do so here.
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