Expect The Best. Prepare For The Worst. Capitalize On Your Self-Care.

Self-care is never selfish, but it may feel that way when you live a frenzied life.
— Arthur P. Ciaramicoli
Practicing self-care.

Expect The Best. Prepare For The Worst. Capitalize On Your Self-Care.

 

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

Very often we get caught up in trying to decipher life. Searching for clarity around our sense of purpose, our sense of meaning, our sense of fulfillment. And because we're so wrapped up thinking about these things, we miss the right-now moment. We can get swept away by our thoughts, or learn to step back and see them with clarity. It's easy to forget it's a choice.

Have you had days where nothing seems to go right? You feel like a piece of driftwood tossed by a raging river, sweeping up anything and everything in its path. Swimming to shore seems impossible, even when your life depends on it. At times like this, it sure doesn't feel like you have a choice.

The murky river waters make it next to impossible to see choice, much less a hand in front of your face. Finding ourselves at the mercy of the river, we're often unaware how we got there. We're too busy trying to survive, grabbing on to anything that might keep us afloat.

High achievers are notorious for poor self-care habits. Yet it's the very foundation that leads to longevity in careers and your ability to be a thriving entrepreneur. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not fizzle like a shitty Hollywood remake.

You can dip your feet in the river without the worry of being swept away. But the deeper you go, the less balance you have. You're less sure of your footing. It doesn't take much to knock you off your feet and be sucked into the depths of the abyss.

Where choice comes into play is knowing when to ask for help. Before you need it is the key to longevity. Clarity comes from a helping hand to navigate what blinds us to the options we have in moving forward. Poor decisions are a result of a busy mind.

I try to follow the advice of Benjamin Franklin who said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." I used to let my mind take me wherever the current mood struck. I had no routine and did little from a preventive sense. I ate like shit, stayed up late and drank too much. My exercise consisted of a couple short walks with the dog. I rarely reflected on the chaos. I operated in survival mode.

I'm a company of one, but I sure as hell don't do it alone. My support tribe is there to throw me a life preserver when I drift too far and I'm struggling to get back to shore. 

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. I work with my own coach twice a month. She helps me navigate my fears, challenges my limiting beliefs and gives me the shifts in perspective that I need to get unstuck. When you're doing everything you can not to drown, this is a literal life line.

Self-care and goals

Just when you think you have it all figured out, buckle up! Because what rollercoaster is really worth the price of admission without you being thrown about at a hundred and fifty miles per hour?

There's power in learning to step back, regroup and see that wherever your focus goes, the energy flows. The river is your focus, the flow, the current, what pushes you forward in your self-care journey.

I recognized that in order for me to have some semblance of stability, I had to create a ritual, a routine or priming like other top-performing people. Their success comes from their willingness to dedicate time and energy every day to being the best version of themselves. It requires showing up rain-or-shine, motivated or not. There has to be a willingness to make incremental improvements and to make time for recovery. 

Have you noticed that when you're more present, you also tend to be more content? What I learned was it's okay to have off days. Those days I lessen my load but I treat self-care like brushing my teeth. Even if it's a day from hell, I'll brush my teeth.

Focusing on meaning, we miss the discovery. Focusing on the destination, we miss the journey. In life it's enough to be present for each moment right now.  

If you can step out of that cycle and instead relax into the uncertainty of life, you actually get to discover yourself. In discovering we find ourselves more focused on the journey. We're not thinking so much about a future point or destination, instead we're right here, noticing life as it is in this very moment.

Robert Downey Jr talks to Sam Jones about his process -- or not -- of working with a script. And how self-care lets him show up and rock it.