Slow Down in Order to Go Faster

Like many others, I have been fascinated by the Olympic Games and the thrills they bring. Despite empty stadiums and the lack of an audience, top athletes have been pushing their boundaries and setting new Olympic records every day. 

Of course, not all favourites have performed well. In fact, some of them have not performed at all. I am of course referring to Simone Biles, the charismatic top gymnast who has given up on her disciplines in order to prioritize her mental health.

Anyone can draw their own conclusions from her decision. Personally, I learned the following:

  • Your mental health is not negotiable. Even if you lose everything else, taking care of your mental wellbeing will always allow you to return at the centre, start all over and forge a new path that better suits your needs
  • Success doesn’t equal mental wellbeing. You can be enormously successful and still suffer mentally every single day. You can also be gloriously happy in a non-eventful, ‘unsuccessful’ existence (based on the criteria for success in our Western world).
  • It’s good to know your limits and your vulnerability. The only person who can determine how far you are willing to go in order to achieve success, is you.

Like many other coaches, I often work with ambitious people who want to achieve many goals in a short period of time. It is wonderful to see their progress and achievements, that’s what we coaches are doing this for.

But sometimes I see it as my task, rather than keeping pushing these clients forward, to help them to take a step back and look at the big picture. How ecological are their goals? What are the implications on their mental health and their family life? Are they prepared to live with the consequences of their actions?

As small business owners, solopreneurs and creatives, we all want to achieve success and reach our goals as soon as possible in our journey. But sometimes it is necessary to jump off the coach before the final destination. Particularly if that coach is on a course to crash.

What are the consequences of our ambitions? Will our achievements come at the expense of friendships, relationships and our mental wellbeing? They might serve us short-term, but will they still serve our values, happiness and wellbeing in a year, 3 years or 5 years from now?

As a solopreneur, you have chosen to live your passion and to take ownership of your career dreams. Always remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. In order to reach the finishing line you have set ahead of you, you may need to pace and preserve your energy rather than giving it all right now. 

Stepping back when it matters so that you can take the right decisions, can propel you forward much faster than when you keep running and only focus on what is immediately ahead. You can see the trees, but can you also see the wood?

Another week has just started. If you don’t achieve the goals you have set out to achieve, start over again next week. There will be plenty of other weeks ahead.

Published by Kostas Panagiotou-The Freedom Composer

Creating Clarity and Freedom for overwhelmed solopreneurs, small business owners, therapists and creatives - | Composer | Birman cats

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