One of the most remarkable things I often hear people say in the midst of their stress and overwhelm, is ‘I wish I could switch myself off’. When you prompt someone in that position to explain this further, they will say something along the lines of ‘I wish I could take a holiday from myself for a while.’
Clearly this is not meant literally, as we all know we can’t take time off from being ourselves. It however exposes a common issue in a society where it is often expected that we are constantly at the top of our game. Rather than accepting that we are not able to resolve all our problems at this very moment, we would rather flee to a perfect, worry-free world in which everything is going to plan.
As we are not resembling machines with an on-off button, this will never happen. Away from our ‘holiday from ourselves’ the problems and challenges we are facing are still there and unless we change our mindset or plan to tackle them, we will still find them in our way.
I would suggest that rather than taking a holiday from ourselves, we should take a holiday from worrying about our problems. Take a nice long walk in nature. Spend time with family. Play with the children. Engage with your hobby, with anything that gives you satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
The problem will not disappear when you do so; however, by resting your conscious mind and letting it dwell away from from the ‘problem’, you will allow your unconscious mind to work on a creative solution in the background. It is remarkable how solutions to problems sometimes appear when we least expect them. But in order to do so, we need to give space to our unconscious mind to assess the whole picture, and see ‘the wood for the trees’.
There is no need to ‘switch yourself off’. It is ok to accept that sometimes you will face stress and overwhelm, and some days will look bleak and joyless. There will be days where you wish you could be someone else, rather than being a solopreneur. These days will come and then they will go again. They will pass because you are doing what you love doing, because you are connected to your passion and purpose, and because deep down you know that being a business owner is a marathon, and not a sprint.
PS Ethical business owner Jaya is an example of someone who is truly connected to her big passion and purpose. She speaks about it in the fourth episode of my ‘How Did They Do It’ podcast.