Carousel’s with you on a Wednesday today because I observed the bank holiday like a freelancer masquerading as a normal employee.
If you’re new here: welcome! Here’s a little bit about the Carousel model and here’s a bit about how I went from full time teaching to running my own thing (in cartoon form).
If you’ve been here a while, thanks for still being here.
Doing this running training I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of quitting #nevernotexperientiallylearning
Sometimes having a big goal (like going out for a longer run than usual) means you question less, and commit more. It’s clear. And motivating.
Sometimes it can be paralysing.
On Monday I set out on a long run and as I started I knew I wasn't feeling good. It felt heavy, harder than usual. When I got to 3km I stopped and reassessed. I was supposed to be doing a 20km run but I wasn’t even sure I could do 5km.
I stopped and texted my running buddy to ask for some wisdom. Should I push on? Or cut it short? I didn't know if this was a moment to really push my mental fitness or to honour what my body was saying.
As a beautiful synchronicity the podcast I was listening to had Abby Wambach talking about leadership. Her voice said "you know you can quit any time! Why don’t you just keep going? You always have the option to quit.'‘
Something shifted once I knew I could give up.
It was a choice to keep running.
I'm not sure if it was the banana, the permission or having warmed up a bit but I suddenly got into a rhythm. I stopped worrying about how far I needed to go, I just kept running. And I didn't do 20km, but I did manage 15km. Which was 12 more than I thought I'd be able to at the start.
So it's interesting isn't it, because sometimes we need that non-negotiable strict coach inside that says "you're doing it" - NO QUESTIONS.
And at other times we need the loving permission to be able to give up, and that in turn can bring some energy.
I learned 3 things about motivation and quitting on Monday (I know, I literally can’t do anything without there being learnings. SORRYYYYYY)
Allow for the warm up
Oh that first 3km was SO horrible. But I judged my ability to do the whole run on it.
The first ‘3km’ of anything is hard. The first few pages when we sit down to write will probably be a bit crap. The start of a conversation before we’ve warmed up and got into a groove with someone will feel a bit awkward. The first few ideas in any brainstorm are usually pretty average.
The beginning will just be a bit rubbish, slow and off. And the more we can remember that and not start judging whether something is working, the better.
Question to you: what is the equivalent of the ‘first 3km’ in something you’re learning/creating/making right now?
When we fight it, it’s SO MUCH HARDER.
Making progress comes down to a feeling of agency: I HAVE CHOSEN THIS.
With my previous long run I really wanted to do it and I believed I could do it.
This time, I felt pressured to do it because of the race coming up. So I I was sort of reluctant and resistant from the start. Which, guess what, takes MUCH more energy and tires you out more quickly.
So we have to be invested on some level. Up for the challenge. It can be feeling hard and horrible, but we shouldn’t be fighting and kicking against it.
In fact, I created a whole framework around this very thing:
Low interest + high discomfort = GRIT. And on a bad day that becomes RESENTMENT.
Question to you: what in your life is taking more energy right now because you’re fighting against it?
Give yourself a break
Of course we know it’s better not to panic and stress when we’re working towards something, but the more pressure we put on ourselves, the more our body goes into a fight/flight/freeze as it experiences this as a high threat situation.
The moment I took the pressure off this run having to happen at all I found unexpected reserves of energy.
It’s easier said than done, but whatever you can tell your brain to allow your body to relax can work wonders.
Question to you: how can you reframe something you’ve got to do right now so that your body feels more relaxed thinking about it?
🎧 AUDIO for TRAIN JOURNEYS, RUNS or doing the WASHING UP
🎙 I was on Anna Lundberg’s podcast ‘Reimagining Success’. It’s a really nice conversation about feeling out a multi-passionate lifestyle, having serendipity as a strategy and about prioritising creativity.
🎙So excited that on this week’s episode of Knowing When To Quit I have the wonderful Selina Barker @selinathecoach - life design and career change coach, the author of Burnt Out, and founder of 'Project You' and the Hello 2023 Goodbye 2022 journal series.
Selina was my entry point into designing a life I loved when I took her course back in 2013, and so it was a wonderful full circle to have her on the pod today.
In this episode we discuss:
How we sometimes have to quit the big dream we've had for our careers
Why quitting is a really important part of designing a life we love
The importance of taking a proper break between projects (inspired by her 7 year old son!)
Why everyone thinks they want to work in a café (or be a potter)
The reality of getting a book published - the highs and lows
Why Selina ended up self-publishing and advice for wannabe authors
On my Carousel
🎶 I’ve been back at one of the Big 4 running Power of Uke workshops with my team of Fasillytators. As a Carouseller who likes to mix things up, it’s quite amazing to have a product I’ve been building and refining over nearly a decade. I know it so well and am proud to have seen it grow up and reach more and more people over the years. It’s definitely had MANY turns around the Carousel, but right now there is a feeling of mastery that I don’t often feel with my work! Celebrating that.
📚My Coaching with Teachers venture is growing. I’ve now got 4 schools, with a few more in the pipeline. I’m loving the mix of support, purpose and creativity that this work allows. You can listen to me coaching a teacher on one of my latest podcast episodes here.
🎧 My DJ game is improving. I’m enjoying playing around with a capellas from early 00s hip hop/RnB tunes and mashing them up with other songs. I’ll aim to share a mix here soon!
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Always so good at inspiring honest reflection xx