A year after I completed my coach training, I was working with a coach from my coaching program, and he told me, you have to allow fun in, even if that means you have to schedule it.
He was right. I didn’t have fun on my schedule. It was all work and no play. I believed I had to work hard in order to ‘earn’ time to have fun. I am realizing more and more that isn’t true.
The more you value, honor and take care of yourself and have fun, the better your business will run. It’s counterintuitive.
It doesn’t come easy for me and it is a continual work in progress, however, as I mature in my business, I understand it is vital to the success and sustainability of my business.
At that time, my coach gave me a challenge. He asked what I enjoyed doing and what brought me joy. I said dancing. He said, “Ok, what I want you to do is dance every day for 21 days, first thing in the morning so you don’t put it off and so you start your day doing something you enjoy. And, I want you to record it and send it to me so I know you did it.” Whoa. Are you kidding me, I thought to myself.
I resisted. I argued for my limitations. I don’t have time. How am I going to fit that in?
Who do you think you are to make me have fun?
It all sounded ridiculous – mostly the part where I was arguing for staying unhappy.
Unhappiness and discontent become familiar. You may say you don’t like it but your actions demonstrate otherwise. When you’re not willing to do something to change what you are experiencing, it is a clear indication that there is some fear around letting go of your old way of being. It is also possible that you hold on to some limiting belief that says you don’t deserve to be happy or that you can’t have it all.
Much of our resistance to living a fuller life centers on worthiness. Some of us have been taught to believe there is honor in suffering and struggle. Our identities are bound up in it.
When you make a shift, you are disturbing the balance. Your old identity feels threatened and this often results in self-sabotaging behavior. You may not be happy, but hey, at least you know how to operate from this space.
My coach persisted. “Ok, ok. I’ll do it,” I conceded. The next day, I started 21 days of dancing. I didn’t always want to but I had made a commitment so I stuck to it. I didn’t have any agenda or any hope that something would come of it or that I would change. I simply did it.
What came of it was something totally unexpected but I’ll save that for another post as it’s another story about how life finds ways to heal old wounds when you least expect it.
I did notice a change in energy, a lightness. I also noticed that having a commitment to myself and to something that made me feel good first thing in the morning before I gave my energy and attention to something else impacted how I showed up during the day. I was more energetic. I felt more creative, more positive, and more open to new possibilities. This is who we are when we let go of the old identity. The funny thing is, this is always available to us – we simply have to choose it.
This experiment was the inspiration for my recent 21-day challenge in my FB group. 21 Days of Every Day Joy – committing to doing one thing each day that lights you up, brings you joy, or a sense of satisfaction.
It is all too easy to forgo fun, unfortunately. When you make a commitment to it, you acknowledge its importance. When you measure something (doing one thing each day to bring yourself joy, for example,) you manage it. You figure out how to make it work in your schedule. Without a commitment, it’s easy to let it fall away.
If you want to make changes in your life or in your habits, start measuring it. Set a time frame and then make a daily commitment to it. Even better, ask someone to do it with you for added accountability and fun. Or join my FB group to have a whole community rooting for you.
What brings you joy? What lights you up? How often do you engage in these things and how present are they in your everyday life?
What can you do today to demonstrate your commitment to fun? (It’s not only good for business, it’s also good for living a fulfilling life!)