Updated: Nov 27, 2020
2020, in it's weird signature fashion, presented us with a Thanksgiving Day here in the US that kept many of us from surrounding ourselves with loved ones. It's been a bit hard. But it has also given us an opportunity to reflect upon what we already have and normally take for granted. For me, this Thanksgiving reflection consisted of a marvelous journey I have taken these past two months. I wanted to share that with you.
Somewhere in September and October I realized that the one thing I complain about all the time is how I don't have enough time to do all that I have to do. I want to share how interrogated that belief and reframed my mind about it.
When I have this "scarcity of time" mindset, it first shows up as stress and anxiety. I carry around this burden that I have so much to do on my mind. I become anxious, irritable and quite easily overwhelmed. Then, it begins to show up on my physical body. My body begins to show signs of stress as shoulder pains, tight back or knots, and tightness at the back of my neck. I begin to get frustrated. That feeds into the anxiety, and then I unleash the self-judgement and begin to compare myself to everyone and everything. It becomes a vicious cycle and I begin to spiral down. If I am not aware and don't take action, this can lead to burnout.
I also noticed that my behavior relating to this belief mostly shows up when I am a little unaligned with my authentic self. Something feels a bit off, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Now, I have learned to look for various cues that show up in myself - mind, body, energy. So, when it happened in September, I knew it was time to confront it and it was prime time to do something about it.
I chronicled my journey in confronting that belief and getting to the bottom of it in three IGTV posts.
The first step was identifying that I have a belief that I don't have enough time to do all that I have to do. Let's unpack that statement.
"I don't have enough time." In fact, I have the same amount of time as everyone else. We all have 24 hours a day, no more, no less. That part of the statement shows some really interesting information.
Is there a hint of inflated sense of self-importance? I am more important that everyone else that I deserve more time?
Is there a sense of rebellion against the natural order of the space time continuum? No, universe! You shall not tell me how much time I have in a day and how much I chose to do.
What exactly is "enough" time? Enough time to do everything or enough time to do everything perfectly?
What exactly even is enough? When do I decide it is enough? How much is enough?
Let's look at "... enough time to do all that I have to do"
What are all these things that have to be DONE?
Why do I HAVE to do all these things?
WHO says I have to do them?
Who says I have to do them ALL?
How does "doing-them-all" aligns with my short term goals?
How do they align with my long term goals?
If they are not, then why am I doing them?
How much time - proportionately - am I spending on those?
What things can I delegate, outsource or simply not do?
And how WELL do they have to be done?
So, you see, there are a lot of problems with that statement. I realized I have been looking at it all wrong. So I questioned if this is coming from a mindset of scarcity of time, what would abundance of time look like?
I had a real hard time wrapping my head around what would "abundance of time" look like. It was unlike anything else that I've reframed my mindset on before. When I think about abundance of anything else, it is thinking of expansion - of joy, love, health or wealth, etc. But, time is THE ultimate finite resource. We experience it linearly. It is fleeting. What is lost is gone forever. Everyone, very democratically and equally, has 24 hours in a day - unless you are on a different planet with a different rotational period around its own axis and the orbit around the sun. So, I spent a few days just pondering this. It was quite an enjoyable mental exercise actually. It required me to weave between philosophy, science, and emotions. I ended up having a lot of appreciation for the human idea and the experience of time. My mind was pretty blown about the constructs we have created about time.
Then, I arrived at how this lack of time is actually to do with time management; to be precise, task management. I couldn't help but to proceeded to really interrogate the concept of “time management” and went on a philosophical exercise. The term "time management" gives this false sense of comfort that we can actually control time. But if you actually think about it, it's how we manage our lives and our tasks within the 24 hours of the day, CHOOSING how much time we decide to allocate to every task.
Then, I looked at ways how I already HAVE abundance of time - I have the freedom to whatever I want to do, whenever I want - because of the job I created for myself. That is huge. So, I do already have A LOT of abundance of time.
Then, I was confronted with 2 important and deep questions:
Am I using the idea of "having to do all of these things" as an excuse to hide from some truths?
What are my absolute priorities and what tasks should I get rid of completely based on my priorities?
That lead me to a deep dive into where my need to do all these things come from and ended up with:
I need to do all these things to feel good enough
if I do all these things then I can control the outcome
I am overcompensating for my feeling of inadequacy and feeling like an imposter by trying to do many thing, all at the same time - and I wanted to do all of these perfectly
I am consciously choosing the need for perfection getting in the way of good enough
Wanting to do all of these things is a form of perfection itself
I am doing so many things to keep myself busy from deeply engaging with myself
I also noticed how by keeping my schedule way too packed, I was not allowing myself any "visionary" time that is critical for this startup I am just starting. At the root of all those beliefs about control and perfection was a second tier belief that "If I am perfect I will be safe". It came up in a therapy session that I operate with a foundation I set up so long ago in my life, I made a secret deal with the universe that if I was perfect I will be safe. I will speak about that in a separate post. I am still working my way through it. I made a bunch of radical changes after roughly the 10 days of chewing through this belief. And spent another few weeks implementing some changes. I forced myself to take a mini sabbatical from work. I decided I am going to prioritize how I take on tasks, in a way that I can maintain MY integrity and maintain the integrity of the commitment I made to myself in my self-growth. I decided to reduce the number of clients I see a week and I raised my session prices. These were all required to align with my authentic self, value my worth and honor myself and the company we are building. If I am not honoring myself, as the CEO, I am not able to honor the beautiful things that emerge for this company.
There is a lot of value on sitting with an idea and letting it simmer and cook for a while. The tail end of this very productive exercise of interrogating my relationship to the beliefs around time, coincided with me starting Suzy Batiz's Alive Abundance course in End October. There, I started doing Byron Katie's Four Questions method to interrogate all of my beliefs. A lot has emerged from that. I will share those findings with you in a new post soon.
Stay safe during this holiday season, connect with your loved ones virtually. And invest some time in your personal growth!
PS: Give a gift of self discovery to yourself and / or yourself + a loved one. We have a fantastic holiday sale we kicked off this week. Click on the links below to buy gift vouchers