Pitfalls, Plateaus, and Pondering
Some days are more like a slog through the mud than a walk in the park. I dunno if there's something in the air, but the last few days have felt like walking through the aforementioned mud with a 200 pound boulder strapped to my back. I've been very grateful to have had a ton of energy, motivation, and determination in the process of launching my business (God knows I needed that strong cocktail of descriptors to get me through the year-and-a-half-long buildup), but I seem to have reached a stalling place...a summit...a plateau. I'm okay...not mad, sad, or anything else about it. I'm just taking a moment to catch my breath and ponder it all.
I actually think I've reached this place on purpose...almost as if it was my destination without even being aware of it. When you decide to learn something new and you set a big goal at the end of it, you never really know what you don't know, you know? Okay, so what I mean by that is that when you set that goal and you work really really hard to get there and you finally achieve it, there's that moment when you naturally stand at the top of that hill, hands on hips, wind in your hair and you say, 'Right. This Is It. Here I Am.' Cue the crickets. But it's only natural that we reach plateaus in our climb to reach our goals - business or otherwise - because eventually we have to catch our breath before the next climb.
This week I've come to that place where everything feels harder, and my intention and focus are struggling to kick back in. I think my brain just needs a break from the constant striving. I was thinking a couple of days ago that this is the part where the proverbial 'rubber meets the road', where all that I've prepared and trained and executed and reached for has finally been attained, and the door is open. And now I want to shut it again so that I can sleep.
I am working each day to continue to further my progress toward my business goals, but feeling like my body and my mind just want to rest. And so I shall. Rest, that is.
I think that living in a hustle-at-all-costs culture creates the mindset that it isn't okay to rest...it's not okay that I have reached a plateau and am struggling to focus and move forward after so long of constant climbing. But after a 30 year career in a completely different industry, I've learned that that mindset simply isn't healthy, and it isn't based in reality. Resting is GOOD. Resting is NECESSARY. We were created to REST before moving on to the next goal. In fact, after periods of rest at each plateau (whether it be the long-term plateaus or the daily workday kind), I find that I am much more productive..much more alert and ready to work hard to get to that next goal. When I'm not rested, everything spirals. I'm sure someone out there reading this is nodding in agreement as you read this.
So in conclusion I say that it is not just okay to reach a plateau and feel tired and in need of a rest, it's necessary for continuing the climb. There will be days, weeks, even months where you feel like it's all a walk in the park...setting goals, working hard, and finally reaching them. But then there will those that feel like a slog through the mud. Try to look at them as your cue to stop, take off the 200 pound boulder and rest. I promise you, tomorrow we'll conquer the world.