The Lone Leader Weekly

19th April 2023

The Weight You Carry

Are you a victim of circumstance, or are you taking a path less worn?

#1. The Voices Are Wrong.

You are making progress. Every single day you get up and go again.

#2. We Are All Playing At It.

Please don’t kid yourself that your peers have it all figured out. Like you, they are adapting, doubting and failing every day too.

#3. Be Relentlessly You.

Your vision, your ideas, your execution. That’s what people are attracted to, not some templated system without a soul.

Theres not a day that goes by that I am not trapped in my own mind, challenging my effort, my intent and my own value in this life. These are the moments that can provide deep introspection or a spiral of despair.

As someone once wrote, ‘when you work for yourself you wake up every morning unemployed, and you need to get comfortable with that feeling’.

There is no doubt in my mind that in the 12 years I have been running my business alone, that we are a special breed. We are the disruptors, the agitators and the lunatics, taking the path less trodden, defining the rules as we go.

But the madness of it all is that many of us feel unique. That what we are going through has only or is only happening to us in that very moment.

The money worries, the relationship strains, the unrelenting progress of technology all slowly but surely trapping us in our own minds.

We can be brave and console ourselves by proclaiming it doesn’t affect us; it’s only business. And to a point, that’s true, but business can be all-consuming, taking all the resources available to it and often leaving nothing behind.

One of of my weaknesses which I am focusing on turning into a strength, is the ability to observe and accept how far I have come.

I focus a lot on it with my coaching clients as I believe it is a source of energy and momentum. As soon as you shine a light on the progress to date. You realise you are indeed ‘doing it’ and achieving amazing things.

However, we allow ourselves to reflect on our to-do list for the day, what we didn’t get done, rather than how far we have come.

These small but critical roadblocks that we put in our roads slow us down more than the likes of our competition, the market or our bank accounts.

Our thoughts about our progress, what people think, and how successful we are versus how successful we think we should be are the things that trap us without walls.

Without the ability to process, act and file our thoughts or be free in our minds, we reduce our ability to think about the things that will move us forward.

When talking to clients, I call it ‘capacity’. If our cup is full and we keep tipping more in, it overflows, causing a mess. But if we leave capacity, the room to respond to life, the unexpected or the unwanted, we keep ourselves one step further away from overwhelm.

Because overwhelmed is when we keep pouring pints into a shot glass and then having to spend time clearing up.

We imprison ourselves more than we realise with our thoughts, and we need to stop. So what can be done?

If you want to empty the cup of nonsense, here are the 5 things I have been trying to improve my mental capacity to respond rather than react:

  • Write it down. Get it out of your head and onto a pad.

  • Exercise in the middle of the day. Your body will reset.

  • Reduce consumption of junk content. I.e the news.

  • Say what needs to be said. Don’t hold onto it.

  • Set goals that are nothing to do with business and obsess about them.

These are not bleeding edge concepts, but all free, easy and when you have 24 hours in a day, you have plenty of time to try each of them, which is no risk but the gaining of mental space for what matters.

When we try to go it alone, we only have the voices to keep us company, and they are not always kind to us.

Until next time. Make time to take a mental breath.


What next?

Subscribe to The Lone Leader Newsletter

Each week you will receive 3 powerful leadership and strategy tips that you can action today.