23 – when it’s time to stop

Tune into Episode 23 – when it’s time to stop right here in your browser, find it on your favourite platform (head here for the links) or keep reading for a transcript.

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Hi, hello and welcome to this episode of the Rules are made up.

Today is going to be a little bit different, it’s going to be a bit like a coffee chat because I literally have my cup of coffee in my hand. I’m probably going to sip throughout this episode, like right now.

So sorry, not sorry if you hear sipping sounds in the background, but it’s also going to be different because I did not prepare any bullet points for it, so I’m just going to talk as shit comes into my brain and there will be pauses and fillers like the UM just now. Because I don’t have anything prepared, but I wanted this to be a bit more personal I guess.

I don’t, I don’t even know uhm, but I just I just wanted it to be off the cuff with what’s in my head because I did want to share a bit about the decision that I made to stop promoting and running my group coaching program for this upcoming round that I had planned.

Yeah, share a bit more context as to why I made that decision and help I guess help illustrate to that sometimes those decisions are needed, and they’re not easy, they’re scary and they don’t need, they don’t mean anything about us even though society might tell us otherwise, Western society, at least anyway.

So to recap, if you haven’t really been reading my emails or we’re not connected on social media, on Wednesday this past week I made the decision and the announcement to stop promoting the launch of my group coaching program and to not run my group coaching program The Inner Compass in July and August.

It was meant to start in a couple of weeks and the main reason I made that decision is because I begrudgingly realized that I was doing too much and that I may have been putting myself under more stress than I’m already under and that I don’t, you know, I didn’t need the additional load on my mind.

And part of it was like, some of the signs, some early signs of burnout, I think are definitely there.

And any other time I might have pushed through and this is a really nuanced conversation, it will be hard for me to really go into the nuance on it you know, like in this kind of episode, I’d rather have a chat individually to you, and you’re always welcome to reach out anytime if you want to chat through something more specific and how it applies to you.

Because I do believe that in sometimes there is a case in a time and a place to push and to keep pushing even when you don’t want to or to you know, move forward even when you know when you’re scared, when you aren’t sure what, where you going to go or you know what the outcome is going to be.

But I think, and that narrative is pushed so much that we don’t necessarily apply it to the flip side of that which is realizing when instead of pushing, maybe you have to pull away.

Right, maybe you have to stop, quit, whatever words language you want to use here, we don’t look at that as nearly as often as we should.

You know that can often lead to like ignoring what our bodies are telling us, and thinking and writing it off as like, ah, you know, “I’m just scared or I’m just, you know, maybe I’m not ready or whatever” or you know we try and just write it off like it’s those kinds of things when actually maybe it is time to listen.

And that’s what I decided and I realized that I had to do, because to be completely honest, I was starting to dread having to promote the program.

I was dreading having to figure out how to fit it into, you know, some of the podcast episodes I recorded and figuring out how to you know, weave it into talking there.

I was dreading writing posts about it, I was dreading even just, I was just reading talking about it in any shape or form and kind of almost it felt like I had to put a mask on or I had to perform and be like “yay look, I’m so excited about this program launching and you should join!” when it was obvious in my body language that I wasn’t excited.

And it’s not that I don’t believe in the program or that I don’t, you know, and that I don’t believe it’s good or think it’s shit, that’s the opposite of what I believe ’cause I think the programs fucking brilliant.

I just did not, it was just one too many things on my plate at this time.

And I will go into that in a minute and so that’s why I made that decision, because if you’ve been around since the beginning of this podcast, or we you know me in real life or we’re connected and you kind of know a little bit about me.

You may know that I work full time, I have a full time job as an agile coach with a local bank here in New Zealand, I started studying part time again last year (I’m studying psychology). I’m only doing a course semester, but it’s still, you know, 10-15 hours or whatever, uh, week that that takes up for me.

I support several clients 1:1, so I still run my one on one coaching practice and that is not going anywhere anytime soon.

But I have those people to support, I also started volunteering in May for a crisis text counseling service, so most weeks (I’m taking a week off this week actually) but most weeks I’ll be doing a couple of hours beyond the screen talking to someone helping them in a moment of need.

We have a puppy, who’s almost six months old who needs walking and attention and training and loving and playing with and all the things that you do with the puppy.

And to top it off – let me know if you’re dizzy yet?

To top it off, and this is the first time I’m publicly sharing it outside of sort of more family and close friends, but my husband and I have been trying to conceive.

We’ve been trying to start a family of our own and we’ve been trying for a while and we haven’t had any success and I am moving closer to 40 than I am to, I’m further and further away from 30 on my way to the 40, so there are some other things to consider and we started seeing a specialist because you know “well it’s not happening, what’s going on? Is there something going on with us?

All the tests were fine, the specialist in our first appointment literally said, “I don’t know why I’m seeing you right now because you should not need to see me. You should not need my help.”

And so you know that was also maybe that should have been a bit of a wakeup call at the time and it kind of was delayed until this week.

Well, if everything fine, why isn’t it happening, you know?

And there are a couple more things that they want to rule out and as part of that I’m going to undergo a lap – laparosc- I can’t even say [laughs]  a keyhole surgery in a couple of weeks, let’s put it that way to check if I’ve got endometriosis and if I do, they can, you know, sort it out and if I don’t, then that’s the last thing to rule out.

But going through that process, it also, and I’ve been dealing with a back injury, a herniated disc in my lower back, so adding that on top of all of those things.

And so, as much as I was in denial about being stressed because I didn’t feel stressed, I didn’t feel like consciously that kind of overwhelm and the pressure, and the like “Oh my God, how I’m going to do it all?”

I didn’t feel and notice any of that.

That doesn’t mean though, that I am not stressed, right?

Navigating the back pain and you know the emotional part of that, that’s stress. The puppy not listening to me and me getting a bit antsy – stress.

You know having to take on other people’s emotion as part of my volunteering and my coaching to be fair, holding that space – that can be fucking stress.

You know, just because I don’t feel stressed or there’s no warning signs like you know, losing my cycle or anything else like heart palpitations, you know any bodily signs and signals that I’m stressed – does not mean that I’m not.

Right, those signals unfortunately sometimes you’re already halfway down that road before those signals pop up, right?

So it’s really hard to figure out when you’re actually stress and what is too much and what’s the thing you know that, the straw that broke the camel’s back – I don’t like using that metaphor, but anyway, now you have a bit more context for why I made that decision as well because if I’m being resistant and reading and like having to hype myself up, like really against my will almost – that’s also a form of stress, right?

And I’m putting pressure on myself and stressing myself out over something that I could I can, I’m in the position to decide to not do.

I want to quickly acknowledge that too because not everyone can make these kinds of decisions because you can’t just decide to not work ’cause you don’t have, you know sick leave or other kind of policies, paid time off.

As much as we say, take a break, you know, just take a week off or do this, or do that.

That’s not possible for some people as much as it sucks, and I want to acknowledge that, and there I’m incredibly, incredibly fucking  privileged to be able to pause essentially a part of my business, not all of it, but a part of it.

And that I am, if I wanted to, I could take and obviously I will as part of the surgery, I can take a week off my full time job and that won’t be detrimental to me, so I am incredibly privileged that I’m in that position.

But I also want to talk about how it was still fucked up that I noticed doubt about making this decision.

And especially – not necessarily the decision…

It’s like I knew that making that decision was the right decision for me, but there was this nagging little voice that said, but you started talking about it and you started promoting it and you started.

You know, doing all of these things and what if people were interested and they hadn’t signed up and you’re going to lose out on all these things.

And that’s you know that’s valid. But the big, big, big thing in there was around stopping something after I’d started it like I should, there was something trying to tell me that I should see it through.

And I want to call bullshit on that.

So often we celebrate the pushing through when you know it’s hard and that is like doing hard shit needs to be celebrated, pushing through when you’d rather do something else or, you know, continuing to work on something, even though it feels scary.

That is totally, that’s amazing, that is totally worth celebrating – don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to cheer you on.

But I think what I’m trying to say is that on the flip side of that, we don’t celebrate enough when we make a decision to stop, because we’re labeled as quitters, we are labeled as cowards, we’re labeled as… I don’t even fucking know what other word I was just looking for there.

But you know it’s made out to be the wrong like that’s not stopping always the wrong decision, I think as well as trying to say when actually sometimes that’s the that that is the right decision to make and it is so hard and nuanced to be able to walk that line and to figure that out right because I’ll be the first is like I have a podcast on lowering the barrier right?

Because sometimes you have to do that to be able to keep going.

But we have to practice tuning in as well, and figuring out, well, actually you know, even if we and that’s maybe that’s part of what I want to say, is that you know, I tried lowering the barrier with this promotion and this launch I had tried to lower it by, you know, figuring out I don’t have to be on camera to talk about it, you know obviously I can talk about it on the podcast and I did that.

I had slides Canva slides that I was sharing on my Instagram account and you know I could have just talked about it in text right as opposed to having to actually talk about it with my face showing.

That is, I could have totally done, that would have been my vision of lowering the barrier, right?

But uf that still wasn’t it, that was still not the thing for me, that is a sign to keep listening and go well if lowering the barrier does not absolutely work at all, then does that you know is that a sign to maybe stop instead?

And there’s always something you can try and do, which is to try on the different decisions, right?

If you find yourself in, obviously, maybe not exactly the same kind of situation, but a situation where you have to make a decision to keep going or a decision to stop or to pause temporarily.

Try both of those decisions on, see what they’re like, you know, put yourself, like really imagine if I make the decision to keep going and you know whatever the outcome of that looks like: what does that feel like? What am I saying? You know, like what’s that gonna be like? What’s going to be different? How will I feel?

And really, like take 5 to 10 minutes and really you know, imagine it like really visualize it.

And then do the opposite, that if you stop, how does that make you feel? Like if you were to say I’m going to stop right now, how does that make you feel? If you make the decision to stop and you know like, imagine you’ve made the decision, it’s a week later. How do you feel, what’s different? What’s that like?

Like try both of those decisions on and see if you notice some kind of response to one of them, because that that is away again to tune in to practice that tuning in and to see what you need to do.

And if you have amazing people in your life (like I thankfully do) – talk it through.

All you can do is share what’s actually really on your mind, but getting different perspective or having someone else hold up a mirror basically back to you to see what they’re hearing you say, is so invaluable. So, so invaluable.

If you don’t have that kind of person, I am more than happy to be that person for you and I’m not trying to sell you into coaching or anything, but seriously, if you just want to chat, I’m here.

Because getting that perspective, gaining that perspective on some of those decisions is just so helpful.

I’ve been chatting for a while now, so I’ll probably bring it to a close shortly.

I did want to make it clear that this podcast isn’t going away anytime soon. And my 1:1 coaching practice isn’t going away anytime soon, I have a couple of openings still and I know that might sound a bit weird and paradoxical at the end of an episode talking about burnout and stopping shit,  piling shit on your plate – I do have time and capacity or already available for those clients so if you’ve been thinking about this sort of actually figuring out how to do less or to not do it all is one of the things that you want to work on: Let’s have a chat because that is part of what I can help you, and in some cases I you know a lot, you can see you can tell I’m still working on myself but it is something that I can help you with too, because I can give you that perspective and ask you the questions of “Do you really have to do it? What does it feel like if you you know what if you didn’t?”

In all of those things so…

As always, the details to how you can work with me in the show notes

Thank you for tuning in to this episode and I’ll catch you on the next one.

Until then, stay curious.