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Start with the low hanging fruit

I have recently found myself talking a lot about balance. In particular, how we balance ‘self’, ‘relationships’ and ‘work’.

(Note: relationships in this context include friends and family, rather than being focused on a single significant other).

During these conversations I tend to find myself drawing a circle split into three equal areas as a suggested starting point. Something like this:

Then I hand over the pen to the client and ask them to offer their own perspectives. Most of the time the response looks more like this.

Next, we move onto what would they like the balance to be, which tends to look a little like this:

There are of course no right or wrong answers to what balance each of us is seeking. However, whatever our choices and preferences it is vital that we choose a balance that is right for us and no matter how committed we are to work or relationships, we must make time for self. When we look after ourselves and put ourselves first there is a tendency to feel or be made to feel selfish but that is simply not the case. In fact, putting ourselves first and looking after ourselves gives us the capacity, mental health and wellness to be there for those around us, to build better relationships and perform better at work.

When we look after ourselves, reduce the amount of stress in our lives, eat better and exercise more then we spend more time in the rational mind. By clearing out the “stuff” that is weighing us down or getting on top of us we can make that move and then perform better elsewhere. Sorting this out is perhaps the first and best pathway to getting a bit more ‘self’ in our lives.

Of course, ‘clearing out stuff from our heads’ is very much easier said than done – so how do you go about it and where do you start? There are many options but the easiest place to start is the low hanging fruit. Sit down and write a list of the things that are bugging you, need sorting and filling up your stress bucket.

Then take a practical and rational look at the list. Things that are beyond your control need to be pushed aside for the moment, also those really huge jobs and daunting goals or aspirations. Instead start small – what is that small thing that needs doing, won’t take long and will give you the satisfaction of finally scrubbing it off the list?

In a recent example a client was returning home every day to be confronted by the half-painted hall door. It created a sense of futility and feeling that the whole house was always a mess because it was the first thing seen. Finishing the job just took a bit of a commitment and half an hour… from that point on coming home was a pleasure and other parts of the house started to slowly be sorted. Instead of being overwhelmed every time the door was opened it became a catalyst to achieve more.

Remember the lessons of the Team GB cycling team – small incremental changes led to overall improvement and wins. Learn that lesson, paint that door, finish that project, do the easier thing that will make you feel 1% better. Then tomorrow go for another 1%... repeat, repeat and repeat…

Perhaps, when you have 10% or 20% achieved those bigger goals suddenly seem attainable – you can redo your CV and go for that new job, finally enter that marathon, finish the extension on your house. It all adds up and then… on reflection you realise you have more of that balance you have so eagerly been seeking and have the opportunity to be living the life you want to live.

Adam Baggs Hypnotherapy offers solution focused hypnotherapy in Cirencester as well as online hypnotherapy. Learn more about what I can help with here.

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