Letting Go of the “Shoulds”

balance, change, clutter, holistic organizer2 Comments

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This post marks the 200th blog article on Synergy Organizing! I kept watching the blog post counter move closer and closer to the 200 mark – and it seemed like a big deal to me.

Letting-Go-of-the-ShouldsThis blog has been operational for a little over five years now, which means I have written about 40 articles per year. Some of the credit does go to guest bloggers, but 95% of the articles have been written by me.

Honestly, as I kept putting the words down, I didn’t really think about reaching such a land mark number, but I kept going, I kept writing.

Why? Well, first of all, I like writing. Writing is one of the most fun things I do in my business.

But I have to admit, there was definitely a big, bad “should” behind my writing as well.

Over the years I’ve worked with a number of business coaches, and many of them encouraged me to write at least one blog post per week (among other “shoulds” in running my business).

Although it gave me a challenge to work towards, I didn’t always feel inspired to write, and many times it became just one more thing on my to-do list.

And I have a confession to make: over the last several years I’ve struggled with health challenges. I’ve worked with several doctors, therapists, natural health practitioners, acupuncturists, and a nutritionist, and only in the last month or so have I gotten an answer about what’s going on with my health that feels like it’s the real root cause of what’s been going on with me.

In short: I’m exhausted. Adrenal fatigue seems to be what’s actually beneath all the other symptoms that have been manifesting all these years.

This comes as no surprise to me really. I have not only always worked hard, I have always worked really, really, really, really hard at whatever I was doing. It was the way I was raised, and part of me took it to an extreme.

An extreme that is causing me to pay the price with my health.

This meant when I worked onsite with clients helping them clear their clutter, I worked so hard that I was almost constantly sore and exhausted afterwards. It also meant that when I worked the administrative side of my business, I was a perfectionist about every single detail and worked many long hours.

But it started long before I had my own business. I used to regularly work 12-18 hour days. I was out to prove I could out-man any other person in any job or challenge I was presented. I used to regularly workout 2 or more hours per day, 6 days per week in addition to working a physical job. I regularly rode my bike more than 100 miles per week – partially because I was told by doctors and society that I had to work that hard to be in good shape or to be considered a good employee. I believed that “should”.

All of these “shoulds” have led me to where I am today. And I realize it’s time for me to stop doing everything the way I “should”, because all the “shoulds” are leading me in a downward spiral.

What I’m fully aware of now is that if I don’t take some major downtime from how I’ve been running my business (from how I was told I “should” be running my business), that I’m never really going to get better.

So, for now, I’m no longer aiming to write at least one article per week for the blog. I will continue to write, because I love it, but I won’t continue to do it because I “should”.

It will be at least one month (possibly longer) before I’ll be available to do onsite consults.

And although I had planned to offer both a paper clutter clearing course and a time management course in the first part of this year, those projects have been put on the back burner until I feel I’m ready to approach work with a different attitude – and attitude free from the “shoulds” and full of joy for the material I will be presenting to you.

Because clearing clutter doesn’t have to be about a “should” either – it may be an emotional experience, but it can be one that leads you to deeper self-knowing and deeper levels of joy.

In the meantime, I encourage you to use the “Search” box on the right hand column of the website and search for an article about the topic you’re looking for. With 200 posts to choose from, it’s likely you’ll find what you’re looking for there. If you don’t find what you’re searching for, please drop me an email and ask a question or suggest a topic for a future blog post. I do absolutely love hearing from you, dear reader!

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  • Tracy,

    Congratulations on your 200th blog post! You are an inspiration to all of us who dare to be a success in the blogging community. While it sounds like there were some “shoulds” around starting to blog, it also sounds like it was your pure love for writing that sustained your blog; and frankly when I read your posts it shows.

    I recall being a recent college grad. I was interviewing at TV stations and one news director offered me the job simply because I was from the Midwest. He said, “I know they grow very hard workers there and that’s enough for me.” I didn’t accept that job, but those were his perceptions and exceptions of me.. and many bosses to follow.. and in reality that’s what I grew to expect of myself. And like you, eventually those crazy hours spent at work and at the gym felt more like a “should” than a choice.

    I think it takes wisdom, a sense of self, and hitting the rock bottom a few times to know the difference between working hard and working smart, between using your braun and using your brain. Good for you for recognizing the “shoulds” vs. the “loves.” I definitely think it’s a challenge many of us face and left untreated will turn into a life living on someone else’s terms.

    I’m excited to see where this insight will take you and your business. I suspect where you were at in your life when you started this blog might be a little different than where you are today. Thanks for bringing us along on your journey, and hopefully we’ll be a part of the one to come around the bend.

  • TracyKPierce

    Thanks for sharing, Tiffany. My brother-in-law got a job out in NY for a very similar reason – that Midwestern work ethic, and I’ve heard that from other friends who left the areas and got jobs elsewhere. It’s a blessing and curse for sure.

    I am also excited to see where this might take me in my business, and thanks so much for sharing your own experiences here. 😉