Oh, internet, we love you. But between the constant notifications and interruptions disguised as totally urgent tasks, it's become so important to put in place solid boundaries.
Social media has become this weird instant portal to everyone you know, or might ever want to know. Through social media, no one is ever really unreachable, and it holds you in this odd place of having a door halfway open to just about anyone. So often, other people think this means you are instantly accessible. Which then can make you feel like you should be available all the time.
And because these habits have crept in over time, it's almost too easy to view it as just the way the online space is, no big deal...except that it really is. When you're constantly anxious and stressed, when everything feels like a time crunch, when people and messages and emails are flying at you from every direction, and you feel like you just can't get ahead:
Social media provides a lot of great opportunities to expand your reach, connect with interesting people, and learn things you might never have otherwise had access to. But the pressure to constantly engage is very present, and let's be honest: few people are actually wired that way. Me? I need a lot of space. A LOT. I'm at my best when I'm tuned into my own rhythms and my own instinctive knowing. That gets lost if I allow too many distractions to get in the way.
I have learned that I need to hide out and be completely unreachable at times, so I can show up and be present when it counts.
This is not a sign of weakness. It is unrealistic to be “on” for other people all the time, especially if you're someone who recharges best alone.
In a world that disproportionately praises and rewards extroverted qualities, I'm just going to say the unpopular thing:
There is no hierarchy here. Let's consider that. I mean, really take that on.
We have to start integrating that there is no external standard to strive for. It is unfair to ourselves to demand anything more than simply just being the best possible version of our own selves.
Don't you think that, if you were designed a particular way, there is probably a good reason for that? And that quite possibly, all those traits are actually the thing that make you perfectly-suited for something?
Sit with this idea for a minute: your natural preferences and habits are not something to break, rewrite, or try to work around. (Unless you've identified it as a harmful pattern, and changing it would free you or make you truly happier in some way.)
It is up to you to figure out where those boundaries are, where that place of “being my best self” exists, and hold the vision for those feelings, and for the conditions that allow those feelings to endure.
It is your birthright to live and feel the way you want.
One of the beautiful reasons I chose to work for myself is so I don’t have to swallow my feelings and agree to everything that everyone else wants from me. Isn't that true for you, too? Isn’t that why we all chose this path?
Chant it, journal it, meditate on it:
My schedule and my priorities are not for anyone else to decide. I choose how I spend my days.
That is why we do this.
Don’t let anyone rope you into doing things in a way that doesn’t work for you.
As the business owner, you are the leader. You set the standards. You help weave the pieces together into something meaningful. You make it all work.
But it can't work if you're just along for the ride, going along with every outside idea thrown at you. No, babe. Not you. You're called to lead instead.
Don't hand over the title of Chief Visionary to anyone whose energy comes in contact with your business. Not everyone is qualified for that role. (In fact, I'd argue that most are wholly unqualified. Not sorry.)
Check in with yourself. Start holding a weekly board meeting with yourself and your journal, if it helps you to map it out that way. Decide what your business needs--and get really clear on that.
And hold the vision to see it through.