Anna Maria Locke

How to cycle sync your business for more alignment and flow

2018Anna Locke

Do you ever notice how you feel like a COMPLETELY different person at certain times of the month?

One week you're full of energy, crushing your to-do list, high on life and setting crazy goals, then the next week you're super sensitive, having existential meltdowns, feel like a complete failure, and on and on.

When you're running your own business, the hormone rollercoaster can feel like a giant struggle and set back.

But what if you could recognize each phase of your cycle, feel empowered and in control instead of crazy, and utilize your cyclical female energy to create more productivity, flow, and success in your business and life?

OH YES!

I am here to tell the tale, my friends!

My Story

A little over two years ago I listened to a podcast interview with integrated nutritionist and hormone specialist Alisa Vitti all about optimizing your hormones to improve every area of your life. At the time, I had been taking the birth control pill for almost a decade and didn’t really think too much about it, but I’d also been focusing on eating healthier and taking care of my body and was starting to wonder if I really needed to flood my system with synthetic hormones every day.

Long story short (you can read the long story here!) I ultimately decided to quit taking the birth control pill in January 2016 and have been getting to know my body all over again ever since.

I’ve been equal parts fascinated to be a woman and frustrated that we aren’t taught how to understand our own bodies.

If we were raised to honor and respect the awesome superpowers we have, I wonder if so many women would struggle with weight, body image, eating disorders, and general low self esteem today?

I wonder what the world would look like if we owned our bodies and the power they contain instead of shaming ourselves?

That's a rabbit hole for a different post...

Because I work for myself as a coach and creative entrepreneur, I have almost complete control over how I spend and delegate my time and energy on a daily and weekly basis, and once my cycle returned with more or less regularity I quickly began to notice that I felt different at various times through the month.

I’d have an almost predictable breakdown and life crisis the week before my period, then other times of the month I’d have an almost manic energy and want to work 16 hours a day.

I started getting curious about hormones and fell down the rabbit hole of learning about feminine energy. This post is a brief and surface level summary of what I've learned so far based on my research and personal experience. My suggested resources are at the end of the post if you'd like to learn more too!

Before we dive in, I'd like to emphasize that I am not a medical professional or expert in anything except my own body. YOUR BODY and YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE are your guides. Take what resonates, leave the rest, and get curious and patient with the process of bringing awareness to your own body right now, no matter what's happening for you. 

What is cycle syncing?

We're taught to think of our menstrual cycle as having our period -- we are either on or off. But really it’s a continuous hormone flux that lasts all month long; constantly happening in the background of your life.

As women, our bodies operate on a cyclical framework as our hormones rise and fall every month. This is really cool, but also can be challenging because the rest of the world and society operates on a linear framework that supports a male’s hormone pattern. (Hello, patriarchy!)

A linear or masculine pattern might look like this.

  • In work: Career trajectory. Strategic plan. Quarterly or annual objectives. Profit/loss. Growth margin.
  • Health and wellness: Nutrition plan. Goal weight. Fitness program. Training schedule.
  • Life: To do list. Chore chart. Weekly schedule. Daily agenda.  Productivity hacks.

Sound familiar?

But as females, our biology operates on a consistently inconsistent pattern driven by our hormone fluctuations each month, which means we can’t expect ourselves to perform or have the same level of energy and focus every single day and week. It's literally against our nature to force ourselves and our lives and business into constant growth!

The more we understand about what’s happening within our bodies, the more we empower ourselves to honor and respect our energy and can learn to work WITH our cycle instead of against it. This unlocks so much power and innate wisdom that allows us to truly grow into our full potential in life and work and flourish along the way! Bye bye, burn out city.

"Cycle syncing" means bringing awareness to your body's natural hormonal cycle, and then using that knowledge to inform your actions and decisions depending on which phase or "season" you're in at the moment. This will support your health and energy while optimizing your unique strengths and feminine power!

Benefits of cycle syncing

  • Avoid burn out

  • Heal fatigue

  • Your whole business and life will flow better!

  • Manage your energy // set boundaries

  • Communicate your needs to create stronger relationships

  • Maximize productivity without micro-managing your life

  • Know WHEN to schedule things like launches for best success

  • Less overwhelm, more focus

  • Achieve sustainable business growth, including seasons of rest

How to track your cycle

The easiest way to track your cycle is to number the days starting with the first day of your period. Record the first day of bleeding as "Day One" and number from there! You can use a notebook, journal, planner, or an app.

To track your energy shifts and really dive into this practice, I love journaling in the morning or evenings. Keep it simple! Every day, track what day of your cycle you’re at and check in with how you’re feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally. Let this be a fun daily ritual to tune in and ground yourself!

+ What does your energy feel like?
+ What does your body feel like?
+ What is your inner voice or inner critic saying?
+ What’s coming up for you today?
+ What do you need?

After a couple of months, you’ll start to notice patterns in your energy, state of mind, and emotions, and this is when you'll really be able to lock into the power of your cycle and use it to predict what's coming and prepare accordingly.
 

Cycle Seasons 101.png

Your inner seasons

A fun way to experience the different phases of your cycle is to think of them as the four seasons. Each cycle, your body flows through a seasonal year. The length of each “season” or phase depends on your personal biology and will probably shift a little bit each cycle, so the best way to identify your own inner seasons is to track your energy for a few months so you can start to recognize patterns or how each phase manifests for you.

We’re all different, so trust YOUR own unique experience over anything you read here or learn from a book! There is no such thing as a perfect cycle, just as nature itself is beautifully imperfect.

Seasons Overview

Winter - Menstrual Phase (approx 5-7 days)
Spring - Follicular Phase (approx 7-10 days)
Summer - Ovulatory Phase (approx 3-4 days)
Autumn - Luteal Phase (approx 10-14 days)

Each season or phase presents unique strengths and superpowers that are available for you to tap into and apply to your business, as well as potential pitfalls to recognize so you can give yourself compassion and grace along the way.

winter season.jpg

WINTER

  • Menstrual Phase- approx 5-7 days
  • Hormones - progesterone and estrogen drop
  • Feminine archetype - the wise woman or crone
  • Moon phase - new moon

Overview

Your physical energy will be pretty low so resist the temptation to “push through” as normal with a full workload, exercise, etc. However! Communication between the left and right hemispheres of brain is super strong right now since your hormones are at their lowest, leading to clear intuition and the ability to receive subtle messages of what’s working and not working. I call my period my “vision quest” week because when I intentionally carve out space to just chill, meditate, do gentle yoga, journal, and simply BE, I get crazy awesome intuitive downloads and feel more connected to my greater vision and purpose than ever.

It’s easy for you to meditate now, so carve out time to get quiet and still.

Winter is the best time to:

- Rest! SERIOUSLY. Resist temptation to be productive
- Reflect, set goals and intentions, journal to access deep insights and intuitive hits
- Evaluate biz progress and make course corrections
- Make a plan for the rest of your cycle
- Block off your calendar and take a break from client work, projects, etc.
- Ask for support and help! Can your partner take care of the kids for a night? Can you delegate stuff in your business? Receiving support right now will make you stronger in the long run.

Be careful of:

- The temptation to “push through” or else you’ll be more likely to experience burnout later in your cycle
- Overextending yourself. Practice self compassion!

spring season.jpg

SPRING

  • Follicular Phase - approx 7-10 days
  • Hormones - Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) triggered, estrogen rises
  • Feminine archetype - the maiden
  • Moon phase - waxing crescent

Overview

Think about spring - a season of new beginnings, growth, sunshine and light returning after the darkness of winter. After a few days of bleeding, you’ll notice that one day your energy might surge back. You might be feeling clear, energized, excited to tackle new things, outgoing, optimistic, and full of fresh motivation! Think of how you felt as a little girl: enthusiastic, energetic, and sure of yourself.

Over spring into summer, you might notice that you resist “inner quiet work” such as meditation or journaling because it’s hard to focus on yourself as your energy and brain kicks into gear. Go with it and don’t pressure yourself to keep up practices that don’t serve you right now. Figure out what does feel good, and do that!

Spring is the best time to:

- Start a new project
- Get to work on the plans you laid in winter
- Schedule and book calls, appointments, coffee dates, networking events
- Be open to new things

Be careful of:

- Inner critic popping up if you do too much and put yourself out there before you’re ready
- Over-doing it as you feel a burst of energy -- pace yourself!
- Protect your new ideas and projects, don’t launch too soon

summer season.jpg

SUMMER

  • Ovulatory Phase - approx 3-4 days long
  • Hormones - Estrogen rises, testosterone surges, luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers egg to release
  • Feminine archetype - the mother
  • Moon phase - full moon

Overview

And after a surge of new energy, we arrive at summer. Ahhhhh. In Chicago, summer means long nights on patios, rooftop bars, picnics, concerts, and enjoying life. Just like the season itself, you’ve arrived at a peak phase in your cycle energetically as you crest the rising tide. You might feel like Superwoman! You’re outgoing, magnetic, social, and focused on the needs of others more than yourself right now. This can be a vibrant time in your business since your communication skills are at their best and your energy is magnetic. As it ovulates, your body is literally saying LET’S MAKE A BABY AND NURTURE THE WORLD! And running a business is a similar process of creativity.

Summer is the best time to:

-  Nurture relationships and connect with your community
- Launch!
- Declare yourself and claim your authority! Tell the world what you do and how you can serve
- Create videos and host workshops or live events
- It’s easy and fun to be visible right now

Be careful of:

- Saying “yes” to too many opportunities … remember your energy will drop soon
- Don’t neglect your self care even though you will be more focused on others
- Feeling vulnerable or uncomfortable if you are more sensitive or introverted, Summer might not be your fave season but remember you are safe!

autumn season.jpg

AUTUMN

  • Approx 10-14 days long
  • Hormones - Progesterone and estrogen rise, then suddenly drop if your egg isn’t fertilized, triggering your period
  • Feminine archetype - the wild woman or enchantress
  • Moon phase - waning crescent

Overview

After the crest of summer, the seasons change again and we arrive at autumn. The time of completion, change, dropping and shedding what no longer serves you just like the leaves start falling from the trees. Your physical energy probably starts to decline a little, but your creative and mental energy might be quite high. You’re easily triggered, extra sensitive, and your ratio of estrogen:progesterone makes you more aware of details you might not have noticed before. You have zero tolerance for things that don’t feel in alignment, and your inner bullshit meter is buzzing.

This is the season where the Inner Critic lives! Instead of judging yourself, listen to your critical thoughts with curiosity and compassion, and you’ll likely gain deep insight into where you’re holding back, what’s not working, and where you need to shift back into alignment with yourself and your deepest desires. Positive affirmations might not resonate with you right now because your inner critic is quick to call bullshit.

You might experience some mood swings, physical symptoms of PMS or PMDD, and feel like a complete crazy person, but remember COMPASSION COMPASSION COMPASSION! Meet your inner wild woman with grace and love. The world has conditioned us to believe that hormonal, emotional, angry women are dangerous and should be silenced. Choose to rise above that story and let. her. out.

It’s ok to not be happy all the time. Embrace your shadow side.

Autumn is the best time to:

-  Create!
- Channel your energy into juicy content
- Finish projects, de-clutter, prioritize admin tasks
- See what (or who) is  not working in your life. Your tolerance for bullshit is at an all time low
- Give yourself compassion and feel the feels
- Give yourself space for self care

Be careful of:

- Inner critic - use as a guide to identify where you're out of alignment
- Increased sensitivity (avoid confrontation, tracking unsubscribes, social media consumption, hard conversations)
- Consuming too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol
- The existential crisis … it’s normal. You are ok!
- Making big decisions. Journal and braindump what’s coming up for you, meditate on it during winter, and wait a couple weeks to take action in spring!

IMG_7722.jpg

If you don't have a natural cycle

So what if you don't have a natural cycle, due to birth control, hormone imbalances, pregnancy, menopause, etc? 

One alternative is to use the phases of the moon to practice cyclical self care.

  • New moon = winter
  • Waxing crescent = spring
  • Full moon = summer
  • Waning crescent = autumn

If you’re on birth control, your hormones won't fluctuate as much and you won't ovulate, but you can still practice cycle syncing by marking the day after last day of bleeding as your "spring" phase and then counting 7 days of spring, 4 days of summer, 12 days of autumn, 5 days of winter.

If you're going through peri-menopause or menopause, be curious and listen to your body. You can use the phases of the moon to practice cyclical self care, or else feel into which season resonates most with you. After you go through menopause, your hormones change and you fully embody the "winter" season of the wise woman. Embrace all the gifts and wisdom you embody!

SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN A LINEAR WORLD

Remember that there's no such thing as a "perfect" cycle and this practice is just that - a practice. Each month will be a little different. Tune into what your body is feeling and experiencing and know that you are the foremost expert on YOU.

Practice awareness, patience, and self compassion.

Remember this is literally a “go with the flow” practice … do not try to micro-manage or control your cycle! Let your body lead. It’s ok to have irregular/MIA cycles. We are human, not robots.

If you're going through a busy season of life or are raising children, remember that cycle syncing and self care in general isn't an "all or nothing" concept. Give yourself just 5 minutes of what you need and remember that every small action counts!


cycle+sync+your+biz.png

If you'd like this information in an easy to implement PDF, including a sample month of what it might actually look like to cycle sync your business, I've created a free e-book that you can download here!


WANT TO LEARN MORE?

RESOURCES

BOOKS

APPS

  • Kindara
  • My Flo
  • Clue

Have fun exploring and getting to know your body! If you have any questions or "OMG THIS IS SO COOL" aha moments, I would love to hear from you :) You can email me here!

xo Anna

My deepest thanks and gratitude goes out to the authors, teachers, and mentors who have directly and indirectly guided me along this adventure -- specifically Alisa Vitti, Claire Baker
Alexandra Pope, Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, and Miranda Gray.

2017 in review ...and what's coming in 2018!

2018Anna Locke
10 life lessons from 2017

Hello my friend!

It’s a 60 degree day in February and we’re getting the most sun we’ve seen in Chicago since January 18th (not that I’m counting …)

This month has been a little rough! I thought I was experiencing a little bit of the February Blues but it kept spiraling into the Winter Sad’s and there was this gloomy cloud blanketing my mojo and productivity. I’m finally feeling more like myself and shifting back into the light with the help of friends, people who I pay to listen to me vent, tons of Vitamin D, and longer days.

And that’s the truth about self care: it’s not always about yoga and bubble baths and good vibes only.

Sometimes self care means getting uncomfortable, feeling the feels, setting boundaries, re-evaluating expectations, and investing in support. Do what you gotta do to thrive and function as your best!

At the same time, I'm also trying to embrace the fact that I'm a human being with a wide range of emotions, and that feeling moody is totally fine and safe. So often we pressure ourselves to be "on" and happy 24/7 which is completely unrealistic and counterproductive. It's ok to feel the feels and meet yourself where you're at!

Anyways, long story short...

I’ve been planning to write my own personal “2017 in review” blog post since December annnnnd now it’s almost March 2018 … but it’s never too late, right? Right!

I think I’ve been procrastinating and resisting this post because 2017 was such a personally massive year for me and I’m still processing and integrating and trying to understand all the lessons I’ve learned. But let's be real - as a recovering perfectionist I know that if I wait until I have the perfect post ready to share with you, it will never happen.

So this is my imperfect but real and raw edition of 2017 in review!

20171203-img_5982.jpg

Early in 2017 I traveled to Los Angeles for a leadership event for my health and fitness coaching business. It was my first time in LA so I had no idea what to expect except bad traffic and was prepared to be overwhelmed, but I was so surprised to fall in love with the energy of the city. It was like this magical, expansive energy of limitless possibility came over me that I'll never forget. I wrote in my notebook “this is the year everything changed" because I had this gut level intuitive feeling that whatever happened in the rest of 2017 would impact the course of the rest of my life, as if I was on the brink of a giant yet exciting sea change.

And it really was the year everything changed. Nothing like I expected, but in quieter, more subtle yet immensely powerful shifts.

I guess that's lesson #1: Life is never going to turn out as we expect.

If we're open and release our death grip on control, it might turn out to be even better.

I'll remember 2017 as the year I finally started to come home to myself. It was the year of alignment, flow, learning to trust myself. 

2017 was the year I turned 30!

My birthday is April 26th so in Illinois, that means a crapshoot between freezing and rainy or sunny and 70's. This past year it was the latter, and I kicked off my new year with lunch with a girlfriend, drinks and dinner with Ben at our favorite local restaurant, and wandering around my favorite high vibe neighborhood to soak in the sun and flowers. It was the perfect way to kick off a new decade!

I was a little nervous to turn 30, I mean there's such a stigma around leaving your 20's behind and becoming an official "adult." But it has honestly been my favorite year of my entire life so far.

It's like all the bullshit of my 20's was instantly washed away. All the self doubt, insecurities, drama, emotional baggage, it all went *poof* and was replaced with a fresh slate.

30 has been the year I discovered my voice and really felt like I found my groove with life, relationships, business, and my purpose.

Lesson #2: 30 freaking rocks

IMG_7620.jpg

2017 was the year I realized I'm creating a legit movement with Inspire Joy

I officially celebrated 3 years of coaching with Beachbody, my health and fitness platform. Three years is a long time -- officially the longest I've ever held one job. (#millennial) Ever since day one, I've had this crystal clear burning vision for the movement I wanted to create with my team of coaches, Inspire Joy.

I want our team to be a sisterhood, a leadership incubator for creative and big hearted women who are craving more in life -- more freedom, more connection, more impact, more purpose in their lives. A platform for self discovery, for sharing our stories to empower and serve others. 

We do our work online, so every chance to get together in person is truly special. In July we travelled to New Orleans for our annual coach summit, and physically meeting my coaches' coaches' coaches and feeling the instant synergy like we are all long lost soul sisters was overwhelming. 

I also officially launched my health and wellness website so I could branch out and keep the two arms of my business (life coaching vs. health and fitness coaching) separate! If you want to keep in the loop with my health and wellness groups and get my weekly motivational pep talks, you can join my mailing list here!

Lesson #3: Sometimes it's safe to stop hustling and striving and acknowledge that you have already arrived. Also -- it is possible to build an authentic, heart centered, and profitable network marketing business!

In 2017 I made family more of a priority. Ben and I live several hours away from both of our families and I sold my car last year but I was able to take the Amtrak home for several weekend visits, hosted my parents for a sunny and warm February weekend, visited the German Christmas Market here in Chicago with my grandma and mom, road-tripped to East Tennessee to visit Ben's mom (and hike!), got to see my younger siblings who are now adults living all over the country, and spent a little time on my grandma's farm in Iowa.

Lesson #4: The older I get, the more I realize how important family is to me, and also that I am happiest when I'm out of the city and in nature, whether that's a mountain or cornfield.

Ben and I didn't take any major trips together this past year but we made an effort to get out for mini weekend road trips as often as possible, to Madison, Michigan, Galena, Indiana Dunes, and a bigger trip to Tennessee. We love traveling and exploring new places together and want to enjoy the freedom we have in this season of life, pre-kids and pets! 

Oh, and we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and continued our epic Halloween couples' costume tradition by dressing up as the eclipse :)

Lesson #5: Marriage rocks. At least when you're married to Ben. Also, it's worth it to break out of routine and explore new places even if they're right in your backyard!

2017 will go down as the year I discovered so much about myself.

I finished my life coaching certification and launched my 1:1 practice!

I learned how to invest in myself and my business, and was able to connect with many other incredibly inspiring coaches and entrepreneurs to share this crazy rollercoaster.

Lesson #6: I can trust myself and embrace the journey

 

I also started to take my personal development obsession to a whole new level, dove into spirituality and my faith journey, and opened myself up to learning about so many "woo woo" alternative things like astrology, crystals, human design, manifesting, feminine energy, basically anything I felt curious about that resonated with me.

Lesson #7: Entrepreneurship (and life in general) is a spiritual practice, and the more you open your heart and surrender to the bigger power we're all part of (whether you call that the universe, source, God, etc), the happier and more in flow your life will become.

Lesson #8: Follow your curiosity!

I've been working on my health and fitness for years, but as my life evolves my wellness journey has evolved as well.

Instead of working out and eating healthy to be skinny-fit, I've started appreciating my body for what it does for me. I feel more comfortable and confident than ever, and have shifted my goals towards hormone health, strength, and most of all having fun!

I joined a yoga studio, tried a 21 day vegan reset, have learned a ton about cycle syncing since quitting the birth control pill, and feel a lot more relaxed about the whole health and fitness thing.

Lesson #9: Embrace the journey and make your own rules when it comes to health and fitness. We only get one body and it has to last a lifetime!

2017 was the year I truly OPENED MY HEART! Instead of being an introverted hermit and playing victim mode, I actively searched and created community and belonging whether with my team, friends, and by hosting my first live workshop!

Lesson #10: It is safe to be yourself and share that with others. It's also ok to ask for help, lean on friends for support, and be a team player instead of putting yourself and others on pedestals.

IMG_9366.jpg

What's coming in 2018?

Well, so far the year has been off to an exhilarating yet rocky start. Lots of up-leveling, growing pains, old fears bubbling to the surface, exciting new opportunities, but overall I feel like I'm finding my groove and am excited to keep growing, sharing the journey from the trenches, serving others, and having adventures!

I'm continuing to use my health and fitness coaching as a positive outlet for self care and mentor my coaches.

I'm also taking on 1:1 life coaching clients, and am super excited to be developing my first group program or e-course for creative entrepreneurs and women in biz who want to learn how to tap into their feminine energy and create authentic, sustainable success while making self care a priority!

My focus this year is to create more content, cultivate community, prioritize my creativity, and most of all relax and enjoy the journey.

Cheers to the next chapter!

xo Anna

Are you addicted to achieving? How to create a healthy and positive relationship with your goals

2017Anna Locke

This time of year I always get caught between the hustle and busy of the holidays (Parties! Presents! Family time! Travel! Visioning my new business dreams!) and the urge to carve out as much quiet downtime as possible to get cozy and reflect on the year behind us.

Tis the season to reflect on the year, do one last final push to finish 2018 projects and goals, and think about New Year Resolutions, right?

Still not sure how I feel about annual resolutions but I’m definitely a fan of the fresh start. I’ll be sharing my top 2017 takeaways, lessons, and favorite memories soon, but for now I want to talk about goals.

More specifically, about my relationship with goal setting, self worth, and creating a positive relationship with the hustle.

Over the past couple of years as I've been learning how to slow down and heal my perfectionism/workaholism/anxiousness I've found myself drifting away from goals, telling myself stories like "I'm just going to go with the flow" or "I need to embrace my feminine energy and focus on alignment" or "my business and life is in such a state of evolution, I don't want to tie myself down."

But I'm starting to realize that I NEED goals, discipline, and structure to feel my best. For me, there's definitely a thing as too much flow, and it makes me feel ungrounded, overwhelmed, caught in my head, and blerg.

The REAL reason I didn't commit to any specific or tangible business goals this year is that I was afraid.

Afraid I wouldn't have what it takes to follow through.

Afraid I'd fail.

Afraid of the hard work necessary to grow into my goals.

I wanted to be able to give myself the safety net to be able to say at the end of the year "Oh well, I didn't reach that goal again...but it's ok because I didn't really go for it. It wasn't my priority."

Ya feel me??

And I'm calling bullshit because I'm tired of playing small.

I'm learning how to create a healthy relationship with goals, work, and ambition -- a relationship that stems from knowing that I'm inherently worthy of happiness and success and am able to work from a place of passion and purpose, instead of trying to prove myself from a place of desperation so I can hang my self worth on my achievements.

0107.jpg

I’ve been a high achiever and perfectionist my entire life.

In second grade I had to make up a standardized test that I missed while on a family vacation, and I remember the teacher’s aid telling my mom that “Anna is a trooper!” because I buckled down and crushed it. 99th percentile, baby! I never studied for tests, always waited until the last minute to write papers, earned more money in scholarships than I’ve ever earned in all my jobs combined.

I grew up living with not just the belief but the unshakable assumption that I would excel at everything I tried.

This mindset served me really well while I was in school, when there were clearly defined benchmarks and a sense of momentum from semester to semester. Do the work, get good grades, pass the class, repeat.

Once I graduated into the “real world” however, I started to realize how emotionally and mentally destructive this self imposed pressure and perfectionism could be.

I kept on achieving and striving, without ever feeling like I was good enough. There was always more to do, more goals to reach, like I was sprinting through a marathon but the finish line kept moving farther and farther away, and it only got worse once I quit my job to be a full time entrepreneur and coach.

About 2 years ago I finally woke up and realized that this wasn’t how I had to live, and that I could CHOOSE how to define success for myself. I could learn how to define my sense of worth outside of my work and achievements.

It takes a lot of time and patience to unlearn patterns, belief systems, and habits that have lodged in our subconscious.

Whenever you want to make a positive change or shift in your life, especially one that involves boosting your sense of self worth or self love, I’ve found that awareness is the first step!

In my own journey and in working with other ambitious, high achieving recovering perfectionists I’ve discovered that we feel most stressed, small, desperate, and overall YUCK when we’re overly attached to our achievements and goals.

You can love what you want with all your heart but don’t be attached to getting it
— Melissa Ambrosini

Over the past couple of years I’ve been getting curious about my own sense of self worth and how I can show up from a place of wholeness -- knowing that I'm already good enough and have nothing to prove.


What it feels like to be addicted to goals:

You’re driven by a sense of desperation and fear, constantly second guessing yourself and your brain won’t shut off. You keep feeling like you’re not doing enough and need to work harder. You fall into people pleasing patterns if you depend on other people (clients, team members, etc) to reach your goal, so you give them power over your sense of success, identity, and worth. The thought of failing gives you a visceral reaction of deep shame, you can’t even contemplate it so you keep numbing out on busy work. You fixate on the numbers and freak out if they’re not constantly going up...you attach your sense of self worth and identity to your own success and external achievements.

You're subconsciously driven by fear:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of judgement
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of letting others down
  • Fear of letting yourself down
  • Fear of being stuck
  • Fear of being mediocre
  • Fear of being not good enough

Your sense of identity revolves around what you do, and you may find yourself getting trapped in comparisonitis, feeling jealous and bitter of other people or women who seem to have what you want.

You think, "if I relax and slow down, I will lose my edge and be unproductive," or "my drive and ego is a good thing b/c it motivates me to get shit done." 

THESE THOUGHTS ARE MYTHS.

It is possible to be motivated from a place of rest, passion, purpose, and love.

To work not because you have to prove yourself, but because you can’t NOT do the work you love.

How to detach your self worth from outcomes and achievements

  1. Get curious about how you want to FEEL: How do you want to feel when you're engaging in your work? When you're reviewing your progress? When you realize you might be off target and need to pivot?
  2. Add in mega doses of self compassion and empathy. How can you be kinder to yourself?
  3. Make sure you're setting goals from a place of passion and purpose, not ego or what you "should" do. What would you do if success/failure/money wasn't an object? What is your heart calling you to do? What would you do if you weren't afraid?
  4. Give yourself permission to do the inner work. Feel the ugly feels. Process your insecurities, fears, doubts. Entrepreneurism and growth is a rollercoaster and a spiritual journey.
  5. Get support!! Whether that's  your partner, friend, or a coach ;) this inner work is hard but having trusted people in your corner makes it a whole lot easier and faster.

HOW I WANT TO FEEL: light, powerful, excited, empowered, confident, free, grateful, connected

I'm dreaming big for 2018 again.

Giving myself permission to go for it, but permission to be ok if you I make my goals in the end.

Because it's not about the achieving in the first place. It's about the process, learning and growing along the way.

xo Anna

 

If you want some guidance around setting soul-aligned goals for 2018, download my new free guide: Create an Inspired Year!

 

photo by Artistrie Co