It’s easy to get derailed from taking really good care of ourselves when we’ve got a new project in the works, deadlines we need to meet, or teams to manage… and then we lose the joy. Our creativity suffers when we’re in this state and we don’t produce the amazing stuff we want to share with the world. What the f*ck is up with that?!
I’m super excited that you’re joining me today as I share my go-to strategies for getting myself out of the dark rabbit hole of overwhelm. It is possible to rock a super successful life. Remember that fear is always there, especially when you’re going after big goals. It’s okay to fail; step out of your comfort zone. Keep fear in the car but don’t let it drive.
Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.
Hello-hello and welcome to episode two of the Love Your Living podcast. Full language disclaimer here; I do tend to throw some F-bombs once in a while. This is who I am. If you have any littles listening, this is your warning to get your headphones or listen at a different time.
Today, I am talking about a topic that is so close to my heart. Why? Well, because I live a life that I am constantly pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone and dream big; like really big. And I told you that I’m going to get real, so let’s get real. And the topic that we’re going to get real about is fear and wildly ambitious creative entrepreneurs and behind the scenes of that life – any life, for that matter.
I run a book club for my LYL tribe. And you know me, I love to learn and to grow so I’m always reading books on just that. Each month, I pick a book that has really resonated with me at different times in my life; specifically, business life usually.
And this last month, we read a book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert; a book that honestly is a little outside of my normal wheelhouse. I am Super into business strategy, so what I love about this book is the concept of living a creative life.
As Gilbert explains, creativity and fear have to find a way to peacefully coexist if we’re ever going to get on with the work of bringing authenticity and innovation into the world. Creativity sends off all manner of
psychological security alarms; opening us up to the uncertainty. And by doing so, it activates fear.
Eliminate fear and we eliminate creativity. So creativity and fear have to find a way to peacefully coexist. Now, I mentioned that I’m all about business books and strategy, but recently, I have found more inspiration in strategy looking outside of the typical business books.
I have found gems in interviews, books on creativity, looking outside of my industry, and books on things like magic. And what I have realized is there are so many similar concepts. Whether you are truly an artist creating actual artwork or an artist within your business, we are all artists.
Entrepreneurs are creatives. This was seriously one of the most perfect messages for me to come back to – at least it was during this time. I always reread and study the books as we read them as a group and, of course, prior to our discussion. So what I was realizing is that I needed to really get back to this in my own life. I needed a little bit more magic. I needed a lot more magic, actually.
Now, this is where the real comes in. the last few weeks have been insane; seriously insane. My schedule is pretty intense. Much of the work that I’m doing is very new and it can be uncomfortable. And new and uncomfortable can also lead to fear if you let it.
I was cranky, I was tired, I was stressed out about giving enough to my team, about deadlines I was working under, managing multiple businesses, my family, my house. And did I mention that much of this work I’m doing is new creative work? Yes, so that means risk. That means unknown. That means I really have to watch out for fear.
I’ve been in this place before and, although I love to work, sometimes I take it a little far and allow my work and my goals to consume my life. Thank
goodness I have such an amazing husband. I’m still working on this and I’m getting way better at recognizing and being able to turn it around quicker.
But let’s get real; like, these times happen to everyone. I worked too hard for several weeks. I didn’t take time for me. I lost the joy in a lot of the work that I was doing. I just started to see everything as a struggle, as a deadline, another email, another client, another late night, another sale, another early morning; hard. And that is not what I set out to do.
In fact, at one point, I was questioning direction. And it hit me over the head, like, hello, you are not loving your fucking living; for real. Message received.
So when you’re in this place, everything is hard; really hard and fog. We block the creative energy all around us because we are trying so hard to control everything. Control is also something that I’m working on. We block exactly what we are seeking and we’re making it so much harder for ourselves.
We’re just running in circles and we lose sight of that big picture. We lose sight of our why, the very purpose of why we set out to do what we are doing in the first place.
So why are goals so important? You must always have a crystal-clear picture of what you want because when times get tough, which they will, I promise you they will, you have to be able to go back to that big picture; your end game and why this is all worth it.
How does that end game make you feel? How are you impacting those around you? How does that feel? What does it look like? Get crystal clear on your goals. Take time in those moments, or every morning for that matter. I do. This is part of my meditation every single day. Envision you’re already there. It’s called manifestation; it’s not a new concept.
What you think about, you bring about or what you think about, you become. Now, how productive and energized are we when we aren’t sleeping, working 12-plus hour days, not nourishing our body with healthy choices, not working out, not taking care of ourselves, drinking wine every night to cope with the stress?
From a personal experience, I can tell you, I am not at my peak energy state; far from it, actually. What I’ve also noticed is that my creativity and the things being easy versus a constant struggle or stress also changes significantly. Pretty interesting, right, because I’ve been in both places and it’s very different.
I’ve learned this. I’ve learned the concepts that really affect my day to day on a bigger picture; things that I wasn’t even noticing in the past, I wasn’t even open to seeing. When I’m constantly pushing, I don’t have anything to give. I’m expecting myself to pull unicorns out of my ass and change the world, but there is no magic. There is no clarity. There’s no creativity because fear takes over.
Self-care and play are essential to our most successful authentic creative lives. In fact, Doctor Stuart Brown, he is a pioneer on research of play-states. The opposite of play, he says, is not work; it’s depression. Think about that. Pretty crazy, right, the opposite of play is not work; it’s depression.
Play helps us improve brain functionality, stimulate our imagination and deepens our relationships. It’s argued that play is one of the most undervalued strategies for creative entrepreneurs. That’s mind-boggling to me. I’ve lived both sides of this coin and I’m a very firm believer in this.
Regardless of what type of business you are in, we are all creatives and artists of the life we are creating. I watched an interview recently of Jay-Z and what has made him one of the greats in the music industry, what has
allowed him and Beyoncé to challenge the normal and create new ways, create a legacy. It’s by doing things differently; by being creative.
And yes, they’re in a very creative world and industry, but it’s by taking risks. It’s going into uncharted territory, saying yes to opportunities that presented themselves. In order to feel this big magic, the flow, you have to be in a creative state and moving beyond fear. Keep fear in the car but don’t let it drive.
If we want to live creative ambitious lives, we have to learn to live with fear. Okay, that’s all great, I know, right. And truly, I do know this, but I still get sucked down the dark rabbit-hole. So how do I bring myself back up when I fall into the trap of fear?
Here are a few of my go-tos. I go back to my why. Like I said, make sure you have clarity on what your goals are, what your why is, why are you setting out to do this in the first place? At this time, my vision had changed slightly, for my life and for my business. And while that’s great that it changed and it evolved and it grew, I didn’t really take the time to realign with the new big picture.
So I was foggy on a lot of things. I didn’t know where I was going, so of course, I was confused and I was feeling stuck. Where are you now, where are you going? Get crystal clear on what your goals are and what you want and why you’re setting out to achieve it in the first place so that you can circle back to it.
Number two – checkout, get inspired, play. What books inspire you, music? Watch a documentary on a great leader. Music is huge for me. I find it one of the most creative industries. And of course, I’m obsessed with two of the biggest players – at least two of the biggest players that I feel are the two biggest players, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, of course, if you’re questioning that.
But play – play is so crucial. Take your baby on a play-date, go to the playground, go to the pool, checkout completely. See how you feel when you’re just laughing, when you’re cooking in the kitchen. Whatever it is for you, you have to checkout.
Number three – self-care, always and forever. Reevaluate your schedule if you need to; what’s working, what isn’t? What do you need? Take time for you. I literally got to a point that I ran out of shampoo and deodorant and all the food in my house and my face products. You name it, I was out of it. I mean, seriously, are we blind to this when we aren’t feeling on our A-game? Self-care, man, take care of yourself. See what happens.
Number four – drink a lot of water. A lot of water, like, all day. I tend to start reaching for coffee and coffee, more coffee when I get stressed out or when I get going down this negative bad habit. Dehydration equals tired and lethargic. You are not at your creative best when you are depleted of the basics. Drink water, start minimizing your caffeine intake.
You know, we think that caffeine gives is this jolt and it wakes us up – and yeah, it does to an extent – but when you’re tired, you’re dehydrated. So drinking a ton of water, you can really try to ixnay some of that coffee intake.
Number five – rest, of course. Get your sleep. Your brain and your body will be way more productive if you rest, I promise.
And the last one – move your body. I consider this part of self-care, but moving your body is so important that I will mention it separately. Working out is a game changer for me. It’s my stress reliever. It provides clarity, creates energy, brain function, endorphins. It’s a lifesaver.
I think if we all got to creating some of these habits within our own lives, we would see such a decrease in anti-anxiety medicines and sleep aids and all
of this anti depression – all of these medications that everybody is over-medicated now. There’s a pill. There’s a quick fix for everything.
We need to get back to taking care of ourselves. So those are my quick tips. I’m going to leave you with one more of my favorite quotes from this book. It kind of sums this all up, “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life; a happier life, an expanded life and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”
Living in this manner, continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you is a fine art in and of itself. Remember that fear is always there, especially when you’re going after big goals. It’s okay to fail; step out of your comfort zone. Keep fear in the car but don’t let it drive.
I highly recommend checking out this book. It’s such a great book on the concepts of getting back to enjoying more of your life to create even more success, rather than hating your life while you’re trying to achieve this success and the big goals.
Once again, the book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a great read. If you want to see what magic we are creating on the daily, you can check us out on the Gram @love.your.living – and of course, if you think we might be onto something great with our mission and passion to help women create a business and a life they love, please take the time to leave me a review in iTunes.
I love hearing your feedback. This will help other women just like you find the show. You can visit loveyourlivingonline.com/itunes for directions on how you can review the show. Thank you so much for joining me today. Go and create some magic in your life; go have some fun with it, go play. We’ll see you soon.
Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of Love Your Living. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love, or simply take your already pretty incredible life to the next level, head over to loveyourlivingonline.com/balance to download our five-step guide creating more balance in your life.