You should go unfuck yourself.
You tell yourself “just one more late night.” Consciously know that sleep will be more beneficial for you, but staying up late to ‘catch up’ seems like the right decision.
After all, it was you who got you here — do you really deserve to get a good night’s sleep?
12 Signs you’ve fucked yourself — and maybe even a way out.
Eleven hour days, eleven out of ten effort, and sometimes you stop and realise you’ve been clenching your jaw for the last Fuck Knows how long.
When you work in a job that you don’t really care about — you show up (hopefully a little earlier than) right on time, you leave when your shift is done. Some of us take jobs we know we won’t care about, because we don’t want to burn out our brains. We don’t want to ‘take work home with us’ while we’re still in school.
But then we get a career — a job going somewhere that we care about. That we don’t feel the need to embellish when we meet new people and they ask that horseshit question of SWDYD?*
Or worse still, we go off on our own, and we decide to earn our keep.
Something about going into business pulls you.
Was it — being your own boss? (potentially) no ceiling on your income? the dream of the holiday destinations, or the nice cars? For most, it’s just the idea of helping people, building something, and leaving your mark on the world.
(For me — it was the: love of the chase (and sales) that comes with operating a business; getting to call the shots and use creative and artistic talent; helping positive and vibrant clients in the fitness, health and wellness industry; and being able to work from any cafe in the world, on my terms, with the goal of only working a 25hr week.)
Every job needs you to work 11/10 for a short stint, on the odd occasion. Florists on Valentine’s, Cinema or retail staff on Boxing Day, Bar Staff on NYE or St. Patties. We get it.
But then they go home, unwind, pour a stiff drink, and then laugh about it later. The workday eventually ends, and the rush is almost always followed by a lull.
Yet, when you are your own boss, there is always something more you could be doing.
12 Signs that you’ve fucked yourself.
- You’re up late for the 4th night in a row, but if you’re being honest with yourself — you’re not really getting that much done.
- You tell yourself “just one more late night.” Consciously know that sleep will be more beneficial for you, but staying up late to ‘catch up’ seems like the right decision. After all, it was you who got you here — do you really deserve to get a good night’s sleep?
- The people around you have told you that you work too hard, and they don’t like seeing you this stressed.
- You snap at them for telling you that you’re looking stressed.
- Your diet has slipped, you’re not training as hard as you can (how can you train properly? →), you haven’t slept.
- You spend more time wishing the well of shit would disappear, instead of digging yourself out like you had actually planned.
- You haven’t taken your dogs for a proper walk in — you can’t remember how long.
- You’ve had a cough for 2 weeks that you can’t shake.
- If you do switch off, it’s hard. Alcohol, other vices I won’t list, and the little asshole in your head has been getting louder and louder.
- You miss the old you.
- (and if it’s really bad →) You can’t even remember who the old you was, what they liked, or how they relaxed.
- Things and people that you previously ignored, walked by, or didn’t even register — profoundly annoy you.
How to go get fucked.
Running an 11/10 for longer than a day or two is a sure-fire guaranteed way to fuck yourself.
You know this.
If you’re a Personal Trainer, you monitor your client while they work out. You look for signs that scream out that the client needs regression.
You understand the importance of rest periods on the body. You know that if the client happens to push themselves to an 11/10, then they’re going to need a pretty huge break, and maybe a bucket for their vomit. And, you’re keeping an eye on the time.
You know that if they get to the vomit stage too regularly, their body is going to pack it in. The body’s sick of their shit, and they’re sick of your shit as their trainer. They just fucked themselves, and it’s going to take them a while to get back.
Regardless if you’re training clients or not, your own boss or not — you know that you can’t sustain running at an 11.
This isn’t why you got into business. This isn’t helping anybody.
If you need to get out of a hole, put down the fucking shovel and stop digging. Nobody comes out the other end alive.
How to go unfuck yourself.
I’ll keep this brief, because if you’ve nodded along, you probably feel a little worse than you already did, now that an internet stranger has pointed it out.
Truth is, I do. We all do. We all do this, and we all fuck ourselves.
The first part of this is knowing that when the success of your business — even partially — is responsible for the food on your table, this shit sticks to you. 11/10 effort days are inevitable from time to time, but they aren’t sustainable.
11/10s are Seductive. A single 11/10 will show you just what you’re capable of, and will get you hooked.
What you’ve actually seen is what you, in your current environment, can hustle in a day if you really try. Problem is, you can’t do it again tomorrow, the next day, and/or the day after that.
You need to stop. Now.
You need a 1:1 ratio, 11/10 recovery day.
I’m talking massage.
I’m calling the entire next day off work, moderate intensity exercise, no alcohol, no email, a healthy + light dinner, and an early night.
I’m talking spending time with those around you that truly matter, and I’m talking taking those dogs for a walk.
You need to call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, and ask them out to dinner.
And if you’re anything like me, you need R&R hardcore — I’m talking yoga, meditation, turning your phone completely off, and writing down a list of what you’re grateful for.
Remember that you’re not entitled to the fruit.
You need to remember that doing the work doesn’t make you a good person.
There is no real reward at the end of a workday that is determined by how much effort you put in.
You either do the work, or you don’t.
Not showing up and doing the work regularly will be very unlikely to help you realise the why you got in to business in the first place.
If I never showed up and did the work, I would probably never get the opportunity to work from a cafe in Seattle one day and write posts like this. I might not some day get to take a 3 month holiday, and know that my business can run itself why I am away.
But none of that matters.
“You certainly have the right for prescribed activities, but never at any time in their results.” — The Bhagavad Gita.
We aren’t entitled to the fruits of our labour, only the labour itself.
We can’t guarantee that we’ll get the prize at the end of all the work, but all we can do is forget about the trophy at the end (that isn’t coming) and show up.
Dial it down to a 7.
I believe it’s very plausible to show up every day, and give a 7 out of 10, and see real progress on your business.
It’ll be tough to sustain, but at a 7/10, you can switch off at the end of the day. You can enjoy your holidays, and actually switch off.
And your family will acknowledge that you work hard, but will never wonder about the days where you might be ‘more present.’
Forgive yourself, and go back.
You’re here right now.
Let it go.
Forgive yourself for being exactly where you are at this moment.
But most importantly:
Remember why you’re here in the first place.
Be grateful for the little blessings in your life, the taste of coffee in the morning, how good clean sheets feel on your skin when you crawl in to bed.
And finally, go back to what sustains you.
This post originally appeared on PT Champion – I help Fitness Industry Professionals build their business and brand online, and sign more clients (and not fuck themselves).