Simplify for more energy & joy

Maybe you have been thinking about a career change, or something you want to bring to the world or some other change you would love to make.

Complex keeps us stuck
What I see over and over again with my coaching clients and also in myself. We tend to make things far more complex than they need to be. Resulting in us not taking any steps we want to take, losing the initial spark of energy, the joy and exhilaration this idea brings us. Because it is just so big, daunting and complex.

Making things more complex than they need to be is often an unconscious hiding strategy, because this beautiful thing we want, also brings up fear. So what do we do?

These are brilliant ways of hiding while we convince ourselves we are working diligently towards making this change.  But we don’t bring anything to the world, we don’t make a change yet, we are still not doing what we would love to do and are not in contact with the people we love to reach with our work.

Energy and joy
The energy and joy does not come from making a list of people you could reach out to who could help you further with your idea. The energy and joy (and lots of fear as well), comes from actually making that call to set up a meeting with one person and talk about your idea, getting input on your idea.

The energy and joy does not come from making elaborate plans on paper- it comes from taking one practical first step.

So simplify for more energy and joy.

Simplify so you can get out there, to get out of preparing and get into actually doing it.

 Some questions that might help you simplify:

🌱What would be the most simple, basic way to do this? The simple basic way that makes it possible to do it now. With the knowledge, skills and resources you have at this moment.  And what is my first step then?

E.g. If you want to develop a new course on a subject that is really close to your heart- you don’t have to read all the books about it first, design all the 10 modules. Instead ask yourself what is something I already know a lot about? Can you develop one trial lesson on it- and test it with a small group of students?

🌱Another way to go about it: Make a list of all the things you think you should do, learn, know, prepare first. Then ask yourself for each of these things on your list- If it was impossible to learn, prepare or know this first. What could I do now to get started anyway?

E.g. you don’t need to first know your career direction before setting up that zoom call with that senior woman you admire. In fact, the call might help you get more clarity on your career direction.

🌱 What step would be doing instead of preparing?

When I decided about 5 years ago to start my own company in coaching- that same day I reached out to three people to ask them if they would be willing to be my trial clients. Instead of first making a business plan, website, market analysis etc. Why? Because I wanted to keep the energy and joy going and really take steps immediately. I knew that if I would first take time to plan and think everything over, I would be so intimidated by what I needed to do and learn. Then all the fears and doubts would get the better of me. So when those fears and doubts hit me big time the next days and the weeks to follow- I was already moving because I had trial coaching sessions planned.  With my trial clients I already was doing the thing I wanted to do: coaching! I was experiencing the joy and energy of my dream while tackling all the other things necessary to build a company.


What can you simplify to find more energy and joy?

Comparison is a blockage to doing your best work!

When you compare yourself to colleagues… what happens? Do you feel that you should do more, should work more hours, work harder and faster to keep up?  Chances are high you feel this way, probably most of the time. Especially in a competitive environment like academia which is built around fierce competition for scarce funding or jobs, you might find yourself comparing so much. Comparison triggers feelings of not being good enough. Comparison adds to the stress that is already so high in academia.

Comparison motivates?

You might say…but comparison might help me push through, go forward, do more, go faster. My question is does it? Because if it is true then by all means use comparison as a motivating force.

But before you conclude that comparison helps you, check in with yourself when you are comparing yourself to that colleague, or the group of colleagues.

How does comparison really make you feel?

How does it make you feel- does it indeed give you new energy and motivation that propels you forward? Or are you more like me and like a lot of my clients…

When I start comparing myself to competitors, other entrepreneurs and coaches who seem to be more successful, it does not propel me forward.

What happens instead is this

When I am feeling this way I cannot work creatively, effectively, or efficiently. The opposite happens.

Stay in your own lane

When you start comparing you will always find people who seem to be better or more successful than you. And there will always be people who are less successful than you.

Comparison won’t help you to make your best, unique contribution in this world. Comparison kills joy, creativity and energy and hence it will make doing your best work more difficult!

So instead take the advice of Brene Brown: “Stay in your own lane”.

How to do that practically?

Don’t look at everyone driving in the other lanes. Just focus on your own lane and ask yourself at the start of your day:

And go and do that- just focusing on your unique, best work.