Do you expect too much of yourself?

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SuperwomanDo you expect too much of yourself?

I suspect the answer is (as it is for most women) yes.

I don’t think I know any woman who hasn’t, at one time or another, expected too much of herself.

The question is, do you recognise it?

Do you see it happening?

…and if you do, do you do anything about it?

The reason I’m bringing this up today is that I’ve had an experience recently that showed that I still do this from time to time…and I wanted to share it with you to serve as a reminder to give yourself a break too! 🙂

As you know by now, the last couple of months have presented some challenges for me.

About 5 weeks ago, after a month that included a major breakup, a major event and the completion of a 30-day challenge, I wasn’t surprised when I started feeling a little under the weather.

I figured that it was perfectly normal for my body to have a physical reaction to everything that had happened, and I took things a little easy.

What started as an unidentified virus though, developed into something a little more disconcerting. For three weeks, I spent the majority of my time feeling like I’d been sat on the teacups ride…and that someone had cranked it up to triple speed.

The doctors informed me that I had a bad case of Labarynthitis…which to me sounded either made up, or like I should be serenaded by David Bowie and surrounded by muppets (for those of you who don’t understand the reference, this should help: http://youtu.be/WT_xpFZe20A). The reality is that it is an inner ear problem which can leave you feeling very dizzy…and can take some time to sort itself out.

I had a huge amount of work to do, but I knew that this was my body’s way of telling me that it needed a break…so I did the smart thing and rested.

For a day…

…a week…

…a fortnight…

I did the minimum that I could to keep things ticking over and spent the rest of my time listening to my body’s pleas for R&R.

After three weeks of taking it easy I was feeling that I was on the mend.

So I decided I had clearly rested enough, and it was time that I got back to living life ‘normally’.

So what did I do?

Over the course of a 5 day period I did an international radio interview, participated in a flashmob, had numerous meetings and calls, came in and out of London 3 times (which is a 3-4 hour round trip), celebrated a friend’s birthday, attended two friends’ leaving gatherings, went salsa dancing…all on top of trying to catch up on my normal business activities.

I was back!

I felt great!

On day 6 I was back on the teacups and the speed had been cranked up another couple of notches.

I felt awful.

…I then looked back on what I’d done and laughed at myself.

I’d gone from doing the minimum to keep things ‘ticking over’ to jumping straight back in at full force in the blink of an eye!

…and I’d expected my body to just keep up.

So, I took the lesson and returned to my rest. After another week I was able to start easing myself back into doing more.

So I’d like to remind you that when you think you might be expecting too much of yourself, break out the “STAR” acronym…only this time there’s a slight addition:

  • Stop – Stop and take a step back from what you’re doing, rather than just ‘keeping it going’.
  • Think – Think about what you’re doing, is it really reasonable? Are you looking after your needs? Are you expecting too much? Is there another way?
  • Acknowledge – Acknowledge if you are expecting too much, and what would be best for you in the situation.
  • Respond – Respond accordingly…take the action that is right for you.

…and today I’d like to add the final S to the sequence so that we can all be “STARS”!

  • See – See if it’s working. If it isn’t, that’s ok! Just repeat the “STARS” process again until it DOES work for you.

So next time you think you might be expecting too much of yourself…remember that we all want to be STARS…so that we can…

…Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

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