Photo by Novel Creature
Here’s what I want you to know: Your beautiful heart matters. The way you feel while reaching your goals matters. Feeling good on the the way to your dreams is just as important as creating the results you crave.
In fact, it’s the fastest way to create those results.
I know how to hustle. I know how to hold my breath on the way to my dreams, sacrificing everything for the task at hand. In fact, I used to pride myself on it. “You think you work hard?”, I’d say to my imaginary competition, “Let me show you how it’s done.” I became a master at writing off my desire for balance, at suppressing my need for rest. I could put my head down, bite the bullet, and get stuff done.
And you know what?
It sucked. I woke up anxious, my body tense from trying to keep the endless to-do list straight. I constantly felt tapped out, like I was all out of ideas and any minute now people would start figuring I was flailing. Running on empty doesn’t do anyone any favors, least of all your audience. They deserve more, and we as creators deserve to find a balance.
I know now that I can straight up serve my tribe by taking good care of myself. Does that sound ridiculous? Okay. I don’t care. It works.
Something really powerful happens when you declare to the universe that you are no longer available for striving every waking moment. You want to reach your dreams, yes, but you’re not willing to neglect yourself on the way there. There is power in admitting your limitations and embracing the knowledge of your ups and downs. The approach you take matters, and as you begin shifting your energy to prioritizing yourself, an incredible thing starts happening: stuff starts to get easy.
Easy, as in room for rest. Easy, as in getting the results you want with a fraction of the effort you previously employed. You can thrive in simplicity and be empowered to live in peace instead of exhaustion. But you have to make the first move. You have to show the world you’re willing to honor yourself along the way.
What does this look like?
- It looks like turning down projects that don’t ignite your passion.
- It looks like saying you’re busy and not feeling like you have to explain yourself.
- It means celebrating your peers when they set boundaries, and learning from their example.
- It looks like charging what you’re worth.
- It looks like putting your people pleasing tendencies on hold.
- It looks like giving your audience what you promised, but not sacrificing your sanity to overdeliver.
My band, Icon For Hire, is currently in the middle of a 50 date worldwide tour promoting my first book, Turn Your Pain Into Art. Every night, we walk by clusters of our precious fans lined up outside our bus asking for an autograph, a picture, or a chance to share their story with us. We love these kids with our whole hearts, but we also know we can’t give each of them more time after we just got done pouring our hearts out in stage for the last 90 minutes.
We spent the last several years following-up every show with a two hour meet and greet, shaking every last hand, happily smiling for every single picture request.
It was lovely, but, gosh, it was exhausting.
It was only recently we began to honor our own pleas for sanity and decide to set limits. Now, if a fan wants a meet and great and a photo opp, they can get that and more by becoming a VIP ticket holder. Now, we have plenty of time for everyone and can really focus on each fan’s unique story. Now, it feels life-giving instead of tiring. We can give every city our whole hearts because we have had a chance to reset after every night. We love each and every one of our fans, and I trust that they know us enough to understand that we have to abide by our limits as human beings. We never want our live show to suffer because one of us didn’t have a chance to recharge our energy. We want to connect deeply with every audience member, and that’s why we dig deeply into our souls on every stage. And it’s so worth it.
Set limits. Put your heart first. The approach you take matters, so don’t write off your desires for rest on the way to your dreams. You are worth it.
Ariel Bloomer is the vocalist and songwriter for alternative rock duo Icon For Hire. Her YouTube channel, The REL Show, inspires thousands of viewers each week with it’s refreshing approach to self-help. When not on tour, you can find her designing clothes, baking Swedish cookies, and exploring her city of Nashville, TN. Her first book, Turn Your Pain Into Art, is available on Amazon at amzn.to/2AOh8Rp as well as on her website www.arielbloomer.com.