Years ago, long before my first coaching experience, I took about a year off work and stayed home with my two boys.
I’m good in corporate.
I’m excellent with tasks that are done when you complete them.
I’m good with clear roles, clear responsibilities.
I’m good with ending the day feeling clear about what I accomplished.
I sucked at being home all day with two small kids.
It was a totally new way to be in the world.
It was a challenge end the day with any kind of satisfaction.
Mostly, it was the story I told myself during that time, about being a productive member of society, what that looked like, and the role of woman’s work.
This post isn’t about that, though.
It’s about a simple tool that helped me change the story that I sucked at being home, sucked at getting things done in this new, distracting setting.
Being an entrepreneur feels a lot like being home with two small kids… except the distractions come from INSIDE instead of from toddlers.
When I finally had enough of beating myself up and feeling a deep sense of despair, I started this practice:
Each night, I wrote out what I did that day.
I made a big list of all the conversations, interactions, and connections I made with the boys.
I wrote about the tasks, chores, accomplishments I completed, even if I knew I’d have to do them again tomorrow.
I listed as efficiently as possible all the things I actually did all day.
After a time, I found the story had shifted from a victim story to one of empowerment. I could see the things that needed to change, the things I was actually good at, the parts I enjoyed.
I began to learn tools, talk more honestly with my husband, create more space for myself to be alone, and slowly shifted my story to one that created solid, happy, healthy relationships with those I love most in my life.
I write about this now, because I find that I’m at a similar place again, and I remembered this tool. I’ve been using it again for about 3 weeks, less consistently than that year – but the story I’m telling myself now isn’t as deeply rooted. Even with the inconsistent effort and the short time frame, I’m seeing the same shift take place – from a story I tell where I’m the victim, and need saved, need something or someone to fix something to make me feel better – to one where I’m empowered and powerful, and I get to choose.
This is possibly the first tool I developed for how to be in the world when you tell yourself shitty untrue stories and believe them. It’s also possibly the simplest.
I have more tools to change your story and change your life – and if you’re interested in working with me, you can find details for that right here.