Wellbeing / Health & wellbeing

Why is this person being so brutal?

Running a small business sometimes brings work pressures that feel anything but small. I’ve got one person in particular who just keeps giving me grief. You know him.


How often do we look at our inbox, our action list and our diaries and feel drained? Lately it’s been a daily occurrence for me – all before 8am – and I’m over it. I’m feeling pressured, and I know who’s behind it.

It’s me. I’m the idiot who’s putting the squeeze on and I’ve had enough. So over it, in fact, that I’ve decided to remove my little backpack of overwhelm, and the accompanying water bottle of guilt, and travel light.

A couple of days ago I had genuine cause to exit myself from a host of commitments, with no time to prepare. 

No time to ready myself, and yet seemingly ample time to lay on the grief, get worked up and feel anxious. My inner boss was in fine form:

“You can’t let those people down!” 

"I’ve decided to remove my little backpack of overwhelm, and the accompanying water bottle of guilt, and travel light."

“Those appointments have taken months to organise!” 

“You’ve sat on that project for weeks and now you’re going to delay it again?”

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I was in deep trouble, and the work pressure grew. Then it hit me: I was needed elsewhere by the person I love most. When push comes to shove, the heart trumps the harsh inner me every time. I cancelled meetings; I reworked diaries; I passed work to others and – shock horror – I aborted plans and hit the delete key.

Did the world all turn to goo? Of course it didn’t. People were not only accommodating, they were positively gorgeous. What seemed pressing and urgent slipped effortlessly into the measured and clear.

So, as I move forwards with a freshly reminded sense of what’s important, I feel sharper, less vulnerable and, without the backpack, I’m standing straighter too.

Please don’t be like me and wait for something to really jolt you before changing your behaviour for the better. Give the inner you a good dressing down. You can start by doling out some choice words here. I’m sure she or he will be listening.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.


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