Saying yes – and making it last!

By Jilly Julian

Perhaps it’s my stage of life, or perhaps it’s just a need to be more proactive, but I’ve been doing a lot of grasping the nettle over the last couple of years.  Taking my chances.  Saying yes.

I left the world of employment and set up my own business, got more involved in local politics, was elected as a local councillor… it’s a lot!  It all feels like I’m living life with my head ‘above the parapet’.

So I’ve had to really focus on what conscious steps I can take to be able to sustain myself.  So let me share a few of those lessons, in the hope they might provoke some useful thoughts:

Rope in some support – not to do the looking after, but to make sure I’m doing the work to look after me…

Detach my sense of self-worth from my political self and my business-owner self.  Which is tough, because all 3 exist from the same values base!

Adopt a ‘storytelling’ approach.  Stories make me happy. Marketing does not.  But it is essentially storytelling, so thinking of it like that helps that differentiation.

Consciously embrace opportunities that help these endeavors and those that help to ‘refill my cup’.  Sometimes that means continuing the Yes and accepting a speaking engagement, sometimes it means saying ‘Yes, kids – let’s make a cinema in the lounge this weekend and have film night in our jammies’.

Critically, I’ve also tried to pay attention to practicing what I preach and reflecting.  I stop and note what I’ve done that’s refilled the tank each day.  (OK, most days).  Catching that has helped me to notice, refine and be creative about what genuinely helps.  Alongside that, noting down the rewarding, positive, grateful stuff helps to keep my dynamo going.  No matter my frame of mind, I know this is necessary time spent.

On which note, time to take the next step forward into 2023 and keep on learning and adapting!  For all that I’ve focused on the discomfort here, it’s a fun and fulfilling journey – I hope yours is too, and I wish you all the best for it!
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