When people hear the title of my forthcoming book, Type-A Zen, they usually have one of two reactions:
It’s either, “I love that concept! That is so me — a Type-A that really needs more zen in their life.”
Or, on the other end of the spectrum, it is, “I don’t get it, I’m a Type-A. I don’t care about zen. I want results.”
Understandable. The title itself is very counter-intuitive. Many Type-A’s resonate with high ambition, perfectionist tendencies, constantly striving for more, and a long list of milestones. Zen, on the other hand, evokes a feeling of peace, calm, being content and feeling joyful in the moment.
What if I told you that the two can co-exist. And, in their co-existence, you can actually continue to hit lofty goals out of the park, but also enjoy a side-dish of peace and joy? (Hold the stress and anxiety.)
I’ve been there with the 60+ hour work-weeks and then going to the gym 6 or 7 times a week. I’ve scaled the mammoth mountains and at the top said in one breath, “OK, that was awesome, now where is the next even higher & scarier mountain to scale?” I’ve also experienced the sleepless nights, stomach ulcers, high-stress, and unsettled feelings of longing for more to accompany my life achievements.
In recent years, I’ve traded all of that in for working smarter, not harder. I’ve chosen to live life on my terms. ‘Success’ is now measured by the impact I have in the world and how I feel when my head hits the pillow… not by how many zeroes are in my bank account or how many new awards and accolades I get to stack up. I enjoy spending happy fun time with my husband & young daughters instead of working endless hours. And the beauty is that I still continue to achieve: the new merger of my company SolTec, my private coaching practice which continues to expand with clients who are making big waves in the world, and my tiny little blog that has gone on to inspire thousands. I am humbled and grateful… and, without the crazy high-stress accessories.
It makes sense that when you are happier, more at peace, and connected to your purpose that you vibrate at a higher frequency. Thusly, the Universe conspires to make things happen in your world. If you’re a high-achiever and open to allowing more zen into your life, I have a few tips for you.
Look at how you start your day. Most will grab their smart phone first thing in the morning & get sucked into emails as the craziness of the day begins. Instead, try to incorporate some moments of silence and stillness at the very start of your day. It could be a formal mindfulness practice like yoga or meditation. But, it could even be something simple like a walk in nature. Or sit with your cup of tea or coffee. But, really be there and savor it. Take in the aroma. Taste each sip. Enjoy each precious moment. Taking the time to clear your mind and get grounded for the day allows you to become more in touch with your wise inner-voice, stay focused, and gain valuable clarity on how you should be spending your time.
Tap into the power of intention. What is the ‘why’ behind your what? Why did you start your business in the first place? What is the impact you want to have in the world? How do you want to feel? Instead of absent-mindedly attacking your to-do list, try to stay connected to your goals with soul. This is especially important on “tough” days as the powerful energy of your higher purpose will inspire, drive, and motivate you through those rough patches.
Ditch the need to be perfect. Perfection is an illusion. We’re human and subject to making mistakes. Strive for excellence, instead. Energetically, it feels better. You’re giving yourself an out to possibly make some mistakes, but you’re still making powerful forward progress. Your best is better than you think, if you’re a typical Type-A. Allow yourself to embrace your imperfections as there is beauty in not getting it completely right. Our ‘failures’ can be some of our biggest life lessons and opportunities for growth. Stay open to this.
Life is really about balance. Yin and yang. While we will never be completely in balance, we can strive to even things out to the best of our ability. Try a little Zen with your Type-A. They blend together brilliantly.
Assignment: Take a look at your current morning routine. What is one small change you can make to incorporate a few moments of stillness before the craziness of your day sets in? For accountability & support, share your intention with us here in the comments below!