Penny Power’s Ponderings – July 11 2023

by | Jul 11, 2023

Dear Brian

This past week, I have had many messages through various sources, including songs, radio interviews, random emails and a podcast. They all seem to have been shouting a message at me.

… and the message is about the way we put ourselves under pressure.

I remember a very early boss in my career, an incredible man called Rob Jefferson, saying these words to me “Penny, I don’t need to manage you, you put yourself under more pressure than I would put you through”. I was 23 years old.

That trait has never left me, I hold myself accountable, I place expectations of myself that are too high and I never want to let anyone down. You may be like this, too.

It makes for a great self-employed person or business owner, we need personal drive, determination and resilience. However, if we were employed perhaps our wellbeing might be taken into consideration, and we might take all the holiday entitlement and a few days off sick each year.

But we don’t. How many business owners do you know that take 6 weeks holiday and time off when they feel unwell? I think I only know a handful of them.

Last week, my Pondering was about REST, and the Four-Day Week that was on Hannah’s Flow Podcast. It has made a great impression on me for sure.

So this week, I have been getting messages in many forms about ‘self-imposed pressure’.

We are all seeking resilience, it is like a badge of honour, the faster you bounce back from any adversity. A quote this week I heard was ‘the more resilient we are, the more we can face life challenges’ and that is so true. However, ask yourself, when is your resilience ridiculously high?

I am so proud of my resilience but I learned, to my detriment, that I was not honouring the pain that I was experiencing a few years ago, and that bites you in the bottom eventually. Resilience can be an overdone strength.

Another phrase this week came in an email, talking about ‘taking personal responsibility’. Again, a brilliant phrase. Making sure we don’t blame others for the challenges we find ourselves in is an important growth factor, but shouldn’t that also mean we take personal responsibility for our hearts, cortisol levels and exhaustion?

In an interview on Radio 2 this week with Billy Joel, he said “picking yourself up is character building” and I heard him loud and clear and said back to the radio, “and do it with love and gratitude”. We should be so grateful to the life lessons, but also for the ability we have to move forward despite those life lessons and pains we have to endure.

Again, on the radio in an interview from one of the lads from Busted, I heard these brilliant words “we just did it, we didn’t think about success”. I could have kissed the radio, what a great message. A true reflection of the love they have for their choice of career. Success is great, but it is very hard when that is all you are seeking, each day.

How do you measure success, when is enough, enough?

I want to end with these words, on a show I love, called Greys Anatomy:

‘The icing on the cake is outside love’

In other words, love yourself from the inside first and then enjoy the ‘outside love’. Then, success will come. A lesson I learned, that took too long to learn.

I would love to imagine you reading each of these quotes again and hope that my Ponderings this week enable you to love yourself and care for yourself a little bit more.

Have a super week, and thank you again for reading my Ponderings.

With love always

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