It’s officially been six weeks since launching my online business and I tell you what, there are old habits, old ways of ‘being’ that are loudly knocking at my door. I imagine it’s what it’s like for someone who has been addicted to a substance – they’ve kicked the habit, but eventually, the craving creeps back in.
My ‘substance’ was being busy and running on adrenaline. I like that feeling when my energy is pumping and I’m buzzing and doing and moving and grooving. But my body and my spirit did not. My mind was running amuck – like an all-night party before the hangover hits.
I kept my party going by keeping my adrenaline pumping.
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a stress hormone secreted from the adrenal glands on the kidneys. It plays a major role in preparing the body for a fight-or-flight reaction in threatening environments. Adrenaline rush is a sudden increase in the secretion of adrenaline from the adrenal glands. Adrenaline routes all energy to our muscles and our minds become sharper, this is a good in an emergency, but…
We’ve become a society addicted to adrenaline. Stress creates adrenaline, adrenaline is addictive. It’s a vicious circle that has become a billion-dollar industry. [i]In 1991 there were 1,065 specialty coffee shops. In 2015, 31,490 – wow! And that is just in the United States. Caffeine boosts adrenaline which sparks the feel-good hormone endorphins. We feel energized and ready to take on the world…until we crash.
When I purchased my fledgling nutrition store back in 2005, I hit the ground running. In one year my sales increased by 200%. Great, right? Yes and no. I loved my job, my store, my customers. Working long hours was a joy, not a chore. But as the years went by, my constant surge of adrenaline resulted in adrenal fatigue. My need for caffeine increased, my ability to slow down decreased. Without adrenaline, when I stopped, I felt agitated and even depressed. Starting my day without caffeine – no way!
I had wired myself to go!
And then the hangover hit. My digestion was a mess, sleeping was difficult, waking up without coffee impossible, I craved salt, I felt anxious and I easily hit my tipping point. Multi-tasking was increasingly difficult, brain fog settled in and my motivation slipped away (all signs of adrenal fatigue).
So here I am, launching a new business, but this time I made an agreement with myself to always practice what I preach – do less, not more, practice Sacred Selfishness™ and above all else, do not push! When I purchased my nutrition store I didn’t have a clue what I had gotten myself into with staffing, inventory management and all that it takes to operate a retail store. I succeeded. But this old belief, that I succeeded because I hit the ground running every day, apparently lives on.
The truth is, I want to whip things up and go-go-go! Fear of failure is knocking at my door and I want to push. I want caffeine. I want to feel that high that comes when adrenaline starts pumping.
But here’s the thing – when you step off the hamster wheel, clarity becomes your new way.
Years ago, my friend Barbara Stanny shared this quote from A Course In Miracles with me, “How can I see this differently”? This is the question I ask when I can’t see past the end of my nose, when my mind begins to shut down, when the world begins to whirl around me. It is the question that derails thoughts, habits and feelings, that are not for my highest good. It is the question I used to process why I was feeling the need to ‘push’. This is what I discovered:
A. My craving for the ‘push’ is old programming I used to avoid my feelings.
B. The feeling I wanted to avoid was fear of failure which made me anxious.
C: Underneath ‘fear of failure’ was my need to be safe and secure.
There is something very calming about understanding the root cause of a feeling. I may still crave how adrenaline made me feel, but the side effects – feeling overwhelmed, anxious, not sleeping and tired, are not worth it to me. It’s a new way of living and it’s a daily practice.
The first step is awareness the next and best step is support…here are few links for ‘support’ ideas: