So many Success Gurus and Influential Leaders preach that the key to success is consistency....
"Get up early - Push yourself - Show up EVERY DAY - No excuse is good enough - you've got to Hustle if you want it"
Once upon a time I used to encourage my clients to do the same thing - because that's what I was taught.... NOW, well, I literally cringe EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I hear this advice because I KNOW how detrimental it is for women.
In theory, it is solid advice. If you're a man.
Because men are designed TO be consistent. Little changes (significantly) in a mans body after he hits puberty - therefore he is almost perfectly engineered TO be consistent.
But women - heck there is not a SINGLE thing about who we are that is designed to be consistent. We are designed to ebb and flow - largely thanks to the constant change of our hormones.
It's this point that many women will say to me "o but Bree, I don't get a period - I have contraception that prevents it" or "I've been through menopause, that doesn't affect me anymore" or a variation of the same theme.
But this is the thing about our hormones and it's not something that is openly taught when we are learning about the function of our hormones at school - and that is our menstrual cycle is just ONE physical symptom of our ever fluctuating hormones.
EVERY SINGLE part of our life is affected by our fluctuating hormone levels - from the day we are born until the day we die, our every thought and action is influenced by our hormones.
And so to try and 'Be Consistent' with the same/similar routine every single day of the month is to set yourself up for Burnout and inevitably Failure.
Ever noticed that when 'trying' to implement a new Success Routine there are days when you feel like you've absolutely nailed it? You bounded out of bed at 5am (for the 5am club!) and you got stuck straight into inspire-driven activity.
But a week later, you literally had to DRAG yourself from the pillow, and the motivation to be inspired felt as though it was on Mars.
Ever felt like the creative juices have been on full steam, with content spewing out of you faster than you're able to talk. Only to have it completely dry up a week or so later?
And then there's the time when you're able to absorb, understand and communicate new and complex information like a sponge - you soak up new concepts and ideas without even having to THINK about it.... and then a week or so later you struggle to remember the ALPHABET!
These are just some of the examples where your hormones influence your activity. And it's the tip of the iceberg, because when we REALLY start to get to know our own unique cycles, we can find patterns that affect the quality of our thoughts that thereby influences our feelings (eg you can be more anxious, more insecure, more overwhelmed at certain times of your cycle and then naturally confident and bold at others), patterns in our energy levels and the need for sleep (yes, ladies we do NOT always need 8 hours of sleep a night - sometimes we can thrive on 6, other times we need 10!), patterns in our bathroom habits even!
All of this is why forcing 'Consistency' and attaching your ability to do that to your ability to be SUCCESSFUL is Dangerous and very unrealistic.
You see, when you have to 'force' yourself to show up, especially when you're out of sync with that activity, you're actually setting yourself up to experience MORE self-doubt, and although it varies for every woman, in general it goes something like this....
"I should get up, it's 5am and if I want to be successful and all the success people I know SWEAR by starting my day at this time.
But I'm SO TIRED - I have no energy.
NO! I need to PUSH THROUGH this.... maybe that's why I'm NOT successful, because I can't even drag my lazy ass out of bed....
what's the point, no-one responds to anything I do anyway, maybe I'm not cut out for this.
So-and-so was Right - Business is HARD
I've been doing this for so long and I'm STILL not as successful as 'Insert Name'.... I guess I'm just NOT GOOD ENOUGH!"
Instead of being rational, listening to and honouring your body by acknowledging that MAYBE you're not inspired to jump out of bed at 5am because your Hormone Cycle is wanting MORE REST to restore your body that particular day, you do what we women do best - we turn the situation into an example of why we CAN'T be successful - a thought that comes likely from a deeper Limiting Belief that drives the negative head talk - but that's a whole other blog ;)
I'm sharing this information so you put the stick down and start practicing more self-acceptance AND understanding about who you are as a woman.... you are NOT designed to be consistent - to show up with the same level of inspiration, creativity, energy, positivity, connection, pizzaz, oomph, motivation every single day. You WILL have your highs and your lows.
And it's NOT a negative thing - it's about learning what you can do at every phase of YOUR cycle so that you work with your Natural Cyclic Strengths and show Self-Compassion instead of opening up room for self-criticism because you can't perform with consistency!
With this being said, you can still aim to be regular as in business, we DO need to show up for our clients on a regular basis. But when doing this in alignment with the natural ebb and flow of your cycle, by planning your month out to suit your creativity, comprehensive thinking, communication and energy levels, you'll find that showing up NATURALLY is far easier than forcing yourself to do it because 'consistency makes me successful'.