What exactly does this mean? For some it could mean doing more of what they don’t like in order to breakthrough a barrier keeping them from fully succeeding at something. For others it could be learning how to have downtime. For the purpose of this article we’ll be talking about the latter one.
For those that would classify themselves as a Type A personality (See https://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html) you will find very little discomfort in pushing yourself to succeed. You are the highly driven, competitive type who is always reaching for that next brass ring. You are the one who strives to climb the corporate ladder or the entrepreneur who strives at having the best business—to be the best in your field. You are the ones who not only have a very busy work life, but are the ones who push yourself to be the best parent, the best athlete, the best writer, the best hobbyist, etc. I think you get the picture. The challenge for this personality type is to be comfortable in the stillness of things. Their schedules are generally so jammed packed that there’s rarely breathing room. These are the personality types that struggle with allowing themselves downtime. These are the ones who suffer burnout or health conditions, which can ultimate result in the Universe forcing a slowdown or even a shutdown.
I can tell you from personal experience; these types don’t necessarily get to the finish line any faster than the other personality types. I consider myself a Type A personality with a Type B mixture, and some days it’s definitely a balancing act. Throughout my life I’ve achieved everything I’ve set my mind on achieving, and the one that was most challenging was allowing myself downtime. At first I learned through some uncomfortable times in my life how to ebb and flow with downtime merely because circumstances had arisen resulting in it. Even as a vacationer it was challenging for me to allow myself time to just BE and do nothing. I often joked that I vacationed like it was the last supper, meaning I may never get a chance to do or be there again so did everything possible within the time allotted.
This thinking seems perfectly reasonable to another Type A personality, but painfully stressful for a Type B personality. So how do you convince a Type A personality to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, in this case, downtime? The short answer, you don’t.
However, often times these personality types attract their counter, Type B personality, and learn from them. Again, from personal experience this is uncomfortable. It’s definitely an acquired skill, which is something Type A’s enjoy, challenges, yet this one in particular is difficult. It can feel like laziness. It can feel very unproductive. It can feel like failure. I know, I know it sounds extreme, but it’s true. For this personality type, often times, their identity is wrapped around their accomplishments. This is also the same stuff our inner-critic uses against us when we are given downtime moments. Learning to balance GO time with DOWN time for this personality type requires taming that inner-critic, which in of itself is extremely uncomfortable. If truth be told though, taming the inner-critic for any personality type is uncomfortable, yet so beneficially needed in order to maintain our sanity as well as our evolutionary growth.
When learning to tame my own inner-critic, Trudy, at first it was through the Universe’s forcing aka setbacks in life, but through those experiences I learned and implemented essential tools and techniques and successfully put them in place. Now when plans go sideways, clients unexpectedly cancel appointments or no show, I see them as opportunities for rejuvenating my soul. Moreover, I’m able to allow myself guiltless pleasure at doing nothing or being nowhere whenever I like, and you know what? It feels amazing.
How many of you would like to learn how to tame your inner-critic? You know the one who constantly pressures you; who constantly nags you; who constantly makes you feel guilty, unloved, under-appreciated, or invaluable if you’re not constantly doing something? If this article resonates with you and you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the aforementioned questions, please get in contact with me as I’d love nothing more than to help you tame that rascal.