Giving Yourself A Little Grace

Can we all agree to be a little less harsh... with ourselves?

Friends, let me tell you: I tend to be the worst offender on this front. I give so many of those around me the benefit of the doubt. I offer up support to those who have been there for me over the years. I do my best to give love sans judgment or expectation.

Okay, sometimes I fail at that last one. But I'm trying.

And when it comes to giving myself a little grace and some extra room to breathe? That's where I really fall down on the job. Why is it so difficult to cut ourselves some slack when we need it the most? I'm constantly reminding myself (and have others to remind me, thank goodness) that I will never be everything to everyone.

Logically, I know this to be true. We are all just human beings trying to figure things out as we go along, after all. How could I possibly expect myself to live up to such standards?

In the midst of my book project, the podcast, client work and other side projects, I'm attempting to process all the good and the bad coming my way and it hasn't been easy. I'm rather grateful for the good, mind you. Friends and family members are getting engaged, starting families and celebrating victories both large and small. It's all so great. Simultaneously, it seems as though bad news is delivered just as regularly online, on the news and over the phone. To be really honest, some of that bad news is hitting far too close to home at the moment. I often find myself wanting to dive in. To process information. To help. To love. To support. To comfort. To enable. To do whatever I can to make someone else's day just a tiny bit easier. And thus, I tend to set my own life and work (and life's work) aside to do so. 

Then the guilt sets in. Those of you who run a business understand, yes?

Here's what I'm trying to keep in mind: It's okay. It's okay to give myself time to process the good and the bad. It's okay to offer up support even when saying yes to someone's joyous occasion or painful moment means temporarily saying no to my own priorities.

It's okay to give myself a little grace.

p.s. When you're forced to slow down + the longest to-do list...


Write Your Book: The Longest To-Do List

Write Your Book: The Longest To-Do List // jenniferesnyder.com

You're looking at the longest to-do list I've ever made. I'm a big fan of making lists, but this one is a monster. I've written plenty of shorter e-books, drafted multi-page reports, crafted content for entire websites and created script upon script for the podcast. Yet, the book writing process is so daunting. So overwhelming. 

A friend of mine recently wrote an e-book and she noted that she had a ritual of getting up an hour earlier than normal each day to write. The logical part of my brain knows she's on to something. Just spend a little time each day writing bits and pieces until you have enough to put together the whole thing. I've used that tactic in the past (see: e-books). It works. Yet, my creative brain—the portion of my mind that won't stop looking at the big picture, the big ideas and the endless possibilities—is making it tough to focus.

I've set out on this 90-day experiment to attempt to write the majority of the book, craft a proposal and decide how to move forward. I'm doing it while juggling freelance work, but that's no excuse. People do that all the time, right? To be fair, I have been working on it each day, but not all the work has been focused on writing the actual book.

So, I guess I'm jotting down these thoughts so I can hear more from all of you. How do you tackle giant projects that feel a bit overwhelming? Do you break them up into small bits and do a little bit each day? Or do you hole up in a cabin somewhere to plow through the work in a marathon session? I want to hear how YOU do the big work, my friends.


Why I Interview So Many Locals for Creating Your Own Path

Sacramento

As you can imagine, I get quite a bit of feedback from my podcast listeners and, I must say, it's awesome. I love when you all offer up new ideas and suggest potential guests. One thing I've noticed, however, is that several people have mentioned that I interview a lot of people from Sacramento. I've even received feedback noting that the show might be more popular if I interviewed more people outside of my fair city. This feedback—while I'm sure was offered up with no ill will toward me, the show or Sacramento—surprised me since some of my most popular episodes feature guests who live and create here in the area.

But here's the thing: I've honestly never thought about my guests that way. In my mind, I'm simply tapping into my extended network of insanely talented individuals and many of them just happen to live in or around Sacramento. If I were in... say... New York, Chicago or L.A., I'm not sure geography would even come up as an issue. Admittedly, I love interviewing people face-to-face and local guests make that a possibility. I'm also very proud to have so many creative people living here who are making Sacramento a better place and I think their work and their stories transcend location. 

I believe that every city has at least a small group of creative souls doing amazing things. I hope I get to interview people from all over the globe, eventually, but why wouldn't I start in my own backyard? To take it a step further, why wouldn't I choose to interview people who might not be super well-known in the blogging/podcast world—people who aren't necessarily making the rounds on the interview circuit? Aren't their stories worth sharing too?

So next time you listen to the show, I urge you to listen for the overarching themes, the incredible stories and the amazing bits of wisdom within each episode. I think supporting your local community is important when it comes to being a successful creative business owner, but I think we can learn a little something from everyone—no matter what town they decide to call home.