Episode #331: Warning: You’re Not Exercising Your Joy Muscle Enough
You are listening to episode number 331 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about leading with joy. On to the episode.
Hey, welcome to Episode 331. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. Shout out to my brand-new listeners of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I’m grateful that you were here. There are 330 episodes sitting in the archives waiting on you to listen to them all. And just FYI, Apple podcast only holds my last 100 episodes. There are other podcast-listening apps that you can use to listen through my entire back catalog, or you can listen to my archives through my website at bossgirlcreative.com. Shout out to my long-term listeners. Thank you so much. I so appreciate you guys, and I’m just excited to be here. I’m excited to be.
And before I dive into this week’s episode, I want to quickly say the Inner Circle membership is on a waitlist right now. You can get yourself on that waitlist so that you do not miss out when the doors reopen on December 1. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. If you’ve never heard about the Inner Circle membership, it’s $27 a month. It gives you access into the actual community of the Inner Circle. Plus, it gives you access to a monthly live Q&A, a business book club where we super-dive into the book that we’re reading. And we’re not skipping so that we’re constantly reading a new book every single month. We actually deep dive so that we can implement what we are reading and spend quite some time on the book that we are currently reading. And so, since the book club has started, we have legit read 1.75 books. That’s what I mean by we dive straight in and work through the book and take the nuggets and then implement, and it’s really great. There’s also two co-working sessions every single month, where we get together as a group and just knock out some things that are sitting on our to-do list in a group setting. It’s really great. It’s really motivational. Those are just a few peeks into the Inner Circle membership. You don’t want to miss out when the doors reopen December first, so get yourself on that waitlist, bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. And I know I’ve been talking about this book that I sort of have written. And I just need to find the motivation and the gumption to just get it done. It’s literally close, but I am a procrastinator, as we all know – professional procrastinator – and I still have a fear of putting it out into the world and attracting the trolls. That is ultimately why I have yet to put out the book, but it will eventually get put out. But I’m in the busiest season of my life with weddings right now. And I’m just like trying to give myself grace that I haven’t done the book yet. And that’s where we are.
So leading with joy. Let’s talk about where this topic came from. I recently had a conversation with one of my clients and also a friend, and I’m going to lead with the conversation with a friend because I think that that is going to be a lot more relatable. Actually, you know, both stories are relatable, but I’m going to lead with the friend story. So last night, I had a friend over. She was celebrating that she finally left a job that she absolutely hated. And we were kind of talking about the things that we were saying yes to and the things that we were having a hard time saying yes to etc., just in life in general, whether it was related to business or not. And she is not a serial entrepreneur like myself. She very much craves a normal schedule, a normal routine, and you don’t get that as an entrepreneur. You are all the things. You’re the CEO. You’re the salesperson. You’re the graphic designer. You’re the content writer. You’re the marketer. You’re the all the things. And so our worlds are vastly different, but at the end of the day, choosing joy, finding joy, exercising that joy muscle absolutely happens in all lives.
And so we’re talking, and I was like, you know, one thing that finally clicked for me and my own self-care journey with working out and getting fit and being healthy, and whatever those definitions are for you – the one thing that finally clicked for me – and it took me four decades. You know, I’m 40, and it took me four decades. Heck, I’m a certified personal trainer, and it still took me four decades – is that I finally started doing it for myself and not for any other reason but for myself, and that was the game-changer is when I decided that I wasn’t trying to look good in shorts. I wasn’t trying to look good in a swimsuit. I wasn’t trying to – whatever I was trying, I don’t honestly know what I was trying – I never liked to wear shorts because I didn’t like the way my legs looked. And I wouldn’t stay consistent with any kind of workout routine.
I tried CrossFit, which I absolutely love, but the part that I don’t love is the teamwork stuff. Like I just want to lift by myself. I enjoy being a cheerleader for other people, but I don’t need to partner in working out. I don’t need to partner with you to compete against other people. Like, that brings me zero joy gives me lots of anxiety and stress. I am for sure the wallflower. And it’s something I’m not in control of. And I am a control freak. And so that was what kept me away from continuing to CrossFit journey is I don’t like that part, and that is a solid core piece to CrossFit. And I like to lift weights. I like to grow my strength, and I finally found a program. It took me watching a friend of mine for a year and a half through her Instagram Stories of using this program and watching her transformation. And then having the courage to say okay, this is going to be my life-changer. But even when I decided to buy into the program, which is like $22 a month or $27 a month, I don’t remember. I just bought it for a year. When I decided to do that, it still wasn’t perfect enough for me. I wasn’t actively going to a gym because I think gyms are still really gross and yucky, and we still have a pandemic going on. And I again like to control my environment. And that is a place I can’t control because I can’t control people’s bodily fluids and how they put them on things, and a little yuck. So I knew I was going to do Madeline Moves her Moves At program. And I got signed up for it back in late January, early February. But I didn’t do anything with it because I wasn’t ready yet. I made that commitment to buy the program, but then, I didn’t feel like I had the right tools to be effective at it, and I am the person that is all or nothing. And if I don’t have all the tools, then it’s nothing because I don’t want to piecemeal it together. It has to be in a nice and tidy package for me to be like, okay, let’s do it, which will hold you back. And it held me back. But again, I’m a work in progress. We’re all works in progress.
So I finally got the things that I needed – that I felt I needed. Now, let me tell you, you don’t need the things that I felt I needed. But you know, anyways, so God, the things I needed, felt I needed and began my journey, I believe back in June. And I’m doing it for myself, and it’s working. I am sticking to it. This is the longest I’ve stuck to a workout plan ever in my life, even as a personal trainer. And I like the way it makes me feel like the strength gains that I’m getting. I like the body composition changes I’m getting. And I’m doing it for myself, and it is bringing me so much joy.
And so I’m telling my friend this is that I finally found something that I was willing to commit to, that everything lined up the way I needed it to, and it’s bringing me so much joy because I’m doing it for myself. And she said to me, “Taylor, I used to go on like five-mile walks daily, and I don’t know what made me stop. I don’t know why I stopped, but now that I think about it, that brought me so much joy. And I’m tired of being in this hermit state where I don’t feel good, and I don’t want to get out of bed, and I think I’m going to start my walks again.” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, you should so do that. Because when you were doing it, you were doing it for yourself, and it was bringing you so much joy.” She was like, “it really was, and now I’m thinking, why did I ever stop?” I was like, “Well, I don’t have an answer for that.” And she didn’t have an answer for that. And so she was like, “I’m going to check in with you weekly and tell you how many times I took a walk,” and I said, “Perfect. I will tell you how many times I worked out.” She was like, “Oh my gosh, this just brings me so much happiness that I’m going to do this, and then I’m going to bring back some joy into my life.” And I was like, “Yes, we need to be living our lives more with joy.”
Same thing in our businesses. If you are just constantly working to check something off your to-do list to make you feel accomplished, but it’s not bringing you joy, at the end of the day, that’s just adulting. We’ve got to do the things like take out the trash that don’t bring joy because that’s just an adulting thing we have to do. But when you are working on your business, and you’re working in your business, your focus needs to be on the tasks that bring you joy. And then you got to figure out the tasks that still need doing. But maybe you don’t like doing them, figuring out how to get those tasks actually accomplished. We live in this microwave society, where it’s now it’s quick, it’s instant. And we’re constantly chasing the next high or the next accomplishment or the next thing. And let me tell you that monotonous. The term level up the term getting there the term making it to the top, there is no top. Like if we don’t slow down and stay in the present and enjoy the moments that we are creating. Now, we are robbing ourselves of joy. So what I want you to do is first I want you to start thinking about the things that bring you joy in your business and in your life. Do I think you need to feel joyful all the time? No, I don’t think that’s realistic. But I do strongly feel that you need to exercise your joy muscle continuously. Practice lifting that joy muscle so that you can become efficient in living and leading from a place of joy.
We’ve become too hung up on the word accomplished. We check stuff off our to-do list and wait for that accomplished feeling to settle in. But in reality, it most likely won’t. We’re too caught up in the microwave society where everything is now quick and instant. Joy isn’t instant. It’s not now. It’s not quick. You actually have to practice finding it. Because what’s really lacking is feeling for finding fullness in your life. In order to find that fullness, you have to choose joy. You have to practice lifting that joy muscle. It’s absolutely necessary. It’s not always easy. And sometimes, it will downright suck because you’re experiencing something that sucks. But you have to crawl out of that suck and find the joy. Because life, when it gets ultra-heavy, we can’t stay in that ultra-heavy. We have to climb out of the ultra-heavy and find joy. Choosing joy is a conscious decision every single day. You get to start a new one. Every day, you start a new one, and you get to make it be what you want. It’s on purpose. Choosing joy, being grateful is on purpose. And doing so will elevate you when you are fully you. That’s when you get the results you’re seeking. And this starts when you show up for yourself every single day and choose to be grateful and to find joy.
So let’s start exercising that joy muscle. Every morning I want you to begin with a mindset of gratitude. Grab a notebook, grab a journal, and quickly write down 10 to 15 things that you are grateful for. We constantly stay in a receiver mindset, but we need to become and get ourselves into a giver mindset.
So this is step two. Instead of saying, “how can I make more money today?” I want you to switch that and say, “how can I help my community today?” Switch that language. Reset your mindset to a giver mindset versus a receiver mindset.
Number three, I want you to tackle the most important thing on your to-do list first, based on how it directly impacts your ROI, your return on your investment, your return on your time.
Number four, I need you to stop trying to do everything. I need you to stop trying to force things. I need you to stop trying to hurry things. I need you to stop doing things half-assed and stop focusing on the unimportant things. Instead, I want you to focus on the things that actually matter. And you can clarify this by figuring out what tasks directly align With your ROI.
And number five, you have got to set the boundaries. They are so incredibly important in order for you to consciously choose to find joy and be grateful. Slow your hustle, find the joy, choose the joy. Let go of the chase. Stop seeking more, and find outrageous joy right now, in the now in the present. When you begin to lose sight of your why I need you to reconnect with yourself and what truly matters, I need you to let go of the need to speed up the future. I need you to let go of the need to live up to society’s definition of success. I need you to let go of the need to achieve material and or physical results in order to be fulfilled in order to be enough and or in order to be a value. And I need you to let go of the need to release the hurry. And the need to release the rush. When we rush to achieve the next level, we miss out on the here and the now. And then we get trapped in the never-enough hamster wheel.
Like I said, there is no top. You will constantly be chasing it because there’s never an end to the chase. So step back and find a reason to exist in the present moment. Create a solid sense of yourself that is on attached to your achievements and your accomplishments. Who are you without the bells and whistles?
Take aligned action to that solid sense of yourself. Focus more on how you wish to feel in the moment and actions to take to get there. Prioritize living your life on how you desire to feel versus chasing something versus chasing your feelings instead of actual things. Physical action does not equal physical results. Very rarely does. So slow down. Release the need to rush detach from the obsessions of physical and material things. Release the need to think your value is attached to your accomplishments because happiness and joy is activated within and in the present. Because you constantly choose to be there. So ask yourself, are you giving yourself the space and time you need to do your best work? Are you taking care of yourself? Do you have a self-care routine? Are you spending quality time with those people in your life that truly matter? Are you giving yourself time to breathe and be present in the here and now?
Here are some things that you can do right now to bring joy and happiness to your life to feel good right now. Give yourself a hug. Turn on your diffuser and add your favorite essential oil or light your favorite candle. Tell Alexa to play happy playlists on Pandora or Spotify. Write in purple ink all day long. Book yourself an entire self-care day. Watch your favorite comedy movie. Smile right now just because. Tidy your desk. Google “top 10 things to do in” for one of your upcoming adventures. Bake cookies. Text three people in your life whom you really appreciate and tell them why they matter to you. Buy yourself a new book. Go on a walk or a hike. Make your favorite meal for dinner. Clear out your wardrobe of anything you haven’t worn in 12 months and donate it to a charity. Close your eyes and remember the last time you felt really, really good and happy. Write a letter to your future self and include how happy and grateful you are about how far you’ve come and what you’ve created in your life, and then give it to a friend to hold on to and then ask them to mail it to you in a few months to a year. Tell them to make it random when they decide to mail it to you. Turn on your favorite song and sing at the top of your lungs. Call your BFF and ask them what they think your superpowers are. Write out 10 thank you cards for people in your life whom you appreciate. Choose joy. Practice joy. Get yourself into the present and living in the here and now with a grateful heart. You so have this power within you.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you found it inspiring, I hope you’ll share it with your business bestie. Don’t forget to put your name on the waitlist to get yourself added into the Inner Circle membership. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. Doors reopen December 1. And until next week, I hope you have a great rest of this one.