Self Care and Success: A lesson from Spain

Sometimes it takes a change in environment to change your perspective. For me it was the island of Ibiza in Spain. Lined with pristine beaches and home to a number of quaint, secluded villages, Ibiza was the perfect place to reconnect with myself.

My intention was to concentrate on business goals and strategy at a business-oriented retreat. I accomplished more than I had set out to do, in an entirely different way. Instead of pouring over plans, making bullet-point checklists, and brainstorming strategy, I was encouraged to concentrate on my own personal nourishment. It was like a breath of fresh air.

Success is the sweetest when achieved with balance
This is something we all intuitively know, but it isn’t the cultural narrative we hear and witness around us. We are told to push harder, work faster, and strain longer. Our culture of overwork has been well documented, but its efficiency has been anything but documented. Harvard Business Report finds that longer hours and grueling schedules take away from our success, not add to it. Overwork and its accompanying stress can lead to health problems without increasing any output. It is a recipe for burnout and unhappiness, not success.

What does increase output and foster success, then? Renewal. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a week in Spain to recharge. Renewal is an attitude and intention that can be fostered anywhere simply by incorporating the lessons I learned in Spain.

Self-care and self-love
The first step to practicing self-care and self-love is to listen to yourself. Take the time to check in. How are you feeling? What do you need? Allow yourself to feel, embrace your own inner guide, and respond with loving kindness. Give yourself the permission to ask for what you need. Then give yourself the permission to receive it.

The permission to receive is just as important as the permission to ask. Recognize that you are worthy. You are worthy of your own time, support, and attention. You are also worthy of the time, support, and attention of others. Whether it is a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, or a whole two weeks of inner-renewal, you are deserving of all the things you want and need. Recognize your own self-worth and raise the upper limit on what you can have. When you settle or talk yourself out of the things you truly want, you are stifling your own growth and development.

Simplifying your life
Simplifying your life is a great way to practice self-love. We are all bombarded with distractions and complications that are not helping us to achieve our goals in anyway. Give yourself the permission to let go of these things. Unplug from email, switch off your phone, and find your flow.

Honoring yourself
Listening to yourself, giving yourself the permission to joyfully receive the things you need, and simplifying your life are all part of honoring yourself, but you can also honor yourself in other ways. Choose to ignore the status quo and prioritize your own thoughts over those of others. Others’ insights may be best for them, but your insights are best for you. Sometimes pushing through isn’t the best option. If you need to stop, regroup, and energize, honor those needs by accepting and receiving the experience that best suits you and your goals. Success doesn’t need to be draining. Allow yourself to be energized and satisfied throughout your journey. After all, it really is about the ride.

Conclusion: Trust yourself
Though these lessons may seem counter-intuitive in light of our culture of overwork, listening to yourself, honoring yourself, being enough, and practicing self-care are timeless habits that you will quickly recognize as vital to your success. Don’t be afraid to trust yourself. The rest will follow.

Felicia Baucom
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