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Hi, this is Rachel, bringing you today’s transformation conversation. We’ve got a topic today that’s quite different to anything I’ve really spoken about ever before, and that’s about sleep. Now, high achievers, people that take their professional career really seriously can have what I’m seeing is a kind of secret life where externally they look high-achieving, they look very happy, often very wealthy, just amazing on Facebook, and underneath all that, there’s often a lot of stress and fear and worry and all kinds of stuff bubbling below the surface. That’s what I want to talk to you about today.
If you relate to that, then the first thing is you’re not alone, right? There’s so many people who are either doing really well in their work but not enjoying their life because they have a misunderstanding about how their mind works, and so they believe that they need to be stressed on some level to make things happen, or perhaps they’re high achievers in that they go for stuff but it’s not working out as they wanted, and then they beat themselves up when that’s the case, which happens for everybody, really, but some people just put a lot more significance on it.
I want to open this up for you today and just talk really honestly with you about this, because I think there’s enough happy, clappy, glossy, we’re all doing so amazing and everybody sleeps like a baby and there’s never any stress, you just earn whatever you earn, this big figure and it fixes everything and your life is perfect. I want to share something different with you today, and if you’re new to this conversation with me, then welcome, and if you’ve been following the other podcast, then this is just taking it to a deeper level and looking at how this might be showing up for you, which is I’m seeing more and more in people’s sleeping life, their sleeping pattern.
It just seems to me through conversations with so many people that it’s almost become the norm that people who have high-flying jobs, or, as I say, take their careers really seriously, their business or whatever it is they have, it’s almost become the norm that they don’t sleep well and that they’re stressed all the time. That is just shocking for their mental health and there’s no need for it. I couldn’t even see it that well before. I knew that I had a lot of fast thinking and that I felt anxious a lot of the time.
As I’ve shared in a lot of my work, I’ve struggled with anxiety over the years in different forms since I was a teenager, and I’ve done personal development for 30 years and worked on myself until I thought I should be perfect and all of that good stuff, but I really didn’t see until quite recently just how pervasive this is, just how many people are struggling with this, and they don’t have to have labelled themselves as anxious people or having anxiety. They may even think this is some kind of label that is almost like heroic. I’m working so hard. Yeah, of course, I’m stressed because I’m building this business or I’m doing whatever I’m doing. I’m going to make it happen, and that’s what it takes. That is really a misunderstanding of how life works and how our mind works. There’s no need for that.
On the topic of not sleeping well, that’s where it can show up for so many of us. When we’ve got something on our mind and we’re too stressed to sleep. We just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like whirring in our mind, and that is … You start to feel very anxious when that happens, because you want to sleep, right? You need to sleep because you know you’ve got all these things to do tomorrow and you need to be at your best. You’re not going to be at your best if you can’t sleep, and it’s like a vicious circle.
A lot of health experts put out a lot of very useful information about how to sleep better and how to sort out all of your external situation in your room and turn off your devices and all of these things that can be really, really helpful, but what I’m pointing to here is something deeper than that. It’s about your mind and how it works. The stress is coming from you. It’s not coming from an external situation. It’s coming from the way you’re thinking about that situation.
In the middle of the night, there just seems to be … It just seems to be like the perfect storm for getting really scared and fearful and stressed about life. Whether you’re in the middle of a difficult situation and you just can’t stop thinking about it, which we’ve all had at times, something awful has happened. We’ve had a breakup in our relationship, or we’ve lost a loved one, or the business has gone down, or just something that looks really real and solid to you, something that you can’t stop thinking about. It could be that that’s keeping you awake at night.
It could be just more of a kind of a low grade anxiety, which is always humming away and you just never seem to be able to relax. It’s not a nice feeling. I’ve had that for years, and it’s like, you don’t even know why you’re anxious, but you’re anxious. It just goes with you everywhere and it’s just … You can say, “Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine,” because you don’t know what’s wrong. Now I can see more about what’s wrong because it’s the way we’re misinterpreting our thoughts.
In this secret life of high achievers who are often not as happy as they look, I would just like to invite you to first of all be okay with it, that everything isn’t okay for you in this moment. If you’ve got a lot of thinking about something and you’ve got a situation that’s really bothering you, then you don’t have to pretend that everything is constantly perfect. That’s what I see so many high achievers doing.
In personal development, we’re often taught to be, especially in business, we’re often taught to be like, “We’re bulletproof and nothing can get through.” We’re like these superhuman people. That’s not life. We’re human and we feel things and we hurt. It doesn’t matter how well our business is doing or not doing. We have stuff going on, and sometimes it really hurts. Like being okay with that, you don’t have to pretend to be some kind of superhuman just because you’re a high achiever or because you’re successful in business. That’s the first thing.
These days, my sleep is much better and I’m less likely to go to bed or wake up with my head spinning with fearful thoughts, which is something that used to happen to me a lot especially in the morning. Your mind is this very powerful piece of equipment, and when you don’t understand the basics of how it works, and most people don’t. I’m shocked. I’m seeing it more and more. Most people don’t know how highly educated and qualified they are. They know about psychology. They may even be a psychologist. They’re therapists. They’re psychotherapists. They’re NLP experts. They’ve done hypnotherapy. Goodness knows what. The list is endless. People that know so much about the mind haven’t got this understanding which completely simplifies everything and gets them out of their own head and into living with more peace of mind.
I just wanted to share that with you today and open it up for you, that there’s no shame or guilt in being human, I suppose, is what I want to say. I just see so much of this, pretending everything is 100% all the time. It’s just not true, right? We’re all human. It doesn’t matter how well we’re doing in business, in our career, and our personal life, there are ups and downs in life. Stress and not sleeping well at night is a symptom of not understanding that that is coming from your own thinking and not from the circumstances around you.
I hope that has opened up a little window of something new for you there. If you’d like to have a chat with me about this, because it’s obviously highly personal, your situation is different to other peoples although you’re still human, so this applies to everybody, I’d love to talk to you. If you’d like to find out more about how we can do that, go to www.rachelhenke.com/conversation, and you have a great day. Thanks for listening. Bye-bye.