Hope Wissel

Are You Tired of Being Told to Pace Yourself?

I started physical therapy to strengthen my muscles to try to get rid of some of the “wobbles” from the MS.  The favorite line from the trainers is “pace yourself”.  I’m sure I have heard this before in my life but NOW it seems to grate on me.

In my business, I have been told to pace myself.  In other words, don’t play the comparison game.  Quick and easy will get the sales now but it won’t usually get you long term success.  After almost 7 years of being in direct sales, I am grateful I paced myself.

When I started with MS symptoms (or had flare ups), the phrase “remember to pace yourself” became the one thing people would always say.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I know when someone says it to me, I tend to speed things up! I know they mean well, but it can be frustrating – a constant reminder we can’t do things like we used to.  As unpleasant as it is to hear, the sentiment is not all bad. Taking some time to do things our way at our own speed can be extremely helpful and make for a more rewarding life. It’s something not only those with a chronic illness need to remember, but also those around us need to learn.

Runners, pace themselves in a race.  Those struggling to lose weight, pace themselves.  So why is it, those of us with chronic conditions seem to think it is a bad thing to do. I know it just can’t be me, right?

#1 Feeling different from everyone else

I have always been non-stop, on the go.  From to being a career woman, then a single mom and then working full-time and commuting.  I always seemed to have enough time to do everything.  I will admit, I don’t like the idea of having to slow down, or of feeling different from everyone else.  Heaven forbid if I feel like I am holding anyone up. So despite everyone’s best intentions when they say pace yourself, it makes me feel bad. It’s a huge reminder we’re different. On any given day, it can make me feel like I’m a burden to the person saying it.  I know they mean well, BUT if you know someone with a chronic illness, don’t tell them to “pace themselves”.  Just as a runner knows their body, we know our bodies.  Believe me, if we need to slow down, trust me, our body will let us know.

#2 Going at our own speed

I joke with my mom who is 81, I inspire to run up the steps like she does.  There was a time when I could BUT life with a chronic illness, has taught me I need to pace myself. It is the key to enjoying life.  Whether it is a good day or a bad day, we can still accomplish a lot if we simply take our time and do it at our own speed.  Moving at a slower speed, taking breaks in between doing things can be frustrating, but more often than not, it can be rewarding. The key is having others understand we may be just a little slower or do things a little bit differently to get the task done.  I will admit I am still a work in progress where this is concerned…

#3 Little accomplishments can mean a lot

I have often joked about our “dust bunnies” but I will admit I do like staying on top of keeping things neat and tidy.  Fall cleaning (or whatever season) can be a pretty overwhelming task for someone like me even before MS.  My desire is to do it but I easily squirrel (forgetting how to do tasks or just get tired).  So now, I set small tasks to get done – scrub bathroom, wash kitchen floor, etc.  It won’t happen quickly, but it will get done. I need to enjoy the little accomplishments.   I know it may sound bizarre, but little accomplishments mean a lot.  Why is it “baby steps” are good things in life, showing we are moving towards a goal yet with a chronic illness, we tend to think of it negatively?

#4 Advice for family and friends

Patience!  Not one of my strong points.  If you know someone with a chronic illness, you will definitely need to practice patience.  It’s more important for friends and family to understand and respect our need to pace ourself, than it is for them to remind us to do it.  Yes, I do sometimes need to be reminded since slowing down can be helpful.  I would rather discover it on my own, no matter how painful it might be.  Sounds crazy, right?  So friends and family, please don’t tell us to slow down, but understand if we do.

Just as we would cheer for a runner who is pacing themselves towards the finish line…  let’s try to remember there is nothing wrong with going at our own pace when we have a chronic illness.

Today’s post was the result of some conversations with friends who also have chronic illnesses.  I hope it shed some light for someone, especially those who have family or friends who are newly diagnosed.  I believe God put this on my heart today to share for a reason.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Business Brand Template

Branding Anatomy, Olivia Omega

My part-time week-end job allows me ALOT of time to think.  For me, that is not always a good thing while others would say “that is awesome”.  Having some free time has allowed me to catch up on my reading (AWESOME) and work on my goals for my business.  I mean really work on an action plan as to where I am going and what I want to do.

I have a goal to be a Senior Director by National Conference next year but truth is I don’t really have a plan on how that is going to happen.  I usually say “if it is meant to happen, it will”.  Okay, not exactly a plan.  See, to promote not only depends on me but it also involves working with my team, especially those that aspire to leadership.  I have one Director on my team (so I am half way there), now for the second one.  I have several others who have indicated that they want leadership but have yet to formulate a plan on how they are going to make that happen.  So the phrase – your team does what you do rings in my head.  If I don’t have a plan, how can I think that they will.

I know, where I am headed with all of this right?  I came across an article by Vicky Ayala that talked about using the right template for your brand, business and life.   She asks “Are you using the right brand?”.  That is funny because most days, I don’t know that my brand is.  I always thought it was a bag-lady (you know a Thirty One consultant).  Then I had someone tell me – NO, you are more than that.  So, I came up with this introduction:

I am a blogger and entrepreneur that CELEBRATES – ENCOURAGES – REWARDS women with fun, fashionable and affordable solutions to life’s challenges while inspiring them to reach for their dreams, personally and financially.

This usually gets the conversation started about either my blog or my Thirty One business.  Even if questions arise about my blog, I always transition into my Thirty One business.  I LOVE being a Thirty One consultant and sharing the products BUT the truth is there are about a 100,000 other consultants across the country that do the same thing.  So what makes me special?  Why would anyone choose to party with me over someone else?  Or why would they want to join my team instead of someone else’s?

The question is “HOW AM I (or you) BEING DIFFERENT?  I mean we all use the same template for some many things in our lives.  We figure what worked for someone else will work for us, right?  I have attended countless workshops, trainings, conventions and meetings where we talk about replicating what the successful consultants do in order to be successful, make it look easy and others will follow. So if we’re using the same templates for our lives and work, how are we being different?

The truth is that it is how customers, hostesses, potential recruits connect with you on an emotional level that makes the difference.  I write so much in my blog about my strengths, hopes and experiences, I sometimes forget to share that when I TALK to people.  Crazy, right?  I love blogging and I have heard from many that they are helped by my writing so why can’t I share that same passion when I am talking to people.  I used to or how else would I have been able to grow my team, right?

Have you lost yourself in this tech world?  Do you spend so much time emailing, on Facebook,  tweeting, on Instagram or Pinterest that you forget to share you passion when you talk to people? Do I just think that everyone reads my blog because it gets posted every where so I stopped sharing?  What about those people who aren’t tech savvy?  How do they hear your passion?

My truth is: I love helping women reach their goals.  I want to share in the excitement of seeing their dream turn into a reality.  I can do that with my Thirty One business.

The first step is that I need to SHARE the passion for the products, the business and how it can change their lives like it is changing mine.  Spend time remember who excited you were in the beginning even if it was just a “cute bag discount” and regain passion to share with everyone.  Time to focus on the “heart” of my business and being a plan.

Now it is your turn. Share your truth with us and what part of the brand anatomy are you working on…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!