There is much written about goal setting, moving forward, making things happen and getting things done. As a coach & entrepreneur my entire business purpose is focused on helping people create the lives and businesses they most want from the ground up...which only happens if you move from where you are to where you want to be.

But there's something I don't see talked about all that much and I'm not sure why except to say that maybe it's because most of us aren't that good at it...even us self-help types. What am I talking about?

Tending to our tenderness.

A few years a go I sat across from one of my very wise mentors looking sleep deprived and completely depleted of my usual vital energy. As she quietly assessed my condition from across the table she commented on my lack of energy and told me in a very pragmatic sort of way, "Put down the 2x4, Cari."

I'll never forget how she hit the mark with so few words. It took me a few seconds and then I got it...she was telling me to quit pushing so hard and that beating my way to success wasn't the key to success at all.

But isn't that what I was supposed to my tail off now for the sake of a big pay day later on?

I used to believe that was the case but now I think very differently and here's why:

We (humans) are not naturally wired to go at break neck speeds around tights curves without sufficient smooth sailing and rest in between.

We are made up of many different parts and sometimes some of those parts need nurturing, rest and tending to.

Ignoring our more tender side will lead to burn out. That's exactly what happened to me. I wound up in bed sick and exhausted and unable to make any progress forward until I had tended to all of the parts of myself I had been ignoring.
I know this might go against everything you've been raised to believe about success. Personally I've watched many successful people slave away for years working hard. When I worked for a Fortune 100 company there was a "knowing" throughout our culture rewards were given to those that worked longer and harder than the rest. If you needed a break it was seldom supported.

As a business owner I've had to learn to listen to the signals my body sends me because if I don't I reach a point of no return and wind up falling flat. Pushing hasn't resulted in more business or more money and definitely not more happiness. It has resulted in too much stress, illness and the exact opposite of everything I really want.

The key for me was learning to listen to my body. Now before you think I've got this down pat I want to be the first say I'm a work in progress, but I have learned something about myself that has been serving me well: I have a natural pace that's all my own. Sometimes I work hard and fast and sometimes I like to put my feet up or take a nap. This balance is instrumental in my ability to keep moving forward. By balancing all of my needs I'm able to focus much better on the task before me. My mind is clearer. I feel stronger. I feel rested.

So why do we do it? Why do we push so hard? First I want you to be really honest about how you push yourself. I've learned that even while I'm relaxing on the outside, inside I can still be pushing. I know this because of how my energy feels at a deeper level. For me, if I'm not pushing, my body feels relaxed and open and I feel a subtle flow of energy throughout. When I'm pushing my body feels constricted and tight. I might feel anxious or worried. All of these things are occurring under the surface so even though I might be sitting on my patio with a glass of wine in my hand and enjoying the evening, there's a part of me that's still invested in pushing along. It might be subtle but it's there.

I think pushing our way to success is caused by many things. Old habits and our belief system have a lot to do with it and underneath all of that is one other thing: fear. Fear of what might happen if we don't push to make things happen. Fear of what others might think if they don't see us working "hard". Fear of letting go.

Tend to your tender parts. They want and need your attention. Living a full, joyous and rich life requires you to do so!

Think of your favorite successful person - can you sense how balanced they are? Can you sense how relaxed they seem to be with "what is" and with who they are?

All good questions to ponder! For now, listen to your body. Get to know the signs your subtle internal energy sends to you. Honor what you hear! Most of all, balance all of your hard work by letting go - 100%.

Author's Bio: 

Cari Vollmer, founder of and creator of, simplifies personal growth by showing you step-by-step how to create and live a life that works well and feels great! To sign up for her FREE how to articles and no-charge 5-Day Feel Great Now E-Course visit .