I often feel I’m offered up circumstances as a ‘test’ to see where more learning is needed, or how far I’ve come. This most recent ‘test’ offered up a bit of both.
I was the lucky recipient of ‘free’ Facebook ad dollars, but when I checked my ad account balance, I discovered –GASP– this ‘free’ credit expired in 12 hours. Mind you, I can quickly whip up a print ad, but placing social media advertising is a whole different animal.
But…what the heck. No sense wasting an opportunity, so I did my best and created a “boosted post”.
And then this happened…
- People signed up for my free offer (I’m not talking hundreds – a handful).
- I began getting requests to join my Facebook group.
- I panicked!
As I watched the number of ‘views’ surpass 10,000, I had a visceral reaction that reverberated through my entire body and in an instant triggered ‘old stuff.’ I wanted to hide. My Facebook group isn’t “good enough” yet. What if they don’t like my free offer? What if I didn’t set up my auto-responder emails correctly? What if…
And then it hit me…PLAYING SMALL IS EASY! Breath that one in. I sure did. Playing small means you get to hide, it means not putting yourself out there, it means staying in the comfort zone where you feel safe and in control (by the way, ‘safe’ and in ‘control’ in the comfort zone – it’s an illusion).
Here’s what I’ve learned and why I’m not choosing ‘easy’ anymore…
Self-doubt, my core issue, will always be lurking about. But it no longer has power over me. I feel it. I see it. I say, “not a chance your stopping me now!”
Criticism, I avoided any circumstance that may have brought criticism. With good reason. Being raised by a narcissist really messes a person up. Well, I am still messy – but I like my messy now and if someone else doesn’t, I’m okay with that, because I’m okay with myself. Will I bristle at criticism? Probably. I’m human after all—but like self-doubt, “not a chance your stopping me now!”
What if…no ‘what ifs’! I passed this test! My visceral reaction lasted only a few seconds (whereas before it would last for, umm…years). Instead I pivoted quickly out of panic to – hey…I’m being me; I’m letting my light shine, I’m doing what I love and reaching those who most resonate with how I deliver what I’m passionate about and those that don’t, will find someone else who does.
To Find your Formula for Playing Big [Answer these 3 Questions]:
#1: First off let’s define big – well…I’ll define what it means to me, you define what it means to you.
Playing big means letting my light fully shine. Not dimming myself to avoid criticism and not letting self-doubt and “not good enough” become my story (and my distraction) for not moving forward – it means being more loyal to my mission and my well-being, than to my fears!
What Does Playing Big Mean to you?
#2: Identify what makes you consistently uncomfortable or consistently triggers you. Self-doubt was my consistent trigger and let me tell you, I didn’t get past it without expert guidance. Somethings are just so stuck you’ve got to reach out for help.
What’s Getting in Your Way?
3: Take small steps. Did you breathe a sigh of relief? To play big, to be successful, to be happy in your own skin, to do the things you’ve dreamed of (but were too scared to do or too ‘busy’ distracting yourself) doesn’t happen by waking up one day and saying, “today is the day!” No need to run a marathon—start with one step.
What’s Your Next Step?
*Warning* This is when brain fog often settles in.
Questions like these, push you out of the comfort zone and into the ‘fear zone’. When we’re uncomfortable, our mind (bless its heart), will do everything it can to keep us ‘safe’ (aka, dim your light).
So, what is your next Step? Having that difficult conversation? Saying “no” to what’s distracting you? Talking your ‘next step’ fears over with a trusted friend? Asking for what you want? Setting healthy boundaries? Hiring a therapist, a coach, a mentor?
Whatever you choose, remember this – staying curious, keeps you out of stuck and moving through the ‘fear zone.’
A few days ago, I woke up ‘in the mood’ to purge paperwork. As I dug through old files I came across a course I created many years ago. I took a break and began to flip through the 55-pages that represented months of research and writing. My first thought was, “wow, this is so good!” My second thought was, “why wasn’t I able to turn my idea, into a profitable success?”
So, there I was, flipping through that old course workbook, trotting down memory lane, and thinking about my passion project (the creation of my Alchemy of Feminine Leadership™ course) and darn if a wave of self-doubt didn’t hit me…what if I can’t do this?
A few days before my paperwork purge, I had tea with an author friend. I had read her wonderful book while on vacation and was curious how her self-published book, went from being sold out of her truck, to being picked up by one of the largest publishing houses in the world (think JK Rowling – yah, big!), with a two-book deal?
As I listened to her story, I realized that she embodies the Six Principles of Success: Clarity, conviction, confidence, compassion, connection and contribution. She splendidly proved to me that with these core principles in place—success as you define it, is very possible, if not inevitable.
A Tale of Two Stories with Wisdom to Further your Desires and your Success…
Years ago, even though I was a ‘go-getter’ and appeared to have it all together the concept of clarity had not yet entered my world. I lived with mental chaos, overwhelm and believing that to be successful, one must juggle many balls and say “yes” to everyone.
My friend, channeled her energy in a singular direction so that her efforts were not diluted by distractions (aka, mental chaos) and juggled only one ball – the research and writing of her book.
My husband and I had a conversation with a couple who had just celebrated 40+ years of marriage. He was saying how his wife was his yin, to his yang. Where he is laid back, easy going and at times directionless, his wife was solid, organized and managed the worrying for the family. We laughed, because the ‘yin/yang’ similarities were quite familiar, except as I told him, “I used to be the worrier, but I’m not anymore.”
Worry is an umbrella word with a plethora of emotions underneath and worry is part of the human existence. We all do it. The question is, how often and how intense is your worrying?
According to freedictionary.com the ancestor of worry, is an Old English verb wyrgan, that means “to strangle”.
Need I say more?
Worrying strangles happiness, confidence, creativity. Worrying causes stress, anxiety and unease and women have a tendency, to mix worry up with caring. Right?
While on vacation recently, my husband and I went in search of information about turtle hatchlings. We followed a meandering dirt road that led us past an old converted school bus parked on a nearby beach. A bit further down, we spotted a turtle sanctuary. On the entry gate was a handwritten sign that read “for information about turtles go to the school bus.”
What followed was perhaps the beginning of a life long friendship. The bus, as it turns out, was home to a family of nine, plus the parents (yes – 9. Not a typo!). Five of the children were grown and had moved on, but four still lived and traveled with their parents in their rolling home and one of their sons, is very interested in turtles, which was the reason they were parked on that beach.
As we talked, each family member eventually poked their head out of the bus and joined us. They were quiet, polite, thoughtful and oh-so-creative. Even making us sparkly water drinks with homemade umbrella’s and paper fans to keep us cool. The children’s mother and I launched into a conversation about serendipity (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way), which was in fact rather synchronistic as the bed and breakfast we were staying at was called “Serindipity.”
She talked about how often those internal nudges or happenstance events led them out of harm’s way on their vast travels (250,000 kilometers to-date), or to amazing adventures and new friends.
So, what does synchronicity (the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection) have to do with life, leadership and business?
Have you ever felt that crunch of pressure when attempting to wrap up EVERYTHING before departing on vacation?
I was feeling an increase in tension and pressure, but after years of re-wiring for ease, my mind no longer defaults to “I’ve got to get it all done”, it now defaults to “what do I really not need to be doing right now?”.
So, with this in mind and my desire to depart for vacation with the ability to turn ‘off’ with ease, I’m sharing with you my latest FREE offering that includes tips on how to:
Expand your capacity – While maintaining your well-being
Increase your impact – While being in alignment with your core values
Lead with confidence – While allowing your inner light to shine
To download your FREE copy of: Three Powerful Strategies to Expand Capacity, Increase Impact and Lead with Confidence, click here!