All has been very quiet on the blog front this past month and a half. And by very quiet, I mean there have been no posts, whatsoever.
Because I have been grappling with questions on the purpose of the blog, the impact it has, the direction I want to take it in, and the implications that those answers will have on my business. Each time I thought of writing a blog post, all those questions would pop in my mind, and then my mind would freeze and I couldn't think of what to write.
So I took the classic fear-motivated action: paralysis and postponement.
Also known as - no action.
The irony is that I coach people to overcome their fears, to Be Fearless, and move into action. And, I had plenty to write about. There were significant life challenges, group calls with clients, and face-to-face conversations with mentors and friends that would have made for excellent material to blog about. Yet, because of my fear, I didn't share any of them.
And another reason why I was afraid to share is because it would require me to be vulnerable. To share my struggles. To share the tough choices I had to make. To share my perceived "failures". And THAT is scary!
However, as a leader - of my life and business, and as a coach - I have come to realize that we are most powerful when we are vulnerable. It's those vulnerable moments that help people connect with us. It is those vulnerable moments that teach us the lessons and give us the strength to serve others in the future.
So, here it goes.
One of the choices I made recently was to return to working part-time in finance. While I have had a lot of publicity and some great speaking opportunities in the past 6 months, I have not been successful at creating a stable income from my business. As such, I returned to working part-time. It was the most logical, rational decision.
And yet, I felt bad about it. I felt like a failure. I remember my time at CEO Space in Orlando, FL (I spoke there! A blog post about that coming soon!). As I thought of leading the discussions at my lunch and dinner tables (all speakers get to lead group coaching/mentoring meal tables), I started thinking:
"What would people think if they know I'm going back to work part-time?"
"Will they think that I am a lousy business owner?"
"Why couldn't I be better?"
"What should I say if people ask me how business is?"
You know those type of thoughts. The ones that break you down instead of building you up. Thankfully, I've learned how to get myself out of those downward spiral thinking loops. I reached out to trusted friends and mentors, I shared my fears with them, and they encouraged me.
And then encouragement came from completely unexpected sources. As part of my faculty duties, I hosted a meal table. That means that throughout the conference, for lunch and dinner, I had a table reserved for me. Any of the attendees who wanted to get coaching or advice from me would come sit at my table for the meal of their choice, and we would mastermind together.
I shared my entrepreneurial journey with each group that sat with me. And at the end of one of the meals, one of the attendees told me to not be ashamed for the decision that I made. He shared that he had gone through 5 different careers while on his entrepreneurial journey. It's all part of the process. (Another lesson on patience and process).
When I spoke and lead the workshop on how to livestream, I once again shared my journey. I shared my ups and downs, my fears and failures. I allowed myself to be vulnerable.
And when the speaker evaluations came in, people wrote that they loved me BECAUSE of my vulnerability. They connected with me. They trusted me. They received my message. And best of all, they recognized a part of themselves in me!
And then I was reminded of Brian Smith, the founder of UGG boots. I read his book Birth of a Brand last year and got to meet him in person. He talks about working as the lawn maintenance guy at a golf club while building up UGG boots. It's part of life. It's the journey.
What a lesson on loving myself.
My takeaway was to stop being so hard on myself. To love myself and appreciate the progress I have made.
What about you? What have you been beating yourself up about? Maybe it's time to be more loving and gracious to yourself. <3
You're worthy. You're going through your journey. You're a marvelous work-in-progress.
And remember, you are at your strongest when you are willing to be vulnerable.