Last week at my business mastermind retreat we were doing an exercise to uncover what stops us on our journey to success. My coach told me she thought that what stops me is “not wanting to do the work”. She meant the “hard work” it takes to make a business successful.
I initially disagreed. After all, My parents taught me the value of hard work and I have worked hard my whole life. So “hard”, in fact, that I burned out – at least 3 times!
I gasped as the realization hit me! She is absolutely correct! I don’t want to work that “hard” – ever again!
I am not afraid of doing the work. I understand the dedication, commitment and consistency required to creating a successful business. I am allergic to making it “hard”. The truth is, when you are on purpose, working from your joy – it’s never hard.
I am committed to building a business that not only supports me financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I am committed to being true to myself and having fun along the way!
You see my life’s purpose is to embody joy and truth. What I figured out on my life journey is that when you are not aligned with your truth, when you ignore the internal messages and guidance, you end up creating growth and learning opportunities which can be experienced as “hard lessons”. When you don’t have your own clear agenda, you end up on someone else’s!
It’s not your fault. “Accessing Your Internal Guidance System” is not a standard course offered in most school curriculums (yet).
We live in a fear-based world where marketing and advertising are based on speaking to your fear or perception of lack. Couple that with an inability to access your internal GPS and you are at the mercy of others telling you what’s best for you and what you should do, be or have!
The journey to connecting with, loving and trusting my self has been a journey of self discovery. It must be fueled by compassion and non-judgement or else it is too painful.
I have come to learn that this is the roadmap that guarantees my success. I get to define what success looks like for me. I get to chart my course for getting there. Unfortunately, because we are so conditioned, those of my generation also have to do the work of unlearning many of the beliefs, ideas and patterns that do not serve us and keep us striving for someone else’s ideals that are not necessarily aligned with what we truly desire.
I am a life long learner. I am also committed to my personal growth and development – probably because I would get bored with myself and my life if I wasn’t exploring, uncovering or changing something. 🙂 Looking back, I see the role my physical therapy profession played in instilling the habit of continual education (as we have to complete a certain number of CEU’s in order to maintain our professional license). I am also grateful to my parents (particularly my mother) for instilling in me a hunger for knowledge and a thirst for spiritual connection.
Over the years my interests have changed, and my focus with it, as I continue to evolve.
One thing I have come to believe is that our evolution is guaranteed, whether we work actively at it or not. However, the more conscious attention we give to it, and to ourselves, the faster we get there. If you are aware when something stops you and take the time to explore or get help, you will get moving again sooner. If not, no worries, something or someone will come along and inspire you, or push you, and you will get moving again eventually. (It’s a lot more painful though.)
There was a period of my life when my focus was on tending to my infant children and getting my fledgling business off the ground. I didn’t understand the importance of putting myself on my “to-do” list as well. You see, for all the education I had, I had never been taught the importance of self care. I hadn’t been taught to value myself as much as my husband, my children, my clients and my friends.
As a result, I burned out – more than once. What did that look like?
Feeling dry inside. Disconnected from the passion I had for my work. Feeling like I hated my life. Feeling resentful of others and what they seemed to have that I didn’t. Feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Getting sick (it was the only way I could give myself permission to take some time for me and just rest and be).
I am happy to say I don’t have to get sick anymore to give myself some time off. I learned to take better care of myself, to ask for help and to receive support. I’ve discovered I need space in my days and my life to just BE – and I give myself permission to have it. It is integral for maintaining my joy. It is also usually the time when inspiration “drops in”. I feed my mind and my spirit every day and I know that this serves me greatly, both personally and professionally.
It doesn’t mean I don’t ever have a down day or get tired. When that happens, I know it’s my GPS saying I need to stop and listen.
I am a work in progress. There’s always something new to learn or experience. I wouldn’t have it any other way!