Have you ever been afraid that the business you’re trying to build isn’t what you’re meant to do?
Whether you’re just struggling to get started, or you’ve built something pretty significant, have you ever felt a little panicked that all of this effort might be going into something that you’re just not sure makes you happy?
I have. Many times.
You may have heard in my previous emails that I’m going on a “pilgrimage.”
Actually, I’m already on it. It began December 30th, 2018, but I think I’ve been journeying through life, in this particular way, for months now, and it’s all coming to a head.
I spent the last two weeks in CO on my own; thinking, and living. It’s just 9 days until I board a plane to Bali for the month of February, to think and live more and take time to reflect on what life has taught me so far.
Spoiler Alert: I’m not going away on this trip because I’m unfulfilled and unhappy with my work. I actually love getting out of bed just about every day to do what I do, and I feel so grateful for that.
I’m going on this trip because I know it’s the kind of choice that keeps me happy; not just in terms of entrepreneurship, but also in my relationship with myself and others, and in life.
I’ve found that as my mission grows, so too does my responsibility to choose my path more and more consciously.
Prepping for this trip, and this time, has me thinking about all of the times I pivoted in my business in the past. There were plenty of moments when I felt lost, and became unhappy doing what I had been doing.
I went from being a personal trainer, to an online personal trainer, to a life coach, to a health-ish coach, to a sex and intimacy coach and just before each pivot, this awful feeling would come about, and I always ended up saying, “I just don’t want to do this anymore.”
It scared me, A LOT! What had I put in all of this work for if I wasn’t going to ultimately stick with it for the long haul?
Would I ever land on my dime, and feel fulfilled not just for a year, but for 5 years or a decade?
Did I have to throw away everything I’d worked so hard to create up to that point?
I felt called to share this part of my story, because I think in the end, we all have to find a way to share our gifts, and often, it takes a bit of pivoting and meandering until we land on what feels right for now, and perhaps a good chunk of time going forward.
We can’t expect ourselves to NOT experience a need to improve, grow, and change. That’s what we do naturally as humans, so why wouldn’t those new beliefs, insights, and moments that change us to the core, spill on over into our missions?
Growth and change isn’t bad, but it can feel scary depending on how you choose to interpret the uncertainty that it brings, and how much you trust yourself.
The good news is that trusting yourself gets easier when you have a system to stay in tune with what’s most important to you, AND you commit to taking steps forward each day toward what you DO know about your mission and vision, even if it doesn’t feel like much right now.
I don’t feel that learning to rest and introspection are things most of us are taught growing up, or even as adults. Still, they are skills that I believe greatly affect our ability to make sound choices and ultimately end up more fulfilled.
It’s easy to live life on autopilot, and make business decisions when we haven’t taken the time to focus on what we truly want that isn’t someone else’s desire, or isn’t coming from an outside pressure.
I’d love to share a 2 step system I use to handle change and growth:
1) Stay in Tune with Yourself
A) Take time weekly, or at least monthly, to be introspective and reflect on your learnings and emotional reactions and responses as you journey forward in life and business.
For ex) For me this looks like journaling, meditation, or just time to think when I’m not on my phone, listening to music, or interacting with others. I try to spend about 30 minutes daily checking in with myself in this way, or at least 2 – 3 times each week.
B) Take your feelings as clues and indicators about who you are and your priorities. As you get curious about your emotions, reactions, and feelings and anything else that surfaces, interpret them as clues and little markers that are revealing who you are to yourself and the growth that’s most important for you.
For ex) Perhaps I’m finding myself dragging a little in my work, or feeling emotionally sensitive, without knowing why. I might realize that it’s because there’s something going on in the world that’s getting me down. It might teach me what’s most important to me about my mission and values, and perhaps I might think of a way to express that more clearly in my brand or even in my actions with others.
C) Make decisions according to your mission/values that will serve you in the long term just as much as short term. Ask yourself, what do I want to be known for? What do I stand for and believe in and does this decision support that? What makes me happy? Those who put thought into how their actions and decisions align, and who are conscious of the feelings and thoughts deep down that are running the show, have less back tracking to do.
Ultimately, it’s not about avoiding crossroads, uncertainty, or even fear and doubt. Instead, it’s about staying in tune so that you actually make decisions faster, more efficiently, and you don’t find yourself repeating patterns of being stuck or lost. And if you do, it may be a sign that you’ve made decisions more on autopilot and given yourself less time to get in touch with what’s most important to you at the end of the day.
2) Keep Taking Steps Each Day
Even If I didn’t have a better idea of what I wanted to be doing, instead of what I was doing, I committed to moving forward for the time being.
Here’s my philosophy and it WORKS, time and time again:
Ultimate misery is when you’re not growing, moving forward, or taking steps, because you’re unclear, or for any other reason. This is the opposite of what life is all about. We are born to be curious, to want to learn, and to grow.
Instead, take steps forward on the path you DO know, whether you love it or not. You’re on a journey and if you keep taking steps, there’ll be new path where you can exit the one you’re on and find a clue about what’s next for you. If you just stand still, that clarity won’t likely come.
We become masterful as using our gifts and solving problems as we continue to commit to being present on the path that we’ve chosen for now. Walking the path answers the question, “What’s next?” much better, and faster, then standing still and trying to figure it out.
Let me know your thoughts and if you’re planning to use any part of this 2 stepper.
All my love and belief in you,