A friend of mine fed up with how his boss treats him has been contemplating going into business for himself for the past two years. Every time he came close to it he stepped back. About a month ago as he expressed being tired of doing all the hard work and I asked him “why don’t you go into business for yourself?” He replied “I am afraid, what if it doesn’t work“?
I paused and said “everyone is afraid, don’t think that I’m not, everyone of the clients I work with is afraid, that is the beauty of the whole thing, we get to feel the fear and do it anyway instead of sitting on the sidelines wishing that we could have done it”.
I lead monthly meetings for local business women in an organization called “Femfessionals”. This past meeting’s topic was on the Wealth Mindset. In this round table discussion we talked about what builds the wealth mindset and what deters it.
It was obvious to everyone that fear takes on different names; procrastination, perfectionism (perfection that turns into paralysis), confusion, distraction, forgetfulness, unclear goal setting, the “shiny object syndrome” (always chasing something that seems better), lack of self-confidence, poor self-promotion or lack of, lack of effective time management, fear of failure, and the list goes on.
To quote Nelson Mandela:
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Why are we so afraid of our own light?
Because we have been taught so. None of us were born feeling that there was something wrong with us, or wanting to “play small,” or not believing in ourselves. As infants we are born filled with wonder, joy and desire to take full bites out of life. We were surrounded by people who did their best, yet who may not be fully accepting of who we are. No one is to blame, we all become who we are honestly. Unfortunately no one is perfect and parents will give their children what they have or don’t have. The family lineage gets passed on. I happen to have been brought up in a family that struggled to the point where they had to place their children in foster homes. My brother and I spent 7 years in three different foster homes.
I work with clients who have had similar stories; stories of abuse, alcoholism, abandonment and neglect and most of my clients really want to forget what happened. I did too for years!
I wanted my past to be my past and my future to look brighter than my past and I worked very hard at accomplishing my goals and succeeded for the most part. Most of my clients do too!
When the past creeps up into the present we “know” that we have what it takes to succeed yet something seems to stand in the way. I drove some of the most brilliant coaches nuts when I would show up brilliantly knowing and understanding what to do yet doubting myself, second guessing that I knew what to do, always looking for a better way and especially not trusting my own inner experience. I always thought that there was a better way, more to learn, tools to acquire, experiences to gain before I could launch my business. I was well acquainted with my inner “defeater” aka “inner critic“.
The truth was… I was afraid.
One of my clients said to me yesterday. “I was very scared to start my business yet I decided to take the leap from fear to faith“. After 9 months of being in business she is so busy that she had to hire part-time help.
Growing a business is the most powerful personal growth experience that I have ever encountered. It will trigger you deeply, make you feel emotions that you were not aware of and help you uncover beliefs that you truly didn’t think you had.
The point of this is NOT to drown in your past, the point is to make peace with the past by learning to love yourself in the places where you were not loved. The only way to begin this journey is to notice the places where you are holding yourself back!
So… here is an exercise for you.
Let’s imagine that you truly want something in your life like starting a business, becoming a freelancer or starting a creative project like writing a book.
- Describe in writing what you want and why you want it! Let yourself daydream a little and if you can, go for a full picture.
- If I had (describe what you want)_____________________________
- It would look like (get specific about the details as best you can)_____
- Explain why this is important to you? __________________________
- Here you get to talk about why it matters so much to you.
- Notice your inner response as you describe what you want.
- Is there a voice in your head that seems to want to take the energy away from you? Are you at all doubting that it will ever happen OR
Are you feeling distracted?
- Do you notice any emotions rising after you finishing this exercise, emotions like passion, joy, enthusiasm or not trusting, second guessing, sad, angry because you don’t believe that it will ever happen OR
- Do you notice physical sensations… elated, high energy, ready to take on the world or on the opposite; dizzy, butterflies in your stomach, lethargic and tired, or do you get a sudden headache. Our body usually gives us clues before our mind can comprehend what we are dealing with.
- All these signs; thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are responses from our unconscious to indicate that it is now time to go deeper and heal what prevents you from being the person you are meant to be in this lifetime. When something inside of us is not going along with our intention you better believe that this is something from your past and that you inner wiser self is now bringing your attention to it for you to transform the old into the new.
- Bring compassion to your awareness.
- Ask yourself: Is it challenging to notice those thoughts/feelings/sensations?
- If so, what makes it challenging?
- Can you let yourself be present to the experience? Being present means noticing how the feelings, thoughts and sensations actually feel in this moment. Allow your breath to deepen and focus on body sensations.
- Notice how things shift as you become more present to this moment than the story attached to the sensation.
- Ask: What if I could bring forth inside myself a good coach/mentor/friend, someone who would truly see my gifts/talents/possibilities, what would that person say to me?
- Ask: What if my best friend presented me with this situation, what would I say?
- Take the first action step and tell someone about it.
- When we make the decision to move forward towards something that really matters to us, fear will arise so. By telling a trusted friend, they can help hold your intention for you.
- Feel free to tell me about it.. I offer a free 45 min. Business Breakthrough session, where you are guaranteed to walk away with a few steps that will get you started on your journey!
After telling me, my friend moved forward and began buying the equipment that he needs to start his business.