Standing right where you are
I used to want more. More of what? I don't know, just more of everything in my business. More money, more reach, more clients, more recognition, more education, more contacts and...just more.
I would look to the online world to gauge how well I measured up (big mistake) and inevitably would find myself swimming in a pool of doubt. "I will never be like her...she is way cooler, way smarter, way wealthier, way more 'all the things.'" (My inner critic can be quite whiny.)
Then I would take that information and do the worst possible thing I could do with it - SET GOALS! You can imagine what my goals looked like because I have a feeling you've done this too.
I set goals like...
I want to be a 7-figure coach
I want a team
I want 6-figure programs
I want 100 people at every Awaken Your Practice
I want hundreds of coaching applications per round
I want hundreds of thousands of email subscribers
I want to sell out programs out overnight
I want thousands of "followers" and "likes"
I want 5-figure speaking fees
I want a retreat center
I want an office at the beach
I want to make a TON of money
There are many journal pages FULL of goals like this. And they all start with the same phrase, "I want."
Reading this list now makes me -
A) Exhausted and
B) Kindly chuckle to myself.
Do you ever set goals similar to these? It's OK if you have. And it's OK if you still do. Goals are not inherently the problem. The problem is the glaring gap between where I currently stand and that laundry list there. The problem is, nowhere in that list did I leave room for this phrase - "I am."
Just over two weeks ago I was dancing around the kitchen with my Awaken Your Life cohort of practitioners, leaders, healers, teachers, and coaches - a small group of people who trust me to teach them how to tune into their own path so they may walk others toward theirs.
We were just mid-way through a week-long retreat on Orcas Island, and as part of this experience we spent one evening cooking a meal together. As "ain't no mountain high enough" blared around us and we sprang into a spontaneous karaoke performance, something hit me unlike it ever had before.
I am exactly where I am meant to be.
In that moment I realized there is no "more" and there is no "bigger." There wasn't "happier" and there certainly wasn't "more connected." That moment was pure joy brimming over.
If there had been just 10 more people in the room...
If we had so many students we were in a conference room...
If the event had ended the day before for efficiency...
If I was on Instagram trying to market this program in the moment...
Then I would have totally missed this peak moment, a moment that felt life-affirming, and a moment that captured this question for me - if your goals don't lend you to pure joy, what is their purpose?
This is one example of many that have popped up lately. And in each moment I realize it was there all along in its simple nature where I am not pushing or pulling but standing still. Perhaps THIS is what it means to have it "all."
If your goal requires you to abandon your true nature I think we have to question the goal. But instead what most of us do is question our nature. We think we're missing out on something or worse, that we're built wrong. That if we aren't happy striving for someone else's version of success then somehow we missed the memo.
Don't forget to include yourSelf in your planning and reaching. When I started with, "I am..." something very different came to the surface.
a lover of beautiful, quiet-filled spaces.
in love with sensational details
built to teach in rooms small enough I don't need a mic
generous and owe my work to the people here, now in front of me
best when I can slow down and give myself fully to the moment and my intuition
in business to live a more full and honest life
Tomorrow I have 20 students coming to Portland from all over to dive into their businesses through a different lens than their business, commerce, products, or market needs.
We begin with the person. We begin with your integrity, what lights you up, and your strength as an aware human being. We talk, we write, we play, we laugh, and let our business and self-hood find a more honest conversation. We are sold out and for this I am GRATEFUL.
Whatever your work gives you or the people you serve, let it be the most honest representation of your life.
Let it model joy, connection, humanness, compassion, and challenge.
Let it guide and teach through you and when you feel your goals getting so big they forgo your truest self, stop.
Step back. Look for a recent moment that totally captured you and ask yourself, what about this moment do I crave now?