Stop Looking for Reasons
Reasons for what exactly? I will get to that in a moment. Truth be told, it's hard to not compare ourselves. In part, it's how we're wired. And in part, it's how we discern. We use comparison as a tool. It's a mirror to our truth at times but it's one that more often than not works against us.
As a business owner I vacillate between wanting to be seen and wanting my privacy. I am actually a deeply private person. But in my industry, success can hinge on not just being seen but on how you're seen.
You have to be the perfect blend of expert and inspirational, vulnerable but have your shit together, honest but only when it teaches something. Let me tell you - it can be extremely stressful.
It always leaves me with the same question:
Where is my humanity supposed to fit?
This is where I think I am supposed to regale you with all the wonderful reasons to get out of your own way and inspire others. Where I insert a quote to uplift followed by a long commentary on how the world needs you and your gifts so you best be getting on your way. The kind of advice my industry is so famous for.
I think the "just do it" slogan was invented by a closeted life coach. But this advice often falls flat because it doesn't take into consideration how much putting our work out there conjures up.
Yes, it is exciting and fulfilling and meaningful. But it is also uncertain, unpredictable, and more often than not we are left feeling unworthy.
I don't have a magical cure for this. I wish I did, for I would be my first customer. As far as I know, no matter who you are or how well you succeed this stuff will always come along for the ride.
We think if we just get more clear, get more answers, perfect ourselves or our offer then we can trick this part of us to stay in the shadows. We think we can outsmart our own humanity.
While I can't offer you a cure-all to this conundrum I can offer you this: stop trying to look for reasons to stay put.
To not try.
To keep yourself small.
To bury your head in the sand and pretend you don't hear what so clearly calls you.
There are plenty of reasons to choose from and they will happily stand first in line to whatever grand adventure you plan next.
Whenever I am asked how to succeed at _________ (fill in the blank with whatever you're aching to accomplish) I know what you want to hear. Because I used to want to hear it too.
I wanted the formula that not only helped me get where I wanted to go but that also guaranteed uncertainty, unpredictability, unworthiness didn't come along for the ride.
For a while I attempted to give this to people. I thought if they couldn't outsmart it then perhaps my brilliant coaching could outsmart it on their behalf! (Insert slight sarcastic tone)
Then one day I gave the honest answer. The one I didn't want to give because I wouldn't be exempt from this either.
"You go anyways, reasons and all in tow."
Perfection isn't coming. It isn't actually a thing. And if moving forward is hinging on perfection you will be waiting a long time.
The perfect offer.
The perfect sales script.
The perfect website.
The perfect ability to get results.
The perfect success.
The perfect message.
The perfect clarity of purpose.
The perfect amount of money.
No one is built to succeed. It is a practice. And these things listed above? In all my years doing this work I can say with the utmost confidence, these are the reasons people don't succeed.
Not because they aren't perfect but because they wait for perfection to proceed. Instead, aim for good enough.
The Good enough offer.
The Good enough sales script.
The Good enough website.
The Good enough ability to get results.
The Good enough success.
The Good enough message.
The Good enough clarity of purpose.
The Good enough amount of money.
As Steph Jagger said in an Instagram post this month,
"We don’t need clarity, we need gumption. We need to simply begin, to start, to fumble around in the darkness, so we can soak in the full experience of mystery, and magic."
Gumption. I couldn't agree more. She goes on to say that we'll figure it out along the way and I have only ever experienced this to be true.
I started to succeed when I stopped planning to succeed. We think our success is in the plan. It isn't. Success is what happens when we keep going despite our plan failing.
This would be like going to your favorite hiking spot, pulling out the map of the trail and hiking it in your mind by spending your whole trip staring at a map. Then going home.
Your plans, your thinking, or your preparation are all your guidebook. They can help you go left or right at the fork in the trail and maybe help with how many miles are up ahead. But they will never replace the experience of actually being on the trail. Of actually moving forward one step at a time.
What is your NOW step? Take it. Trust me, take it.
Then another. And another. And another.