Busting through your “not enough” story in 4 steps

I realized today that I don’t trust myself.

F*ck.

How do I know?  Well, let me share my (old) pattern.  First, I take a step into something new.  This could be a new group, a new training, a new entrepreneurial endeavor, or a new ANYTHING where I am unfamiliar.  Subconsciously I say, “I don’t know how to do this…” and my actions are to ask for help and or research.  As my coach pointed out to me today, neither of those things are necessarily bad, but my pattern of “I don’t know how to do this…” needs to stop.

Why?

Because if it doesn’t, I can (and I will and I have) stay stuck in preparation mode.  Not acting.  Not launching.  Not producing.  Not sharing.  Not teaching.  Not empowering.  Not living out my purpose of transforming the planet.

Here’s what’s crazy.  It’s been so much a part of who I am for so long, until it was pointed out to me today, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.  My sabotage was literally on auto-pilot.

In this post, I want to teach you what I’ve learned about how to move from your “not enough story” into action.

 

1.  Set yourself up with a support team.

We all have our blind spots.  It’s as if our heads are stuck inside a box that sits on our shoulders and we cannot see anything outside of our box.  All of our problems and struggles are inside the walls of our box, while all of our solutions are on the outside.  So, we need support in seeing what we cannot see.  From my experience, a support team has 5 elements: an accountability partner, a mastermind group, a private coach, live events, and a mentor.  We need these people to help us become aware of the things we’re simply unable to see.  Without my coach and my mastermind, I wouldn’t have come to recognize this pattern today.  And, if I remain unaware, I stay stuck.

 

2. Identify that this sabotage is part of you, but it’s not the real you.

Something that’s really helpful is to name the parts of you that are sabotaging your success.  I’m made up of Never Ready Nancy, Not Good Enough Natasha, Insecure Ingrid, Too Stupid Stephanie, Need To Learn More Naomi, Student Sabrina, Perfect Paula, Punisher Pam, Seeking Approval Astrid, Validation Val, and many more… Once I recognize these people as PART of me, but not the REAL ME, I can distinguish when one of them is taking the lead.  It’s okay that they’re all traveling with me in the van, the important question is, who is in the driver’s seat?

 

3.  Honor and accept these parts of you with love.

Recognize that while there are these parts of you that are sabotaging yourself, it’s all in an effort to protect the real you.  Think of them as different identities that were developed to keep you safe and love them for that.  Love them hard.  I love Never Ready Nancy and how she makes sure that I’m prepared for whatever I am doing.  I love Not Good Enough Natasha and the fact that she causes me to practice again and again in an effort to perfect my craft.  I love Insecure Ingrid and how vulnerable she is.  I love Too Stupid Stephanie and how she causes me to work hard and study more and make sure that I’m knowledgeable.  I love Need To Learn More Naomi and Student Sabrina for the same reasons.  I love Perfect Paula and how she wants me to put my very best foot forward.  I love Punisher Pam and how she ultimately just wants me to be excellent.  I love Seeking Approval Astrid and Validation Val and how much they love receiving praise from others and how the yearning for that praise pushes them to work so hard.  I love the little girl who makes up all of these identities and how she’s afraid of being wrong, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of speaking up and saying the wrong thing, and afraid of not being good enough or smart enough to figure things out herself.  I know that these parts of me that pretend not to know what to do are all acting from love and protection and I love them for that.  I love them so much.  They are doing a phenomenal job.

 

4.  Identify what’s most important and take an action step.

What’s the ONE THING that will give you the biggest leap forward if you took action on it?  What’s the ONE THING that you KNOW if you did it, would get you closer to your goal?  Start there.  With that one thing.  Stop pretending that you’re going to execute 100 things and then using that as an excuse as to why you can’t do anything and simply focus on the ONE THING.  For me today it was to make calls about booking speaking engagements.  I decided to move Never Ready Nancy to the back of the van and put the REAL ME in the driver’s seat.  Once I did that, it was easy to pick up the phone and dial.  When I felt doubt creep in, I reassured Need To Learn More Naomi that we already knew enough and reminded Perfect Paula that even if we “messed up” we were still moving forward and that it was safe to take this step toward our dreams.

 

The truth is, this work isn’t easy.  I won’t lie and say it is.  I cried today as I unloaded all of my overwhelm on my Mastermind sisters.  But then, after the awareness, I came to this beautiful place of acceptance.  After that came the overwhelming love.  And after that, came incredible clarity.  Clarity in my message as I picked up the phone and called for more opportunities to speak.  Clarity in the words to share here in this blog to teach and empower you.  And clarity for a program I want to launch in the new year.

This shit is awesome and hard and amazing and it works and it’s worth it.

You’re worth it.

Let me know in the comments if any of this resonated with you and if you’re willing to name your sabotaging identities!  

 

 

Image via Pinterest. Quote by Rebecca Ray.

Stuck to freedom in 3 steps

Have you heard the saying, “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance”?
It makes sense, right?
Do your research and be prepared.
I get it.
But when you’re a (recovering) perfectionist, you change the PROPER to PERFECT.
And when you do that….

Well, PERFECT preparation doesn’t prevent, it actually LEADS to piss poor performance.
Or, even worse, no performance at all.

Allow me to explain.

When I was in college I was taking an improv class.  An EXTREMELY challenging class for a perfectionist like myself.  I was too tense and always trying too hard to “get it right”. Improv requires trust, confidence, and presence.  If you’re in your head the whole time {Raises hand}, you won’t be connected to the team, you’ll care too much about how you look, and the comedy won’t land.

I was awakened by an unexpected phone call the morning of my improv final.  A collect call from my boyfriend.  He was in jail and needed me to come get him.
Lovely.

I fled my dorm room in a frenzy, drove to bail him out, and raced back into town.  I arrived only minutes before my final.  I threw down my things and within moments we were in the middle of the room performing.  Truthfully, I only remember one thing about the final.  My personal feedback was extremely positive.  Not only did my group crush it, my teacher said that I had my best showing and commented that I should do whatever I did THAT morning moving forward.
Great.  {Rolls eyes}  
I need to bail my unstable boyfriend out of jail in order to “be in my body”.

Frankly, I don’t know that I really got the big lesson until a few weeks ago.

You see, that morning, I didn’t have time to practice.  I didn’t have time to over-think.  I didn’t have time to perfectly prepare.  I didn’t have time to do anything.

I simply had to be present and go for it.

I see this same thing showing up in my life right now.  It’s so much easier to remain in student mode.  Always believing that I need to learn more, study more, prepare more, and practice more before I will be perfect and officially ready to GO FOR IT.

Here’s what’s up for me right now:

  • I am certain that don’t have the perfect blog.  I mean, am I supposed to have pictures? Should I be writing more often?  How often?
  • I’m confident that my video setup is unprofessional.  I’m either sitting on the floor with my phone leaning against a vase, I’m standing with my phone balanced on a pile of books on my bookshelf, I’m shakily holding my phone “selfie-style”, or I’m outside on my patio and my “AV set up” is my cell resting on a plant stand.
  • I’m pretty sure I’m not actually “doing Instagram” right.  For example, what are stories?  I’m playing with them, but am I doing it wrong?  Do people really care about what I’m posting?  And how do people have SO MANY followers?!
  • I don’t have a website for my coaching business. Should I?  Do I “need” one?  If so, how do you even begin to set that up?
  • I don’t have my speaker pitch nailed down.  I’m just over here trying to talk to anyone who’ll listen.  What if I suck and people laugh and make fun of me?
  • I am still awkward when it comes to “closing the sale”.  I mean, I’m selling ME and the breakthrough I can facilitate.  Do you wanna discuss how THAT is bringing me nose to nose with all of my shit???

And, let me be extra real…

There is ABSOLUTELY a part of me that stresses about all of those things.  I’m concerned about not being perfect.  I can sometimes obsess about your potential judgements and how I’ll handle them and I’m afraid that I won’t handle them well.

That’s my truth.

What’s also true, is the fact that there is a part of me that is screaming to be seen. However, I have to be really quiet to hear her.  Her yells are muffled, almost as if they are coming from really, really far away.

She’s screaming, “HEY. F#%K PERFECT!!!!”
She’s screaming, “GIRL.  Get your message out!!!!”
She’s screaming, “JUST TRY!  It’s the only way you’re gonna get good.”
She’s screaming, “GET IN MOTION!  You’ll get better the more you practice.”
She’s screaming, “JUST DO YOUR BEST!  People don’t want perfect, they want REAL.”
She’s screaming, “DO THE DAMN THING!  You’re not going to really learn any of this by reading online articles and watching YouTube videos.”
She’s screaming, “CHILL OUT!  Nothing you’re doing has human lives at stake. YES.  The work you do has the ability to impact and shift and transform the planet, but no one is going to DIE because your IG story sucks.  Your imperfect blog, unprofessional videos, Instagram, website, and sales/marketing pitch aren’t THAT F#%KING SERIOUS!!!!!”

And, I hear her.  And, I notice that the more I listen, the louder she gets.

The real deal is:

  • I am more comfortable if I have time to rehearse and I don’t like it when I am unable to do so.
  • I’d prefer to know all of the answers to your possible questions before we even start our conversation.
  • I wish I could speak fluidly and not stutter or say umm when I talk.
  • I like it best when I look pretty and my hair and makeup are done to my standards.
  • I frequently doubt that you’re going to read what I write or listen to what I say and I wonder if you do, if you really connect with my message.
  • On that note, I wonder if my message is even relevant…
  • I desire to be different, but I get uncomfortable when I think about boldly standing out.
  • I would like it MUCH better if I could immediately propel myself to mastery level.  At all things I try.  I do not like not being good.
  • I get nervous thinking about dialing a cold lead call.
  • I freak out at the thought of sitting down with people who are deciding if I’m a “fit” and if they want to book me to speak.

What’s different for me now, is despite the fact that I am deeply feeling all of my worries, doubts, and fears, I am taking action.  And, you can too.  And, it’s not as hard as you are imagining it to be.

3 steps to shift from stuck to freedom:

Awareness

You have to become aware of the problem.  If you’re pretending that it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that big of a deal, you’re going to stay stuck.  This is your “come to Jesus” moment.  Look at your life.  What’s NOT working?  Are you struggling with the same things you were struggling with a year ago?  Are you perpetually unhappy in your relationship, business, body, or career?  What about your finances?  Are you ALWAYS broke?  Look at your reality… REALLY look… and without judgement, write down what’s going on.

 

Acceptance

Here’s your chance to own your shit.  The only way you can be the solution is if you’re the problem.  Stop playing the role of the victim and accept your responsibility in the creation of your current circumstances.  All of them.  This isn’t about resigning yourself and giving up.  This is about accepting your reality so that you can use it as a launching point for transformation.

 

Action

You have force yourself to take baby steps and then you have to celebrate each and every one you take.  I know you want to go from 0 to 10, (I do too!) but it’s completely unrealistic.  Get a coach and a mentor to help you create your PERSONALIZED game plan.  You’re an individual and you’re going to require individual support.  Figure out WHY you want the thing you say you want.  That WHY has got to be bigger than your fears because (spoiler alert!) your fears aren’t going anywhere.

 

Look, I’m not gonna tell you to stop trying so hard to be perfect.  I’m not gonna tell you to stop being nervous or freaked out or concerned about doing it wrong or messing up.  I’m not going to tell you stop any of that because in my experience, there’s no switch you can turn off.

What I want you to do, just for today, is act in spite of.  Go ahead and feel every single one of your worries, doubts, fears, AND …
Write anyway.
Post anyway.
Record the video anyway.
Speak your truth anyway.
Make the pitch anyway.
Go to the meeting anyway.
Dial the phone anyway.

I need you to know that there are people waiting for YOU.  There are people longing to experience YOUR unique gifts.  There are people waiting to learn what only YOU can to teach them.  There are people longing to hear YOUR message.

And those people, the ones waiting for YOU and longing for your message?

They don’t care if it’s perfect.
In fact, they hope it’s IMPEREFECT.
You wanna know how I know that?
Because I know they’re afraid of the same things you are.
And if YOU’RE perfect, that means they have to be perfect too, and the thought of that terrifies them.

I fully believe that if you are judging me for my imperfect blog, if you roll your eyes at my messy and unprofessional videos, and if you shake your head at my Instagram feed, I am not the coach, the speaker, or the teacher for you.
And, truth be told, I’m (mostly) good with that.

Either way, I’m patting myself on the back for acting in spite of.
It’s a big friggin’ deal.

I’m perfectly imperfect and finally proud of it.
Most days.

 

Image via thinkwealthmagazine.com

 

My head talk is the co-author of this blog

Permission to be a work in progress.

This week I was on a call with my coach where he asked me directly, “What growth activities have you been doing since we last connected?”

Me:  “Um, what are growth activities?”

Him:  “The activities that are going to launch your business forward.  There really aren’t that many.  It could be 1:1 coaching calls, speaking, or calling people to book 1:1 calls and/or speaking opportunities.  What percentage of your time are you spending here?”

What followed was a lot of stuttering and a big ol’ lie.  I said 10%, but after really thinking about his question, I think the right answer is somewhere around 1% or less.

{sigh}
Lovely.
I’m over here talking about how I’m building my business and I’m simultaneously doing practically nothing that is actually going to build my business.
Great.

Then, I proceeded to do what I do so brilliantly.  In a matter of 5 seconds or less I went to the complete opposite extreme.  I began languaging things such as:

So, wait…
What does this mean?
Do I stop everything else?  
Do I no longer write in the blog I’ve just set up?  
Do I stop connecting on Facebook and Instagram?  
What about videos?  
OMG.  
Have I been wasting all of my time?
Am I doing everything wrong?

My coach interrupted my downward spiral to remind me that I am a solopreneur.

{facepalm}
Oh yeah.  Duh.  It’s just me over here.
The engagement on social media and the videos ARE important.  Obviously.
The writing is a good idea.  Check.
Keep going Michelle.
But remember, you’re responsible for everything.
You’re the one building the foundation so, there simply has to be MORE growth, more networking, more exposure.
It’s not an either or conversation.
It’s BOTH.

But then I slip back onto my old tracks.
It’s quite impressive how fast I can move into overthinking, overanalyzing, and scrutinizing every activity.

Is it necessary?  
Is it moving me forward?  
When is the best time for the necessary maintenance?
Am I just avoiding?
Maybe I should start blocking my time?  
Should I get up earlier?
Should I stay up later?

My head hurts and I want a nap.

All of this growth and stretching and expanding is bringing me face to face with my sabotage on a regular basis.  It’s requiring a close up look at my life, my habits, how I structure my schedule, and it’s forcing me to evaluate what’s working and everything that is not.
UGHHHHH.  
Who loves that?
{no hands raise}  

So now here I am.  Lying on the couch, eating tortilla chips, typing this article.
Recognizing that I spend the bulk of my time on maintenance activities and very little on growth activities while simultaneously wanting my business to grow.

Houston.  We have a problem.  

After an inspiring call with my coach I made a shift.
Go me! {pats self on back}
I made 10 reach outs for speaking gigs.
I left 9 voicemail messages.
I sent 3 text/Facebook messages which created engagement.
I made a post.
I asked for more feedback.
I held 1 conversation.
As of now, 2 people have called me back and given referrals.

Nothing booked.
Yet.

{Cue head talk}  

“Can I really do this?  Do I have what it takes?  I suck.  I talk too much and sound stupid.  I don’t sound confident.  I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Are people really going to respond?  What if they DO??? Then what?!  No one is answering.  This is a sign.  This is hard.  Marketing yourself sucks.  I’m not good at this.  No one cares about my message.  Who is going to say yes to me anyway?  I don’t know these people.  I’m not ready.  I should quit.  Well, at least slow down.  I need to learn more.  This is uncomfortable.  I don’t like this!!!!!!  This isn’t fun.  I’m sleepy….”

And now here I am.
On the couch.
With the chips.
Maintaining.
Not calling anyone.
Not growing.

Sabotage, I hear you and I honor your power.
Fear, I hear you and I honor your power.
Head talk, I hear you and I honor your power.
Procrastination, I hear you and I honor your power.

Here’s what I know for sure.
I’m stepping into a new territory.
And new territories will ALWAYS bring you face to face with your dark side.
There’s literally NO WAY I can experience the new territory without experiencing all of my fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, head talk, and sabotage.
So, instead of trying to avoid them and pretend that they don’t exist, I’m honoring their power and inviting them in.  I’m asking what they want to tell me and I’m hearing what they have to say.

And indulge me for a moment.
Allow me to be EXTRA real.
The thing I’m MOST afraid of is my own damn head talk.
I’m afraid of what I’ll say to myself when it doesn’t work in the way I’ve planned out in detail in my brain.
I’m afraid of how I’ll beat myself up if I say the “wrong” thing.
I’m afraid of how crappy I’ll feel after I fuss at myself for how I could have done better.

Why?
I’m the worst.
Well, actually I’m the BEST.
I’m the BEST at beating myself up.
I’m the BEST at making myself feel like shit.
No one does it better.
I am the #1 self punisher.
In fact, there is no one better or more qualified to beat up Michelle than me.

And there it is.
What I’m really afraid of.
ME.
Well, that part of me.

So, I honor the headtalk and I keep dialing.
I acknowledge what’s real, accept what is, and tell myself, “I can make 1 call.”  That’s all I have to do.  1 call.  And then, if I feel like it, I can make another.

I can take it one step at a time.
I can keep practicing.
I can remind myself of WHY I’m doing this.

Wait.  Why am I doing this?

I am fiercely passionate about transforming the planet.
I am ALL IN on being a change agent.
I am committed to delivering REAL TALK, no bullshit tips, on how to move from hopeless and stuck to joy and freedom.

But this is all new.
My coach has said, “Knowledge is just a rumor ‘til it lives in your body.”
This is still a rumor.
It’s not fully “in my body” yet.
And that is okay.

I can give myself grace as I walk out this new territory.
I can remember that I’m building a business and not a get rich quick scheme.
I will remind myself that while great things can happen quickly, there is most often A LOT of work that goes into an overnight success.

And I’m committed to showing my work.
Showing the ups and downs.
Sharing the real moments.
Expressing my fears and how I act in spite of.
Giving you an insight to how I celebrate and honor the stereotypically less loveable parts of myself.

I am not a hype-y person and I won’t pretend to be.
I will speak what is real.
I will share my truth.
I know you are out there struggling with the same things that I’ve struggled with.
I am speaking to you.
I am speaking for you.
You are not alone.

Stop trying to hide the fear, bury the shame, cover up the guilt, and pretend that your sabotage doesn’t exist.

Just stop it.
Pretending to be perfect.
Pretending everything’s okay.
Pretending you feel great all the time.
Pretending you love your business everyday.
Pretending that you’re never afraid.
Pretending that you don’t have negative head talk.
Pretending that it’s not hard.
Pretending that it doesn’t take focused and deliberate effort.
Pretending that you’re not scared.

Here’s what you do instead.
Cut yourself some slack.
Love on yourself.
Celebrate how far you’ve come.
Celebrate what you DID do.
Celebrate the calls you did make.
Celebrate the new contacts you do have.
Celebrate that you’re growing.
Celebrate your head talk and that it means you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone. Celebrate your willingness to act in spite of.

And that ain’t easy.
None of it is.
Stop pretending that it should be.
It’s delusional and it keeps you stuck in shame and judgement.

Here’s the truth.
I am a work in progress.
I am doing a great job.

And so are you.

Comment below if any of this resonated with you!  I’d love to hear from you!  XO

 

 

Image via Pinterest – PictureQuotes.com