Permission to be a work in progress

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 building the business over here.

So it’s not an either or conversation.

It’s BOTH.

But then I slip back into overthinking.

It’s actually quite impressive how fast I can move into overanalyzing and begin thoroughly 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.

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 growing.

Here’s what I know for sure.

I’m stepping into a new territory.

And new territories will ALWAYS bring us face to face with our sabotage.

There’s literally NO WAY I can experience the new territory without experiencing all of my fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, and head talk.

So, instead of trying to avoid them and pretend that they don’t exist, I’m honoring their power, welcoming them, and inviting them in.

I’m asking what they want to tell me and I’m hearing what they have to say.

And if I was being really 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 things don’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 (when) 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.

The thing 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 one call.”  

That’s all I have to do.

Make one call.

And then, 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 “shiny + polished” 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 some of the same things that I’ve struggled with.

I am speaking so you know you’re not alone.

I want us to stop trying to hide the fear, bury the shame, cover up the guilt, and pretend that our sabotage doesn’t exist.

I want us to stop…

Pretending to be perfect when we’re not.

Pretending everything’s okay when it isn’t.

Pretending we feel great all the time when we don’t.

Pretending we love our businesses every day when that’s not real.

Pretending that we’re never afraid when we are.

Pretending that we don’t have negative head talk when we do.

Pretending that it’s not really hard some days when it’s really hard some days.

Pretending that we’re not scared when we are.

Pretending that success doesn’t take focused, deliberate and intentional effort when it does.

Here’s what we can do instead…

We can cut ourselves some slack.

We can love on ourselves.

We can celebrate how far we’ve come.

We can celebrate what we DID do.

We can celebrate the calls we DID make.

We can celebrate the contacts we DO have.

We can celebrate our growth.

We can celebrate our human head talk and the fact that its presence means that we are stepping outside of our current comfort zone.

We can celebrate our willingness to act in spite of.

And that ain’t easy.

None of it is.

Let us stop pretending that it should be.

That pretending is delusional and it keeps us stuck in shame and judgement.

Here’s the truth.

I am a work in progress AND I am doing a great job.

I bet you are too.

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