What happened to the love?
At the start of your great business or coaching endeavour you had a plan. A good plan. An intention and powerful focus coupled with the drive and determination to carry it forward into the great blue yonder, you didn’t need anyones permission. Such was the rightness of your undertaking. It dripped with potential.
Time moves along and your heroes journey finds pot holes along the road, dips and turns that come out of nowhere, for example you start a trend of saying ‘yes’ to any potential client because well it’s money and you need money. Maybe you get caught up in a new contract or project where you just don’t feel the work but sure, you can do it, you are more than capable and qualified, it’s just that there’s no love. You over promise through fear of loosing said contracts and projects. Punish yourself for not being more vocal or taking a stand, fail to define boundaries and slowly but surely, your once compelling notion of instigating big, bright, beautiful change loses its lustre.
Day-to-day life turns into an all too familiar grind and dissatisfaction haunts your thoughts. This in turn bleeds into your free time with well-meaning friends who ask: ’how’s work? Busy?’ As if busy is the only litmus test for success.
Congratualtions. Your soul’s calling has just become another Jay. Oh. Be.
Pleasing all the wrong people.
As a child growing up I was celebrated for being a good boy. I demonstrated amazing manners, I was kind, overly helpful, I said good morning to the neighbours, even those I didn't like. Nothing wrong here on the surface maybe, only as children we of course seek approval for the things we do. We are receptive and attuned to sensing what works in getting us acceptance and what doesn’t meet with approval.
In turn this means we work out pretty damn quickly, that if we receive love and reward for certain behaviours, we’ll do more of these, even if we harbour deep desires to act in a totally different manner. We hone these behaviours, strengthening our expertise in them. Re-Affirming ‘brand you’, again and again.
And what happens to the anger? the frustration? The screaming at the top of our lungs or the sadness-the messy shit? What of these things which were not nice or acceptable in the eyes of the people we grew up around?
I hid those ‘inappropriate’ things away. Consciously so. I built high walls around them at an early age, believing that they were safely cordoned off and hidden from view, but of course over time, as life showed up with all of it’s challenges and unpredictable events, fractures began to appear. The turbulent and unexpected nature of existence threw more and more hard-hitting, abrasive and challenging experiences at my containment walls.
Hairline cracks at first which ran and naturally crept up to meet other cracks, compromising the overall integrity and inevitably these walls came crashing down, leaving my raw and naive hidden expressions of self standing naked, and squinting into the bright daylight. Cue therapy and the beginning of an unexpected re-definition.
Integrity, integration and defining your boundaries.
It’s not about having a ridged set-way of being in order to be successful as a coach, as a leader, as a HUMAN. It’s about aligning to YOUR principles, understanding them, loving them, giving yourself permission to say NO to that which doesn’t work, that which never did. Only you can do this, only you can define the rules you are willing to play the game by, because if you don't, you'll end up blaming, resenting, hating everyone who looks like they're having fun on this journey.
What if you only said ‘yes’ to working with those clients you fall in love with? Those who move you to tears because they are just so incredible, and it’s you who gets to help them see that? What if you exclusively welcomed in projects that turn you on and ditching the rest-no matter how brilliant they looked on paper? How might that feel? Scary? Irresponsible? Naive?
Because that’s what’s needed. That’s what you have to do.
Un-hooking from the necessity to look good, being with the anxiety you’ll be perceived rude, alternative, different - if your life is an act that contradicts who you are and what your heart knows you are here to do, ditch it, burn it, re-boot it, NOW. It’s not working and soon you’ll be dead.
Cease the perpetuation of outdated ways of being. Starting now.
Does being only polite serve you or your clients? Can you push back when you need too? Do you have the healthy sense of self-worth to say ‘no’ to a potential client when you know you aren’t in actual fact the best match for them? All of life is in constant flow, like water, release unto it and dance accordingly, to get rigid and fixated with how things should look goes against the very nature of this world. Know which rivers to swim in and where it’s best to get out and run the other way.
Show yourself, because you're fooling nobody.
You have a dark sense of humour? Bring it, a little eccentric or wild? Bring that too PLEASE. Direct and to the point? Hell YES! We need to see in you, what our gut knows about you. Stop hiding, you don’t fool us. You make us feel funky when you do. These are the days of difference. The only way out is through-through the old story that keeps you well behaved, upholding somebody else's rendition of your life, for the temporary and short lived approval that’ll never, ever, be satisfied.
Stop the belief that saying no to 'busy' is a bad idea.
You are a finite resource and if you spread yourself thin working with clients you don’t love, you sacrifice the gifts you are brought into this world with. Believe me when I say that there are more clients than you’ll ever need, who are screaming out to work with you, yes, just for being you. Don’t doubt this because that feels too easy, society wants you to believe that it needs to be hard work in order for it to mean something. No blood sweat and tears, no value. Not true.
Everything you need, you have right now, it’s just obscured, clouded, forgotten.
Don’t believe the hype. You don’t NEED that brand new course, the advanced version, the extra letters, promising to give you the answers you seek. You don’t. You need champions, great people who are brave, loving and supportive and will have the capacity to acknowledge how bloody wonderful you are. Pick your allies well, notice who makes you feel 'home' because they dare to tell you how magnificent you are - seek these people out. If their words make you smile and their presence has your heart glow, spend more time with them. You most likely won't believe them at first, only they are mirrors for your own magnificence and you’ll eventually melt. You’ll give in, you’ll believe them because the truth is far more beautiful and compelling than the stories you’ve ever been given to carry.
My hope here is to have you remember how truly important your own mission is today. Now is the time.
Over to you.
Notice any stories that still run you? Stuff that holds you back and keeps you small? What have you done to break through? Why has it mattered to do so? Please share your insights and experiences in the comments below. Love to hear your stories.
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I coach conscious leaders and coaches around topics such as this, and if that would be in service of your greater mission, lets work together.