As we evolve and move into new phases of growth, the people around us may change.
Sometimes this is because they are also evolving, but on a different path; sometimes it is because they are growing at a different pace. As long as we are all growing, we are all moving forward no matter the angle of trajectory.
What motivates this growth? Can we impact the pace at which we evolve?
Whys and Why Nots
I believe our motivation is made up of Whys and Why Nots. Our pace of evolution is dependent upon the balance of these two within us.
As entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, we may find our lack of overnight success frustrating. We may spend years wondering why we’re not yet working a 3 day week and enjoying all of that wonderful time freedom we signed up for.
Yes, there are absolutely business ideas that are better than others, and good messaging will make a hell of a difference, but essentially it all comes down to us. The inner game is where success is won, or not.
We might be motivated by providing for our family, or paying off a house, or nicer holidays (remember when that was a thing?!), or making an expensive hobby pay for itself, or simply proving that we can be independent.
Our Why Nots are closely linked to our fears. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change, fear of hard work, fear of alienating people, fear of not being good enough, the list is endless. They show themselves as limiting beliefs and self sabotaging behaviour.
How Can We Impact the Balance?
Great question. Have you ever heard the Native American Indian story about the two wolves? According to the legend, we all have two wolves fighting inside us. One is love, hope and light and the other is fear, despair and darkness. Which one wins depends upon which one we feed.
To focus all of our attention on the light wolf is to feed it. In my experience, the darker wolf needs to be acknowledged and comforted first.
Our fears exist to protect us, and whilst they can appear irrational in the present, they were born from a very real instinct of self preservation. To simply “starve the wolf” may only prolong the impact of those fears on your life.
We may be hyper self aware and know within minutes of thinking about it what our fears are, and where they come from and how to unpick them. Lucky you if that’s your story. Most of us however cannot do this entire process alone. It was only a few weeks ago when, while being coached, I uncovered the root of one of my most limiting beliefs, and it went much further back than I’d previously thought. Having had the a-ha moment, it was easy to change the meaning of those events.
Having acknowledged and comforted the dark wolf, it was happy to slink back into the forest and let me focus on its light counterpart. It is much easier to focus our attention on the light when we’re not fighting with the darkness.
Where Do I Start?
I’m a big fan of hand writing things as the connection with the pen in your hand pressing on the paper fires extra energy and attention into what you’re writing. It makes your brain connect much more strongly than with something you simply verbalise, or think.
Ask yourself, what are my Whys? and then write them down on the paper.
Then ask yourself whether you are living your life and running your business in line with those whys.
Once you’ve spent time thinking about that, ask yourself about your Why Nots. Why have you not “made it” yet? Why have you not done the course, got the certificate, got your email newsletter up and running?
They will likely show up as things like I don’t have time, I can’t afford it, I hate tech, I have a face for radio, I’m not good enough at xyz, nobody would pay for xyz, who’s going to trust me with that and so on.
As an example from my own life, the email list is perfect. I have known I should be building one for at least two years, because even if your social media providers go bust, or your website disappears in some huge hacking nightmare, if your people are on your email list, you can still contact them and they don’t need to make any effort to find you. Why hadn’t I done it? Well the tech scared me and I felt like it was too late anyway because I should have done it from the start. The ideal time to sort it out would have been at the start, but the next best time to sort it out is now. The tech still makes me nervous, so I got help. My Why was finally bigger than my Why Nots.
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I hope this has helped you find some clarity? I’d love to hear what it brought up for you.
Until next week,