Becoming Aware of How I Feel
Part of my work is encouraging people to get out of their own way and get past the hurdles that are stopping them. Often but not always, it’s people that are in business for themselves or want to be in business for themselves, but they are inconsistent because they don’t have a big audience yet. They don’t have a big audience yet partially because they are inconsistent, really inconsistent.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter that you don’t post anything on Tuesday. It really doesn’t, not in the grand scheme of things. But when you’re not consistent yet, when you’re not able to show up fully because you have the mind game you’re playing with yourself in your head, that consistency is what gets you over the hurdle. You need it for a while, not forever, just long enough to get out of your own way and realize that it’s safe to show up and that it doesn’t matter how many people liked that post or bought that book. It’s not important. The important thing is that you’re continually showing up and doing the work because you wouldn’t do anything else. You are fully committed to your own work, not because you’re getting results, but because you’re committed and that commitment isn’t dependent on anything outside of you. It just is.
I got past that part a while back. I can show up consistently. I don’t worry about how much I’m posting or not posting. I got over the hurdle and it’s made me pretty consistent in the work that I do. I’m fully committed to it now and I wouldn’t do anything else. For the longest time, I was one foot in and one foot out, always ready to go back to my old job if it didn’t work. I had to drop that so that I could move forward. But, it’s not perfect yet and there’s something else playing out that happens after I walk away from my work. That’s the part I want to share.
You see, when I get in front of the computer and start writing, creating content, and sharing things, there is a level of confidence that comes up. But the minute I walk away that confidence disappears. I start to get all wobbly in how I feel about my work. I can’t maintain the confidence without actively working. What gives?
Just before I came here to write this one of my private coaching clients posted some of her work on Facebook for the second time in 2 days. This was something that I had challenged her to do, show up consistently. Put it out there and don’t worry about the results. She’s doing it! It’s awesome! It’s the first step in the right direction to get out of her own way. It’s exactly the same path that I had to take for myself. I have to say, I’m super proud of her for showing up and doing the work! It’s not easy!
Her post reminded me of the power of a little push. She’s doing the work, I’m just giving her a path. I have the easy job. There is power in that path forward though. There are times when I don’t recognize the power of what I can offer to people that are willing to do the work and get out of their own way. My weird confidence issues when I’m not in front of the computer screen come from forgetting the power that is in the work that I do.
When I sit here and do this stuff actively, I feel the power within myself. I know it’s there. I know that what I’m doing can be life-changing for the people that are ready for it. But when I walk away from it, I forget that almost immediately and it sends my confidence down the drain. Learning to hold onto my power and my confidence when I’m not actively working is the next step in the process. It’s the next thing.
I often say that you have to drag your confidence around like dead weight for a while until it eventually decides to play along willingly. For the most part that’s true. We don’t gain confidence sitting on the couch. We have to actively try things to gain the confidence we need in what we’re doing. The next part of that teaching is being able to maintain it all the time. There’s the struggle. How do I maintain it?
It’s partially just a choice. It’s a decision to know that my work is solid and that I don’t have to worry about it when I’m not in front of it. It’s partially trust. I have to trust myself to know that I’ve done enough. I don’t have to keep pushing anymore. I did at first to get over the hurdle, but I’m past that now. Pushing is not a substitute for confidence. Sheer willpower is how I’ve survived most of my life, but not everything is done by force. Sometimes I just have to trust and allow things to be as they are. This is one of those times.
My new focus lately has been on emotions. Stop pushing and allow yourself to feel. This is some of what they were talking about. What happens when you just pay attention to how you feel? Can I see the difference between how I feel when I’m sitting here typing this versus what will happen after I post this and walk away? The answer is yes. I’m in a habit of not being confident in myself in my life in general. I’m usually pretty confident in my work. When I worked outside the home for other people, I was pretty confident in my skills as a trainer or teacher. I knew what I could do and I would show up fully in my work because of it. But the minute I left work to go home, that would go away. I couldn’t hold that. Nobody around me outside of my co-workers thought I was good enough. There was that powerlessness that I felt hanging over me. I didn’t bring the powerlessness to work with me. I was well respected there. It was just in my personal life.
I guess I’ve done the same thing now. I bring my confidence to work, even though work is just a little room in the basement at home, I only bring confidence to work. I don’t have it outside of that. I leave the little room and that’s it. Paying attention to how I feel means recognizing that the old habit of feeling powerless and unconfident isn’t true anymore. I don’t have to play in that space and I certainly don’t have to maintain the feeling of it. I can change that by just deciding to allow myself to feel different. I change that by actively paying attention to how I feel, something I actually don’t do very often.
I talked in my podcast about always shutting down emotionally because my feelings were never okay. Well, here it is. It’s showing up. I don’t pay attention to my own feelings because caring about how I felt always got me hurt. Nobody else cared so that meant I had to stop too. That protection mechanism doesn’t help anymore and it’s not needed. It’s actually getting in the way now. It’s okay to acknowledge my own feelings. Not only is it okay, it’s necessary for me to move on from where I am now.
There it is! Writing will always give me clarity around my own crap! The goal is that it helps you too so that when you see these patterns within yourself you know how to move through them on your own. I really do live my work and I try to show you that as much as I can.
Can you see the old story and recognize that it isn’t valid in the present?
Can you find the truth of the present moment without needing to defend the old story and the pain?
I’m on a constant mission to find truth in what’s happening. Doing that means I can’t defend the old story and I have to be able to look around me and notice that things have changed dramatically. I see patterns, habits, and ways of being that don’t work anymore. I allow myself to understand where they came from and why they are there without defending them. Once I do that, I can shift it easily enough by using the awareness I keep talking about. Being aware of yourself isn’t just your thinking, it’s your feelings too and that’s something that I’m having to actively work on for myself. Feelings are something I’ve avoided and ignored for a long time and that needs to change!
As always, I’ll bring you along for the ride because I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Love to all.