Back in 2014, I decided to invest in my business and signed up for Marie Forleo’s “B-School” course. I felt it was time to learn more about how to build my brand, create new programs and reach new people in person and online. I made the payment (more than I had ever spent on my business), blocked off two hours a day on my schedule and dove full bore into the work. The lessons were powerful and it opened my mind and heart to so many new ideas that I had not previously considered. However, as the weeks went by, I felt a mounting and belittling sense of comparison when I saw the hundreds of other coaches doing their thing in the program. I got obsessed with looking at their websites and I started to feel like a big, fat looser compared to others who seemed to be doing bigger and better things in the world.
I felt the PRESSURE to change and produce, but not from a true sense of creativity and purpose, rather from a competitive part of me that wanted to keep up with the Joneses. I suddenly craved that silver bullet that would propel toward tons of money and external notoriety. For the first time since I started On Your Path Consulting, I began to create from an EXTERNAL DRIVE for success, rather than an INTERNAL DESIRE to produce work that was genuine and organic.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, THIS TOOK A TOLL ON ME! I STARTED TO DOUBT MY NATURAL ABILITY TO DO THE WORK I LOVED AND TO FEEL VERY DISCONNECTED FROM MY CREATIVITY. THE EXTERNAL NEED TO SUCCEED WAS KILLING MY LONGTERM STRATEGY FOR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SUCCESS.
I pushed ahead, trying to force a new website when I was not truly ready, and surprise, surprise: the whole thing flopped. I woke up one morning, checked in with myself and realized I was trying to change for all the wrong reasons. Once I had that realization, I released my rebranding push and came back to a place of trust, knowing that when the time was right and the ideas were genuine, I would redo my website and create exciting new offerings.
So here we are! It is February 2016 and I am truly excited to share my new website. It was created from a true sense of readiness and a desire to shake things up and put myself out there in new ways. Part of what was required in this process was to forgive myself for trying to force the change back in 2014.
It is so natural to get restless and want to mix things up in order to feel new excitement in life. But my big lesson in this whole experience was the understanding that when change is fueled by an external desire to look good or get external acknowledgment, it has weak legs to stand on. It requires forced effort and feels like you’re swimming up stream.
Here’s what I also know: when change comes from a place of truth and creativity, it manifests with ease and substance, and it will feel just as pleasing to you as it does to everyone else.
Steven Pressfield calls this kind of creation TURNING PRO. He says, “What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.”
So when you’re feeling the need to make a big change in your life, PAUSE and ask yourself these three questions…
-Why do I want to make this change? Is it for others or for myself?
-What genuine new idea or creativity do I have inside that NEEDS to be birthed into the world?
-Would I do it even if it could fail?