Yo, what’s our problem with commitment?
Last week my Private Diamond clients flew in for their retreat (those who could make it at least). Twice a year, we meet up for about 2-1/2 days at a luxurious private home in California, and do a deep dive. Everyone stays in the house so it’s one big slumber party, only we get a TON done. We do one in January to create the plan for the year and one mid-year to check in and adjust their plan according to what happened the first 6 months of the year. The leaps these women take forward in these 2-1/2 days together, is nothing short of remarkable.
There was one particularly striking moment with one of my clients. She was receiving laser coaching from me on her marketing plan when I noticed that no matter what I said or what ideas her Diamond Sisters contributed, she had a reason why something couldn’t work or why she shouldn’t do it. She was plagued with concerns and doubts.
This is one of my most coachable clients. She’s normally very open and positive so I knew something deeper was coming up for her in this moment. I stopped everything to explore what was really going on. As we started to talk about that, her eyes welled up with tears and then began streaming down her face. She was having a huge aha moment, made even more significant when she spoke it out loud. She shared that she’s afraid she will let people down – her clients, her parents, her boyfriend, her friends (herself too right?).
The conversation we were having was THE solution (from a strategic perspective) to a struggle she’s been having in her business and she saw that yet she couldn’t get herself to commit to doing it or to even take the very first step because she was afraid to fail, afraid to let people down. Can you relate?
And isn’t this where we get hung up? You can have the exact right formula or plan to succeed in business but if you don’t know what is really holding you back, your mind will take you out of the game, every time.
This client is someone who has been very successful in our work together. In fact, she very quickly replaced HALF of the salary she earned in her job with money coming into her business doing work she LOVES, without EVER having any business or business experience before. And she’s right on target to replace her salary entirely by the end of the year but this hesitation has been preventing her from THE breakthrough that will take her to the next level.
I knew this moment with her in what we call the “Queens Chair” at our retreats, was THE moment of opportunity to finally release this because hesitations and indecisiveness like this costs us, BIG time.
It was putting a lot at risk for her – the ability to completely replace (and surpass) her job salary so she can fully quit (she’s already down to part time), and create an extraordinary life and make an amazing difference for a lot more people.
At the retreat, we did a release exercise, where each person identified THE biggest story that has been holding them back from success. They wrote it down and then burned it in the fireplace one night. She wrote, “I am releasing the need for affirmation or validation of my worth and value from others and any doubt around whether or not I’m making a difference for my clients.” Can you see how letting that go will help her make faster and better decisions leading to greater commitment and massive growth in her business (and life)? Oh yeah!
We hesitate to commit for a variety of reasons. Let’s dive into the four most common ones; fear of failure, fear of success, fear of repeating past “mistakes”, and the fear of imperfection or not-being-good-enough.
Let’s break these down! And as I do, feel free to explore which one you typically favor in your own life.
Fear of failure: What if you work really hard on something and it fails? You’ll be embarrassed (maybe even humiliated), other people will tell you they “told you so” and often you will have lost money, time and energy.
Fear of failure causes long, drawn out hesitations and often when we do this, we run out of time, the opportunity passes and we actually prove to ourselves that we are in fact a “failure” because we never even got in the game. It’s messy.
Here’s the thing – failure is not only likely when you are learning something new but, it’s necessary. Let’s redefine failure to being practice and learning because that’s all it is. Plus, who defines failure? You do! One person’s failure is another person’s success so it’s just a somewhat random target we’re making up anyway because we could shoot higher or lower at any given moment which means the idea of failure changes constantly even within our own definitions. (How’s that for a run on sentence!)
So, to say we fear failure is essentially to say, “I don’t want to learn. I fear practice. I fear learning. I fear growth.” And most of us wouldn’t consciously feel this way. We’d say it’s good to learn, to practice, to grow. So how do we do that? We must embrace the learning process and that means we will make mistakes, fall down, be embarrassed, “let people down”, even let ourselves down maybe.
The only failure is when we quit.
It’s when we drop out of the race we said, we want to win.
So, the big question to ask yourself here is, instead of what could go wrong, what could go right? Which leads us to another common reason most people don’t commit…
A fear of success: OMG what if I am wildly successful? Then what?! Will people expect me to keep that up? How WILL I keep that up? All those eye balls on me? OMG. The stress, the overwhelm, how will I manage it all?
You can see the dilemma, right? When we say we want something but have these kinds of thoughts rolling around most of our waking hours, we are deeply conflicted and that conflict creates a lack of; action, decision making and progress.
Here’s what’s interesting about the fear of success. It’s completely unfounded. Overnight, sudden success very very rarely happens.
We are only given what we can be trusted with, truly. The Universe is set up such that our work, our business, our lives can only grow when we do so what that means is, you won’t be given 10 clients all at once unless you have expanded yourself enough already as a person to hold that. Otherwise, they just bounce right off you and on to someone else. It’s kind of perfect that way.
The time those 10 clients come in all at once is only when you have grown professionally and personally to the point that it becomes inevitable and by then, you are fully equipped to handle it. I’ve never seen it happen any other way.
You know the saying, you are only given as much as you can handle. This really applies here. The key then is to simply take baby steps and allow yourself to grow, knowing you will only be given what you are skilled enough to handle.
The next common reason we hesitate to commit is the fear of repeating past mistakes but Love, nothing is a mistake. Everything can be, should we choose it – an opportunity to learn, get better and grow, and yes this includes even the most difficult and horrendous of circumstances (believe me, I know).
If we were to try to avoid making mistakes, then we would never make a move. We wouldn’t take any risks and even then, we’d still make “mistakes”. We cannot control everything, or everyone.
Before this business, I tried five others and all of them were “learnings” (I refuse to use the word failure 😉 ). I don’t look at any of those as failures or mistakes and if I had, I would never have started this gorgeous thriving business. I refused to allow those past experiences to dictate my future. I saw them as great learning experiences and I knew if I just kept going, eventually I would succeed and I have.
Like my Dad says, “Even a blind chicken gets a kernel every now and then!” 🙂
Success is reserved for those who never quit.
Experience is our greatest teacher. The more experience you can get under your belt, the more you will grow and that means being willing to let go of the past and bringing along all your greatest lessons so you can claim a NEW and even better future.
Also, most “mistakes” happened because we didn’t listen to our intuition – that voice that knew deep within, we weren’t moving in the best direction. We can all get much better at tapping into our internal navigation system – to make better decisions. This creates a sense of self trust that leads to confidence in our commitments.
As you practice listening to and acting upon your intuitive senses, you will see THE most magical things take place in your life. When that happens, you will begin to understand that within you right now is the most perfect decision-making device you could ever ask for.
Try following your gut more especially when it says YES and BEFORE you talk yourself out of it. GO WITH IT and see what happens and notice when you don’t listen, what happens. This isn’t about the avoidance of the bad but rather it is about opening MORE to the GOOD. It’s about releasing the resistance we have to all the beautiful happenings there for us to experience and receive, when we open our hearts and minds.
The past has nothing to do with your future especially when the mistakes you dwell on are very likely times in your life when you weren’t trusting your own intuitive senses about the best direction for you but you can now.
So how do you trust it? You start listening to your intuition, make decisions BASED on it and see what happens. Hearing it is one thing but heeding its call, is another. Observe and notice when your intuition was right. (By the way, it always is.) Then, you’ll learn how to trust it more and more.
Another very common reason we pull back from commitment is; the fear of imperfection or the fear of not being good enough – otherwise known as perfectionism. This one is huge for so many, especially women. My clients struggle with this a lot and I did too at one time until I saw just how much it was costing me and holding me back from helping people.
In school, we are taught to get an A, you have to get it right the first time. It’s not like you can take a test twice, at least not typically. In the workplace, we are taught to get ALL our ducks in a row before the presentation or before presenting an idea to our boss. We are trained to try to be perfect but spoiler alert – there is no such thing!
Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime yet even he was often unhappy with his work and made attempts to perfect, perfection. It was a never ending futile quest.
Anything and everything can always be improved upon and an improvement to one may be a step back to another. It’s purely subjective. It’s not to say we don’t go for excellence but when you notice a pattern in your life of holding back or hesitating – to the point that time is getting burned up with your fear of putting it out there, then you know, you are trapped in this cycle.
If you are on track to be an entrepreneur, especially an online entrepreneur, you really have no choice but to get over this because time is of the essence. A sense of healthy urgency is required to succeed along with the willingness to move quickly and implement before you FEEL ready. (Hint: We never feel ready. Pssst, I still don’t feel ready!)
Could I have obsessed over this blog for days? Absolutely. Could I have made this better with more time? Definitely – but time is limited on this earthly plane and if I had slowed myself down and tried to perfect this, you would not be getting this right now, possibly when you needed it the most. And delaying it usually means it just never happens. So, I choose to get over myself and put things out there that can always be improved upon so I can help more people, and you can do this too.
Ladies, we need to get our work out there – now. You have incredible gifts that I know (as a collective), can shift this world.
You know enough to start something right now, to take some step,
to make some decision.
What is that for you today?
What is one thing you can commit to doing today to move you forward? Which of these four traps are you willing to let go of so you can release the weight that is holding you back?
Comment below and share it with me okay? And please, share this with someone you know who needs it.
– Wendy ♥