A while ago, I was on a course (yes, I’m always on one course or another…) and one of the modules was focused around getting clarity about who I’d most enjoy serving. And of course, the more we enjoy something, the better we do it!
Some background to this story is – I often find it hard to make decisions. I have been known to frustrate myself for months with not moving forward, and not moving backward!
Partly, I want the security of knowing I’m not going to waste time. Partly it’s the perfectionist in me. “What if it’s the “wrong” decision? What if I go down the wrong track?” And partly I find it really hard to tune into what I want.
Some of us were conditioned from very early on to “stop wanting” and make everybody else happy instead… and that pattern is not broken easily. My thoughts are almost NEVER about what “I” would want from a situation. It’s usually, mostly focused around how I can accommodate others, and give them what they want and need. Crazy, I know. I keep doing it unconsciously – and only realise it afterwards when I notice I don’t feel inspired, and instead have a sense of obligation and responsibility. No fun.
Back to the course… For homework, I put together the outline of a course I wanted to teach. It was meant for women who are tired, resentful and overwhelmed because they take on too much responsibility for others, have no time for fun, and the joy has gone out of their life.
Recognize it? Yes, that’s me. We really do teach best what we need to learn most!
Well, in creating this program I noticed yet again I feel almost a sense of responsibility to help others like me – but it didn’t seem like a whole lot of fun to work with this issue. I know, because I WAS that person a few years ago.
The thing is, when I was in that place of “overworking and underplaying”, I didn’t realise I was doing it, nor did I think of it as a “problem to solve”. So if someone had offered me coaching to heal that issue at the time, I would not have been interested. I seriously didn’t think it could be changed. Plus of course, I really had no time to do anything about it – I was working all hours of the day and night. No time for coaching or seeing someone to help me with my issue!
So in talking to my mentor in a group class, I noticed that I was feeling the heaviness. No inspiration, no fun and not looking forward to it. She challenged me to find something different that I really want to spend time with, that makes me light up when I think about it.
And yes, I COULD come up with something!
Another experience I’d been through myself: Building a practice and getting stuck on some aspects of it. It totally lit me up to think about the possibilities, and what it could mean in someone’s life if they could clear the road blocks to building a fulfilling practice.
But… I’d already sent out emails. I’d already sort of committed to teaching the “workaholic” program. I had a few calls scheduled to talk to practice-builders who indicated they needed help in this area. What to do now?? I couldn’t just drop out of this project, because I knew I could help release someone from an inner Slave Driver screaming “Work HARDER!” Plus, I’d just sent out more emails inviting people to let me know if they needed help with this.
Here it was again….indecision. Back and forth, see-saw, over and over. Ugh. Yuck. With all the self-criticism that goes with that behaviour and not getting anywhere for weeks. Like being in very sticky mud. Have you been there?
How did I move the mud?
I reminded myself of the “GPS” story.
Here it is! I invite you to listen to this short audio clip. And then read the rest below.
So what happened?
I had conversations with no less than 3 people on the same day about their “workaholic, inner slave driver” tendencies. Here’s the fascinating thing.
All 3 of them experienced those awful over-work patterns BECAUSE they wanted to build a practice, didn’t have all the information and knowledge to do it, and felt like they were going around in circles, chasing their tails, trying more things… and working harder because nothing was working. They wanted a practice, had a tool to help people, yet didn’t know how to make it happen.
Fascinating!! Because I drove out of the driveway (remember the GPS?) I got a clear answer.
I could offer a program, after all, that would make my heart sing! I would not have known this so clearly if I didn’t take at least that small, shaky action to have the conversations anyway with the 3 people who felt like workaholics – even though I wasn’t sure whether it was the “right” action to take.
Where are you stuck? Where are you scared to take action in case “it’s the wrong action”? Where are you hesitating and sitting on the fence, waiting for the Universe to give you a sign?
Your personal GPS cannot kick in unless you’ve driven out of your driveway. You need to take action, do something, even something small, in order for the directions to start showing up.
What one small action can you take to get you out of indecision? Feedback will come the moment you take a step!
If you’re stuck with building a practice, and you don’t know what to try next to make it work and get clients, I warmly invite you to fill in a short application form. Let’s chat. What if your dream practice was possible, with support and encouragement along the way?
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.