How to Be Certain
I feel uneasy.
It’s been there for a while now, this sense of being slightly ‘off’. Worried, maybe? I’m not sure. A little bit of a scattered energy, like I don’t QUITE know what I’m doing or whether I’m on track. Like maybe people don’t really like me, and they’re just pretending. Like maybe it’s all going to come crashing down, at any moment! Like maybe I should just sweep my entire business and life off the table, delete everything everyone all of it, and start afresh.
Okay that last sentence is a slight over-dramatisation, but the rest is bang on.
And what it comes down to I guess, is I’ve fallen into that age-old entrepreneurial trap of trying too hard. God, I’m only realising it even as I write this! Thank you for letting me use my blogging to sort my own shit out 🙂 🙂 🙂
You’d think I’d have learned by now … heavens knows I’ve done this enough before, then realised, then adjusted, got back on track, back to alignment, back to what works, back to FLOW.
This morning I wrote in my journal:
What do I need?
I need to be in flow, I answered myself.
How do I get into flow, I asked.
Stop rushing. Stop pushing. Breathe.
Why am I not in flow, I asked.
Too much rushing. Too much pushing. Worrying.
Worrying about what?
If what I’m doing is working. If it makes sense. If I’m going to be okay. Am I going to be okay?!
Sometimes, I forget to breathe. Do you do that? I don’t mean in the physical sense, although shallow breathing patterns do creep up on me from time to time. But I do my yoga, I do my meditation, etc etc.
I’m talking about … I don’t know what I’m talking about. Emotional breathing? Is that a thing? Let’s make it a thing. NOT breathing emotionally is when your overriding thought pattern (even though you may do a VERY good job of hiding it, pushing it down, trying to lalalala ignore it) is OHMYFUCKINGGODI’MGOINGTODIE.
I don’t actually think I’m going to die. Well, one day. But what I mean is that when you allow fear and stress and uncertainty and lack of faith to creep up on you, when you let it stay for a day, when it sticks around so sneakily and consistently that soon it becomes part of you, when it therefore starts to impact the actions you take in every area of your life, you’re actually changing hormonal processes inside of you.
You’re activating the sympathetic side of your nervous system, the side that, in days gone by, would have gone into overdrive if a lion was about to gobble you up or you were in a war.
An actual war, not an internet war.
So the thing with your sympathetic nervous system, is that the way you’re designed is to go into overdrive when your life is in danger. Real danger. Which means that either you’d die (problem solved), or the danger would go away. Lion gone. War over. Food found. Etc. Problem solved, and you can breathe again.
Now, with the way we do business do life do us, the problem is never solved.
The pressure mounts daily. Mostly from within, but the impact that has on our nervous system is no different and probably worse to the impact of external pressures and fears.
So we gradually, slowly, but ever so surely start to live with a pattern of simply BEING someone who is driven by fear, by anxiety, by worry.
Which is to say we walk around, all day every day, with our sympathetic nervous system screaming OHMYFUCKINGGODYOU’REGOINGTODIE.
How this shows up, in business?
Decisions made from fear.
Inability to trust in yourself.
Inability to act on trust.
Seeking the quick fix, the magic bullet.
Chopping and changing.
TRYING too hard.
The whole idea of activating this ‘fight or flight’ part of you is that you FIGHT or you FLEE, but it’s for a brief period of time, and then it’s done. In order to HELP you fight or flee your body goes into overdrive, your breathing shortens, your digestion slows, your hands become clammy so you can grip things, your eyes narrow, everything within you is POISED and ready to SPRING.
This is a GREAT thing when it’s for the short-term.
This is a TERRIBLE thing when you live with it day by day.
Basically what happens is, you fall apart.
Physically and emotionally.
What it looks like, from the outside? It looks like a busy, ambitious, driven person who is making shit happen 🙂
What it feels like from the inside? Well the truth is nothing, most of the time, if you’re used to it. And trust me – you’re probably used to it. I’m painting this extreme picture like it’s an exception or something, but the reality is that most of US? Well heck if you identify as ambitious, driven, want it all, want it now, go-getter, creative, leader? You’ve lived like this. You maybe ARE living like this right now.
I’m not what you would call an anxious person. I don’t struggle with nervousness. I’m not jumpy or panicky. I’m pretty calm in the way I go about most things even though at times I am going a million miles an hour. I take plenty of time off each day, plenty of time for me, for my kids, etc.
Yet still I battle this stuff.
It’s in my DNA; I let it in decades ago. I’ve been driven by FEAR of not being good enough, not being enough, never getting there (even though I’ve always believed) for as long as I can remember.
I’m driven by other things as well, desire to help people, significance, leave a legacy, the sense that this work is what I’m CALLED to do, what I must do, my destiny is to make millions, impact millions, change the world in some way.
I’m driven also by pure love of the game. I love the push. I love the fray. I love even the fear!
And there we have it:
I get off on the pain, the struggle, the uncertainty.
I get off on not knowing if I’ll make it, if I can keep going, and then I do!
I get off on deliberately putting myself in a situation where I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, and not knowing if I’ll make it.
I get off on straining.
Not from a lion or a bear, but TOWARDS the life I dream of and am creating. What am I running FROM?
Fear of being normal.
Fear of my life being insignificant.
Fear of not mattering.
Fear of not doing it right. Doing what right, you ask? EVERYTHING.
I don’t tell you this because I have the answer. Should I be able to see myself as worthy, of significance, of having a message people want to hear, of making the right choices and ‘doing life right’?
Yes, no, maybe, whatever.
It is what it is.
I know how to put aside fear, resistance, act anyway.
I know in a logical sense that my life matters.
I know my message helps people.
I know that it’s okay to fuck up, make mistakes, make a mess, that the best you can do is the best you can do.
So I’m not telling you that I know a way to TRANSCEND all of this, to be someone who believes in themselves 100% of the time! And is super confident! And knows it all! And thinks they’re awesome! And the whole world is awesome! And it’s all just LOVELY! And there’s a way to be CERTAIN, all of the time!
Except for this, this one thing I’m sure of:
Even in the midst of fear and doubt and panic and OHMYFUCKINGGODI’MGOINGTODIE, you have choice.
I have choice.
And you have power, as do I. To remind yourself of what matters. To recommit to what you desire. To decide that the best you can do is the best you can do.
And to remember –
Life is Now. Press Play.
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