Lost In Thoughts. Starting my own business meant dropping a lot of the old rules and regulations that I had lived my life by for many years in the corporate world. One of them was doing everything for other people. All of a sudden I had the freedom to create whatever I wanted to which although fantastic, was overwhelming at times because I also had to start out figuring out what that freedom and creativity really meant to me.
Switching industries meant I got a little sucked into following what everyone else in my new field was doing at first. This was inevitable since I’d always worked to a plan or been part of a team, but as time went by and things didnt seem to be working the way I had hoped, I realized it was because I wasnt really surrendering to who I was and being authentically me. Why? Because that would require me to get even more uncomfortable, and I think that slightly deeper level of discomfort is where the real hard work begins.
Have you ever found yourself slightly editing what you’re selling or talking about with potential customers or with people who are interested in what you do? Have you ever been a little worried about sharing too much about your background and the mistakes youve made for fear of offending people? How does this make you feel and where do you feel it in your body when you do this? A tightening in the throat perhaps? A twist in your stomach?
That’s because you’re moving away from your place of alignment and truth. And I totally get it, because to be really truthful about who we are means putting ourselves on the line. It means bringing with us the willingness to get even more uncomfortable than we were when we first left the safety of our regular pay-check. And it means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
Over the years, I have realized that vulnerability has been the key to my business becoming a success. Each time I have shared my experiences and opened up about what’s happened for me in the past, it’s allowed me to break down more of my own internal blocks and in turn more people have related to me on a deeper level.
As soon as I stepped into being my true, authentic self and stopped apologizing or editing myself for other people, I began to attract my dream clients. As soon as I allowed myself to be vulnerable and didnt pretend to have everything figured out or mapped out to perfection, I allowed myself to be truly seen and began to have much more interesting conversations about how I could develop my business.
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” Brené Brown
Now obviously as a coach it’s vital to be authentic and share your story, otherwise how can you expect your clients fully open up to you, but I still had moments when I would question whether the approach I was taking was ‘OK’ with others and would worry that perhaps it was a little too strong for some women.
Then I would receive an email that would make me well up with tears from someone who would tell me that reading my ‘about’ page was like reading their own biography. And that’s just it, because even when we doubt ourselves, we have to learn to quickly replace that doubt with courage, staying true to ourselves and the women we are in business and in life, as this is what will propel us to our most powerful place faster than we had ever imagined.
It’s a gradual unraveling because many women have become so conditioned to grinning and bearing things throughout life. We hold everything together so beautifully and run around after everyone else, whether it’s our boss, our kids, our other half, or our friends. We get used to wearing different masks, yet underneath we can be struggling and I for one was raised to believe that life and my career were going to have to be a struggle to see results, but letting that idea of struggle go was like a coming home for me.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with hard work, but drawing the right people to us shouldn’t be a struggle if our self-belief is high and building our dream business will feel a lot more in flow if our message is authentic and completely aligned with our core values.