It is a beautiful Sunday. An unanticipated spring day in the middle of winter. And to ensure that I will have some time to appreciate it, I make a To-Do list of everything I need to do today. I truly love and respect my To-Do lists. I can only be sure that something will get done if it is actually on my To-Do list.
This To-Do list has some of the regular errands that weekend lists typically include – supermarket, laundry, put out garbages and recycling. It also mentions driving my child and her friend back to college three hours away (not actually for the reminder, but so that I can defend myself later, in case I decide to judge myself too harshly for not getting everything done.)
And then there’s the thing that I wait until evening to attempt, that is taunting me as we speak, and is easily translated into – Be Uncomfortable.
As I was gathering information in preparation for my upcoming Create your 2020 Vision Retreat in 3 weeks, I was reminded by a coaching friend that the degree to which you are willing to be uncomfortable, is the degree to which your life will change. She writes that if you want anything in your life to change significantly, you must be willing to surrender your old way of being. You must be willing to be uncomfortable at times. A little bit of discomfort = a little bit of change. A LOT of discomfort = a LOT of change.
So, here’s the thing. I am spending almost all of my free time these days on something that gives me purpose and that I feel passionately about. I am dreaming about, planning, creating, writing the program and purchasing gifts for a life coaching and visioning experience that I am leading. I feel so strongly, in my pores, that this opportunity I am offering will enhance the life of every participant, that I want to announce it from the mountaintops.
You’d think that what I feel uncomfortable about is leading a retreat like this. Perhaps my thoughts are, “What if I’m not good enough? What if people don’t like it? What if I freak out speaking publicly? What if they’ll feel they’ve wasted their time or money?” But actually those are not my limiting thoughts. And for that I feel grateful. I feel completely confident in my ability to facilitate this retreat and that each participant will find it valuable in ways that they can’t even imagine yet. I love to lead workshops and the energy of the group fills me with joy. Helping someone to have an ‘aha moment’ is what fulfills me most. So none of the above is making me uncomfortable.
What is actually making me uncomfortable and cringe is marketing my retreat. I have a voice inside me, my gremlin, that tells me that I shouldn’t promote the event too much. I shouldn’t take a risk of annoying anyone. Maybe I’ll be judged by others as someone who is looking to make money off of friends and acquaintances. Maybe they’ll think that’s inappropriate. Maybe people will judge the title or content of the retreat because it’s not a material offering. The voice inside of me tells me that I’m not savvy enough on social media and that I’m using it the wrong way. Every time I press ‘post’ or ‘invite’, I close my eyes and hold my breath.
I intensely want the people I know to give this a chance. I know this is a gift that they can give themselves. It has changed my own life in not-to-be-believed ways, and I know of so many other people who have shared that they are in a significantly more fulfilled place a year after attending my first retreat. I have found love, have travelled, have accomplished big goals, and enjoyed new passions as a result of attending a similar event. I have become abundant in so many areas that were lacking before I experienced these workshops and created my own vision boards. So you’d think that it would be easy for me to share. Who doesn’t love to share with others a gem that they’ve discovered? I actually do it for a living, easily, in my day job, as I unabashedly promote the school at which I attended, taught, and sent my kids. I’ll talk about that to anyone and everyone. Put me on a stage, call it a TED talk, wind me up, and I’ll promote.
But this feels different. This is me promoting myself. And the voice in my head, in the world of good and bad, judges that as ‘bad’. So this is where I need to change. Because my greatest joy is helping others realize how many choices they have, the power of challenging a limiting belief and moving forward in a direction that they hadn’t thought was possible. I need to be uncomfortable. I know that I will not be able to inspire others and reach others if I don’t put myself out there. How will I be able to accomplish what I am passionate about if no one knows what I am offering?
I weigh the pros and cons of marketing myself as I prioritize my values for myself. And I realize that If I remain stuck behind the fear of judgment of others, that I’ll never move forward in the way that is important for my own values.
So I write this. And put this link: https://2020visionboardretreat.eventbrite.com.
And I close my eyes, hold my breath, and click “post.” Hopefully next time I won’t have to close my eyes. Bring on the new, unintimidated me!
What makes you uncomfortable that is limiting you?