You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
There is something about change that sometimes makes us cringe and hold back. I think that it is the unknown and our lack of belief in ourselves that keeps us from accomplishing what it is that we want to accomplish—if only we could make that first step. We know we are capable of changing but we hold back unless something calls us forth. Often we let our fears, or imagined fears, keep us from moving ahead. Sometimes we just have a first reaction of “no” for any change that is required. Whatever the mechanism we have developed for holding back when change is present, it is time to call it out and see if it really serves us.
I recently talked to a potential client who had a different protection from making a change. Her well-rehearsed protection is “changing everything all the time”. She is an idea machine with an idea a minute. She reminded me of a hummingbird flitting from one flower to the next. She would touch on something then immediately move on to next great idea. No wonder she was frustrated and unable to make a go of her business. Her business changed every other day. After listening to a seemingly endless list of ideas, I realized that she didn’t really like change, so to actually change she would have to pick one thing and just do it.
I agreed with her that the list of ideas was excellent. In fact, I pointed out that I could see a theme in the ideas that pointed to her towards a vision for her business, and from a vision for her business she could start with one offering from the list of ideas. She really didn’t like the idea of just choosing one and after some indecision she reluctantly chose one idea. We then made a little plan on how she could implement that one idea. The plan included how long the implementation would take, what the simple steps were needed to achieve the goal, how much she would charge for it, and an estimate on how much she could make. Then I asked her to just follow the plan for two weeks and see what happened. Part of the plan was to complete one step a day and report back to me every day as that step was complete.
You can probably predict the outcome of this plan. Yes, it worked. She stayed with the plan and began to meet people who really were interested in what she was doing. Within a couple of days of focusing on the project she met people who were interested in using her services. She was excited that her idea was well received and decided to follow through with providing the product. She changed her way of being and it took courage to do so.
I don’t know if the change will last. It really doesn’t matter because now she has tasted what it is like to stick with something. I think this will be the beginning of a new way of being for her.
If you are stuck and know that change is required to move forward, please give me a call. I would love to hear from you.
One of my clients just realized one of his biggest intentions. He has been accepted to show his work in a prestigious art festival. It is a juried show; has hundreds of applicants from across the United States; and fewer than 20% of the applicants are accepted. He sent me an email announcing his win with a cartoon doing a happy dance. Indeed! Time for celebration!
This intention has been on his list of things to be accomplished for several years, but he has never been selected, or judged by this show panel—not because he isn’t a good artist, but because this was the first year he applied for acceptance. You see, he always quit before he tried to enter. He didn’t think he could ever make it in so he just didn’t enter.
So, what are you holding back from doing? What is it that is on your to be accomplished list that has been there forever? What is it that you don’t think you are good enough to accomplish even though you would be thrilled if you did? Why?
I am not being bad with you when I ask the question Why? I would really like to know and I think that your answer to that question does beg to be examined. In fact, usually your first answer to that question is never really the answer. It takes asking that question 5 times, always going deeper with each answer, to really find out what is happening with you that is keeping you from moving forward toward that bright dream you are afraid to reach for. Usually what you find out is that what is holding you back is so small and doable that you will then forge ahead.
Try this Why exercise for yourself, with something that you really want to accomplish, and see what happens. Most likely you will discover that what is holding you back disappears. You might even discover an easy way to win just as my client did.
It is that time of the year. July marks the half year mark and is traditionally the time to do your mid-year business review. If you are a business professional who writes a detailed business plan, makes a financial forecast, and looks forward to meeting with your accountant each month, this blog is not for you. However, if you are an entrepreneur who writes his business plan on the back of a napkin and lets his bank balance be his indicator of profit, you may find this guide useful.
First step is to review what you intended to accomplish. It may be as simple as increase your revenue by $2000 each month, or increase the readers of your monthly tip newsletter to 500 each month. Whatever you have intended to accomplish, write it down and then see where you are now. This is NOT the time to beat yourself up with regret and remorse. Regret and remorse do not move the action moving forward—they stop action. This review is simply to determine what is so in your business as of July, 2014. Simple and factual.
Once you have determined what is so, make a list of what you want to change or accomplish. Brainstorm what actions you can take now to change what is already happening. It may be that some things are just sitting there waiting for your attention, or that some things are stagnant and need a push to go further. Usually you have potential clients who haven’t made a decision to buy whatever it is you are selling. You may have forgotten about them, or decided they were duds. Either way they linger on your potential sale sheet taking up space and sapping your energy. Contact them one more time, and if they make no signs of buying your product take them off your list. Set them free, and by doing so you will set yourself free. You may be surprised. Just last week one of my clients contacted a dud and the dud bought. Either way close them or take them off your list.
This is easier than you thought, Right? Make a list of what you wanted to accomplish in 2014; review the list; get into action with the stuff you forgot about or gave up on, and then make a new list of what you intend to accomplish by January, 2015. Then get back to work with no regrets, just a resolve knowing that you do know what to do and how to do it.
In the comments below, let me know how you did with your mid-year review. I look forward to hearing from you!