We’ve been talking a lot lately about expansion and growth and I want to keep heading in that direction. There are so many ways we get in our own way.
Whenever you do anything new, your mind is going to pull out all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. We’ve talked about this before. That ancestral part of your brain is trying to keep you safe by convincing you to stay in familiar territory – because there could be Lions and tigers and bears outside of whatever familiar bubble you have lived in for so long. Change feels risky, like you are risking your safety, or even your life.
And it’s not just your own fearful mind you have to contend with when you are trying to make a change. It can also be everyone you know. Your family, friends and co-workers will have their own opinions about what you are doing and the changes you are trying to make.
Have you ever had an experience where you had an idea for stepping your life up in some way, and then you told a friend or a family member and their response took all the wind out of your sails? This happens all the time!
So what I am suggesting in this episode is to keep it to yourself, just for a bit. And here’s why:
Before I had a life-coach, I used to bounce ideas off my folks. And I wouldn’t always get the encouragement or support that I was hoping for…. Sometimes they got really quiet, or changed the subject, or worse, questioned my decision…
And then sometimes I would even drop the idea altogether.
You’d think it wouldn’t be too much to expect your closest people to support you or to encourage you when you have an exciting new idea or a big change you want to make in your career or a relationship.
But, more often than not, you are not going to get the loving response you are looking for – why?
Even still, I am really careful who I tell my ideas to at first. At least until I am confident, committed and moving forward with whatever it is. I don’t need to hear anyone else mirroring my fears back to me. It’s hard enough to navigate past them on my own without someone else adding to them. In the beginning stages of doing anything new, I have found that the fewer who know, the better. This is one of the reasons I have my own coach. I am paying her to stay on board with me through the process.
For one thing, any time you start something new, you’re going to have doubts and fears. And your closest, most familiar people are going to pick up on those feelings and they’ll respond with doubts and fears. If you think about it, it’s just not reasonable to ask someone else to believe in something that you are not yet entirely sold on. Have you ever found yourself getting caught up trying to convince a close person to get on board with an idea you have? Maybe it’s your partner or a close friend? Most people are afraid of change and so they’ll lean toward being conservative. Right? They are looking to you for clues.
You are way more likely to get support when you are feeling confident. You really need to convince yourself you are ready for a change. Don’t worry about your close people – they’ll get on board eventually. Probably. But it shouldn’t even matter. What matters is that you are on board. You cannot expect the world to offer validation or give you the green light if you’re still second guessing yourself. It just doesn’t work that way. They will have a YES for you when you have a YES for yourself. Don’t worry about them. They’ll catch up with you eventually.
And what are you doing when you are trying to get someone else on board? Are you really looking to someone else to give you the green light? You are giving your power away. Totally! Don’t let someone else have the say on whether or not you go after that next inspiration or goal. No way! You say! Don’t give your captain hat to someone else to lead. You are the captain of your ship and you decide where this ship is going. You and you alone! And that’s a good thing.
Lately, I’ve been watching my teenage stepson trying to take the reins of his own life. He’ll reject his dad’s help in one minute and then call him back for help in the next. You can see he really wants to venture out and have his autonomy, and yet it’s scary at the same time. Most people can identify with this. Because you don’t want to get it wrong. But the truth is, you can’t get it wrong. It’s all part of the journey. Successes and failures are all moving you forward on your path. If it were all successes, it wouldn’t be a very interesting story and there would be no opportunities to grow.
Another aspect to consider is that your people are comfortable with who you are and who you have been. So when you go changing, you are jeopardizing their idea of the natural order of things. It can really shake things up for people until they get used to it and realize it’s all going to be okay.
So try not to be offended if your people react to your pursuit of growth and change in extreme ways. You may have shaken up their whole world. Especially if it’s your partner. Depending on the change, they may have fears about how this will change your relationship. Or if involves you making more money, it may bring up insecurities. Have patience. They may need to work through their own fears before they are able to be happy for you. That’s okay. There is an adjustment period which may be difficult. I promise you though, it will be a lot easier if you don’t take their reaction personally. Just have compassion instead. As we have talked about in previous episodes, change can be unsettling especially if it wasn’t your idea. Just because you are growing, you cannot expect everyone else to grow with you. I mean, they may, but more than likely, they have their own growth pace. And that needs to be okay.
It’s not your job to stay the same so they can feel secure. No, that is co-dependent behavior and not good for anyone. But you can hold space for their process. That’s just being kind!
So, when you get your inspired idea consider these things:
1. Be conscientious about who you share your idea with in the beginning when you are still working out how you are going to do it. You may not even be able to share with your closest people. That’s okay.
2. And if you do decide to share, make sure you aren’t looking for validation or permission. The only person you need to convince is yourself.
3. Wait to share with your peeps when you feel confident in your decision to make the move. Or even wait until the move has been made...even better in some cases.
4. Consider hiring a Life Coach as your support to get you moving in the right direction. Or pursue friendships with people who have already made similar moves in their life. Or join a supportive networking group in your area. In Austin there is a fairly new networking group for women entrepreneurs called the Society of WE that looks pretty interesting.
Whatever change you are feeling inspired to make in your life, just remember, you are inspired for a reason. And at the very least, check into it. I do believe this is how our deepest truth speaks to us, through inspired ideas.
And I’ll leave you with that!
By the way, I have a monthly drawing for a free 45-minute coaching session with me. All you have to do is fill out this short survey here that offers me blogpost/podcast ideas that are relevant for you! All answers are confidential.