Get Out of Your Own Way
I remember a powerful conversation I had a little while back. A potential corporate client was asking me about my business and who I serve, and I was caught for a moment, unsure how to respond. I gave my practiced answer, but my tone was a bit off. He could tell. “What’s really happening for you right now?” He asked (as coaches are known to do). My vulnerability showed, and I knew it. I couldn’t pretend to have a clean, polished response, nor did he want me to. He wanted to see who I really am, at my core.He was practicing what I preach. Be yourself. Bring your whole self to the table. Don’t separate who you are at work from who you are in your private life.It was eye opening. I was caught off guard. I felt unprepared. We hadn’t set the safety parameters that would make me feel truly safe to open up and explore the emotion that showed up. But knowing that he was a professional and his heart was in the right place, and also knowing that I had a choice to not go there, I decided to dive in.It was an opportunity to explore my own discomfort, something I couldn’t quite put a finger on, but that had clearly shown its face through our conversation, and was now staring me in the eyes.
Who am I as a coach? As an entrepreneur? What am I creating in the world?
As any entrepreneur or creator can understand – these are the most common questions that assault our senses on a weekly, sometimes daily basis.
What am I creating? Do I add value? Am I making an impact?
Throughout the years since I founded my business, I’ve gone through the ringer with these questions. It all began with a dream and a lot of insecurity. Then came practice and mastery (which I am still in the process of) and then came confidence, but tentatively.
Now I stand firmly in confidence and insecurity. One foot firmly in both. As I believe it will be forever and ever, as long as I should have new dreams to pursue.
I believe deeply in what I do – with a sense of conviction that I am on the right path – even when the path changes course underneath my feet. I trust myself, and for me, that is enough.
The insecurity is something else entirely. I will never reach a state of all knowing. For if I do, it means that I have stopped dreaming big enough. That my visions no longer take me somewhere new. That I have grown bored and boring.
I know that imposter syndrome is part of my job. It is part of my life. It is one of the reasons why I help the leaders I work with find the courage they need to lead with purpose and whole heart. For having courage is what I do every day. I set my sights high. I face my insecurities about doing new things. And I step forward into the unknown.
And here, once again, in this conversation, was the opportunity to be courageous. To share my vulnerability in an unconventional conversation. To take off the proverbial suit and tie, remove my armor, and share my weaknesses, my insecurities.
You see, my work centers around helping leaders to transform. But on the edges of every conversation, every transformation, is an awakening to what is possible, beyond what we know today. Awakening to our spiritual selves, to our inner wisdom, to our intuition, and to knowledge and greatness that goes beyond our human capabilities. And that is the magic I seek in the work I create. That is what I am aiming for. That is where I take my clients. And that is why they work with me.
I didn’t realize it for a long time, for I myself was blind to my own deep intuition and awareness. My eyes were closed. I was firmly planted in not knowing and not being curious enough to explore.
And as time goes on, my curiosity is never-ending. My hunger to understand and to learn more is nonstop. I find myself caught in wonderment and daydreams all the time. I find myself facing my insecurities and uncertainty about what this means for me as a professional, as a business owner, and as a coach, and I find myself choosing to go deeper.
For some, this spiritual awakening comes naturally – many have been on the path far longer than I. Some were born into it. But in my circles it was often a taboo topic, better left off the table, or for the religious fanatics that I couldn’t possibly begin to understand. I felt it was somehow wrong – that it didn’t make any sense. I didn’t realize I was only looking at one definition, at one interpretation. I didn’t know that I could create my own meaning from what still feels like an oft taboo subject.
My discomfort in my interviewer’s question was not because I don’t believe in my work, but because I am still on my own journey. I am still working out what it all means for me and how I want to share with the world. It is a process. And I am on no one’s timeline but my own. And so while others may be puzzled by my insecurity and expression – or perhaps they are curious to know what keeps me from going deeper, I know that this is my own journey to unfold.
And this is where my courage comes in. For each of us it looks different. The color is slightly altered, the taste not quite the same, but we are all walking our own path to find our own way to our own knowing. We hunger for clarity, for confidence, for understanding, for knowing “Am I on the right path?” “What else is there for me?”
And rather than shy away from questions of purpose and meaning in life, I am leaning into them – and walking my clients alongside me on the journey. For whether they meant to or not, their awareness and awakening rises with my own. We are always learning together. Meandering together. Journeying together.
I completed the interview feeling raw. This person whom I only just met managed to see straight through the surface-level story I had been telling myself (and others) and cut through to the heart of my struggle to express what I do.
And in a kind and jesting tone he encouraged me, “Just get out of your own way.”
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