One thing I have kept coming back to with Mel Robbins audiobook “Take Control of Your Life” is the idea to get used to hearing “No”. For most of our life, starting from an age before we can walk or talk, we’re told “No”. “No touch”, “No, you can’t have a candy”, “No, we can’t sell your brother”. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Can’t have something. No, no, no, no, NO!
It’s no wonder that we get paralyzed with fear at the thought of doing something new. Or asking for something. We associate “no” with bad or not getting our way.
Let me ask you this: how many successful people have you met or heard of that got to where they are on their first attempt? How many actors made it big after their first movie? And how many auditions did they do before landing that part? How many artists sold their very first painting? How many people got signed to a sport right out of high school or university – even then, what age did they start? How many musicians are masters the first time they touch the keys or strings?
All these things take years and years of practice!
I sometimes kick myself for giving up my art for so long – over 15 years – I can’t even imagine if I had those additional years, where my art would be! But you know what? The style of art I did back then – and even up to a couple of years ago – is NOT where I’m at right now! Back then, I wanted to be the next Robert Bateman or Boris Vallejo – and I was pretty good! The thing it, that style of art just gave me anxiety! I never felt my art was good enough – I’ll explain that in a later blog. The art I do now? There’s so much freedom to it and it’s liberating!
That is an example of the plan not going the way you expect. In the coaching sessions of the audiobook, Mel Robbins talks about how “Plan A” never ends at “Plan A” – it ends more with “Plan W”. Yes, if I had continued with my art on the path I was on and I may have been quite successful, but would I have been happy? I don’t think so. That style I was doing, I was artistic, but I wasn’t creative. No, they’re not the same thing. As a “photo-realistic artist”, I would use a photo or another artists work and copy it. I was copying another person’s truth. If I tried to create my own art without reference, it would look like shit. The multimedia art I create now is 100% me – my vision, my creation, my truth. People may not be drawn to it, but you know what? I don’t care! It’s MY truth – not theirs!
And, you know what? When I start approaching coffee shops/galleries to show my creations, I might get “no” at every single place, but I’m okay with that! I’m not afraid of the “no”.
However, that’s a very small part of my life – an important, but small part. My work I don’t have to worry about as, being in the military, there’s little say with certain things. My wage is set, so there’s no “asking for a raise”, and “promotions” come more with time in and less to do with performance. Obviously, if you’re a super-star, then you’ll get recognized sooner, and you can actually deny promotions, but most of us understand our career progression from early on.
And I’m okay with that – because it allows me to pursue important things… like Life Coaching Certification. But when do I take that to the next level? When do I take the jump and advertise myself as a Life Coach? To put myself out there and take clients?
And this is where my fear lies. I’ve already failed at one business – when I was a personal trainer. I had a really, really hard time self-promoting so, of course, in our small community, I didn’t get the business. We had sank thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars getting my studio space set up and I feel like my husband has never forgiven me for that financial drain I created – though, more likely, it was that I never forgave myself for that drain on our finances. However, as a life coach, I’ll either be doing it remotely or in home and I won’t have to sink much/any money into it. So why don’t I? Why don’t I make that leap?
I think part of me doesn’t feel ready – that I need to take more education? Even though I am certified, there’s always another course that would complement what I already have… but that’s the thing; there will always be another course. There will always be more training.
It is very easy to become paralyzed with fear when doing something new… but if you don’t take the leap, then you will stay stuck. I heard a saying that if you’re not moving/learning/growing, then you’re stuck, stagnant, and dying. Life is about constantly moving forward; pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
You don’t have to take giant leaps, but smaller, measurable, tangible changes that move you in the direction you want your life to go. When you take enough of the smaller steps, your momentum will grow – and then you’ll be unstoppable!