This post is part 2 of 3 in talking about If You Want it, You’ve Got to Earn it. Yay! Yay? Yes. I know – being engaged and doing the work to earn what you seek may not seem like the most dazzlingly exciting topic ever but seriously – this is the foundation for everything else in our lives. If we feel challenged at this level of confidence and competence, no amount of shiny happy enthusiasm will hide that we don’t feel good about ourselves and our capability to LIVE our lives.
So, let’s take this conversation to the next level and begin with a fun story. Being interested in spirituality and the dance we each do with the greater intelligence, I love it when Life steps in during the middle of a project (or any moment, for that matter) and gives a big obvious SIGN!
So… synchronistically while writing this piece, a friend of mine called and told me about her past two days. In the first, she was facing a pile of time-sensitive to-dos and as much as she theoretically wanted to get them done, she didn’t. Instead she hunted and pecked at various tasks but mostly was distracted, got sucked into Facebook, and didn’t give quality attention any one area of her life that needed it. After twelve hours of that, she felt insecure and her perspective was bleak bordering on flight or fight. On the second day she was Johnny on the Spot. Crossing t’s, dotting i’s. She was focused and moved things forward. After twelve hours of this, she was bright, confident, satisfied with herself, and hopeful. I could not have asked for a clearer illustration for this piece if I had tried!
Always looking for the easy way, cutting corners, being clever, being late, procrastinating, forgetting altogether – none of these things make us feel good about ourselves. In fact, sometimes we do those things because we don’t feel good about, like, or value ourselves. We think we don’t matter, that others don’t care about us, or that our participation won’t make a difference.
In the grand scheme, it’s all OK. No judgment. But every time you say to yourself or another that you’re going to do X and you don’t, you break your trust with yourself and them. And without trust, you don’t have much ground to stand on.
One of my favorite books, that I’ve read over 10 times and it’s underlined with just as many colors of pens, is Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss. In her discussion of the root chakra she says:
“You have to be able to give your word and keep it – whether it is to another person or to yourself. You have to be able to trust yourself to complete something and to honor your commitments. When you don’t trust yourself, everyone and everything around you feels temporary and fragile because that is how you feel within yourself.”
And we feel that way in ourselves because we’ve broken our word with ourselves so. many. times. And sometimes it’s gone so deep that we stop giving our word or making choices all together because we already know, if only subconsciously, that we’re so unlikely to honor what we say, why bother declaring anything at all?
We’re all at different places with this and yet we’re all being ushered by our spirits to feel good about ourselves, strengthen our connection with and participation in life, and develop our integrity. Like any muscle, we have to take risks in GIVING OUR WORD to develop our trust in ourselves. We have to make choices, say that we’re about something, that we’re going to do something, and practice actually doing it.
So we start where we are. In last week’s Creative Mojo Call, everyone stated one thing they were going to do this week towards this aim. One person said “get up and exercise at dawn twice this week”. Another person said “finish 1 painting”. What can you commit to? What would push you beyond your comfort zone but not so far that you sabotage yourself? Are you willing to take the risk and make a commitment to yourself right now about something you’ll do this week? Hm…
To be really really clear for any ego peanut gallery voices of rebuttal that are popping up – it’s not so that you can become a perfect little robot. It’s so you can get, through experience, that your word means something, that you believe in yourself enough to exercise your word, that you trust yourself to follow through, and you build up your feeling of inner solidity and empowerment.
I’ll be 100% honest and say that I’m not amazing at this. I’m far better than I’ve ever been, but there’s a lot of room for growth. For instance, I often underestimate how long it takes to do things and, as a result, I don’t finish what I say I’ll do on time. When I found myself saying in yesterday’s post I was going to deliver today and tomorrow I gulped – but I knew it would be a good challenge. And I forget to account for integration time and relaxation, something I really need to function well. So, in writing this to you, I’m also writing this to me – which is the case with most everything I write, say, and do in the coaching realm. We are all in this together. Now let’s get to it!
Clear open highways of creative follow through to you!