My Word of the 2018 and Why I'm Such a Coward
Okay, I know it's almost the end of January and I'm just now discussing my word of the year, but hey- progress over perfection right?!
So this post is going to get a little personal and give you a more intimate look at how I USED to think, and the biggest reason behind a lot of my hold ups for probably my whole life.
Are you ready for that?! I hope so... because my word of the year requires me to go for it, so here we go.
Confession: I'm a bit of a coward.
The definition of coward is: a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.
I'm FOR SURE a coward for anything dangerous, but that's because I love my life and would like to live it a while longer.
But for the purpose of this blog, I'm referring to my lack of courage to do or endure anything unpleasant, specifically in business.
And when I think back on all the things I WISH I would have pursued or tried in the past two years of my business, it's painfully obvious why I let my lack of courage get the best of me, and the reason is: insecurity.
To give you a better understanding of what I'm talking about, here are a handful of ways I let insecurity hold myself back lately: - failure to voice my opinion on certain topics
- failure to get in front of a video camera, even though that was a goal of mine
- failure to get involved in networking groups
- fear of switching the direction of my business for months, even though I felt in my gut it was the right thing to do
- failure to say "no" to clients/projects that don't fulfill me or work toward my goals, our of fear I wouldn't make enough money
- fear of pitching an idea to an audience or peer
And even worse, I believed the lies I told myself to MASK and DEFEND my insecurities:
"I'm a perfectionist." "I'm an introvert."
"I'm not ready."
"I'm not smart enough."
Any of those sound familiar?
* And you really have to be careful with the first two, perfectionism and introversion- those are the most sneaky excuses because, although they can be true, they get you in trouble when you're using them as excuses to procrastinate and keep yourself from pursuing things that can move you forward.
So after doing some serious reflection on the past two years in my business, I had to be really honest with myself.
My business was no where near what I had envisioned and hoped for when first starting out, and the biggest reason why is because all the chances I didn't take due to my insecurities.
Hey, I may be an insecure coward, but I'm an optimistic one too, dangit!
All jokes aside, I truly believe it's NEVER too late to do the work and make the change you wish to see in yourself or your business; which is why the word I chose to guide myself and my decisions in 2018 is:
I chose the word fearless because the obvious reasons stated above, but I strongly believe it was the material I came across that educated me on fear as an emotion and WHY, at a cellular level, we feel fear when faced with new experiences.
I'm not going to attempt to go deep into the science behind it all because I'm trying to keep this blog somewhat brief and to the point, but I will share someone who does an excellent job explaining fear in a way that made sense to me, and was ultimately the catalyst to learning more and changing my mindset altogether, and that's Brooke Castillo.
Brooke is the founder of The Life Coach School and The Life Coach School Podcast. I'm not an affiliate of hers, nor am I even interested in her actual business; but her podcast is full of excellent content on growth-mindset, managing your emotions, why you feel certain emotions, etc. and I'm SO thankful I came across her when I did, because so far it has been a game changer for me.
Here are the two episodes that educated me on fear as an emotion- they are both phenomenal! If you need a quick hit of motivation, I highly recommend you start with episode 194, it's only 13 minutes long. Episode 152: Fear
To explain fear very simply: our brain causes us to feel fearful when faced with a new experience because it's sole purpose is to protect us and keep us alive.
Our brains cannot differentiate a "good" risk or experience and a "bad" risk or experience. It just wants us to preserve our energy and stay safe, a.k.a doing what we habitually do day-to-day, a.k.a not growing.
To relate this back to business, if a project or idea makes you scared, nervous, or uncomfortable, that very well could be a good indicator you need to go for it, because at the very least it will result in growth AND the diminishment of the fear itself.
"Discomfort is the currency to fulfill your dreams."
I'm pretty sure I found that quote from Brooke's podcast!
So.... all of that to say this:
I have big goals and crazy dreams, and I know for a fact the only thing standing in the way of pursuing and accomplishing them is myself.
So for all of 2018 (at least) I'm committed to being fearless when it comes to the decisions I make and the actions taken in my business!
What's YOUR word of the year?!