First, some intense vulnerability.
To be completely honest, writing this blog terrifies me and it’s why I haven’t written in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this and feel compelled to write often, but almost always find a reason not to and talk myself out of it. Tonight, however, I couldn’t help but be overcome with the emotion and feeling that if I’m dealing with this, I bet others are too. I finally convinced myself if the purpose of this blog is to provide motivation and inspiration, then I’m actually doing a disservice by not writing.
This will be a blog about fear, uncertainty, change, and how (hopefully) how to power through it. Before we get started, I think it’s important to point out a couple things.
First, while I spend a lot of time researching and preparing for these, I typically write very stream of consciousness. I’m often told by people that know me, “it’s like I can hear your voice in your writing.” I only say that to say that this one will likely be one of the most vulnerable pieces I’ve written and could be a long one, so strap in. Oh, and I will often include my inner dialogue in parenthesis just to give you an idea of what is actually going through my head. (You’re welcome.)
Now the second thing.
For years, I’ve battled severe “imposter syndrome.” Simply put (thank you, Wikipedia) it’s a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. To take it a step further, when it comes to things like this blog, it manifests as “why would people want to read this?” Or “I don’t have anywhere near the qualifications to try to give people advice or tell them what to do.”
Along with the (very likely) irrational fear that somewhere a group of people are talking about those exact things and ripping me apart behind my back, comes the added pressure (self-induced) to prove “them” otherwise and find ways to justify my existence to people. It’s often emotionally exhausting just trying to convince myself that I am actually good at what I do and really have an impact.
So I offer this up to you through the anxiety-ridden sweaty palms and vulnerability for the purpose of “if I can do it, you can do it.”
That said, I don’t know about for you, but for me, the last six months have been very eye-opening, confusing, frustrating, inspiring, thrilling, terrifying, and just about everything else you can imagine. I left a great job for an opportunity that ended up not happening (for whatever reason) and was thrust into the world of “hustle and entrepreneurship”…which, if we’re being honest, is a fancy way of saying complete and total insecurity and uncertainty. (see above “imposter syndrome”)
Maybe you’re in a similar situation. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you’re thinking of taking that leap and going out on your own or looking for something new. Maybe it’s your relationship. Hell, maybe it’s all of it.
Here’s what I know and what I’ve learned. Much like everything else in life, I believe change/transition exists in phases and I’ve done my best to sorta break them down.
This is for us. Here we go.
Phase One: Oh shit.
Okay, so something has happened and we’ve found ourselves, once again, in totally unknown and unfamiliar territory. Now what?
First things first, don’t panic. Stop screaming, grab the oxygen mask, place it over your nose and mouth, and breathe normally…or something like that.
Truth is, when things don’t go exactly as we planned, we experience a bunch of specific emotions and feelings because we immediately, often subconsciously, identify it as a negative event.
I can go on, but you get the picture. I would, however, challenge you not to run from those feelings when you experience them, but rather recognize them and lean into them. Nothing exists as “good” or “bad” until we give it that label. For example, “fear” doesn’t exist on its own in the universe. It’s why I’m absolutely terrified of heights and I know a guy that climbs radio towers. (I didn’t say he wasn’t nuts, I just said he’s not afraid.)
Emotions like this only have a negative power if we decide they do.
So lean into them and utilize the energy they possess…and don’t kid yourself…emotions like this are POWERFUL.
Have you ever thought about the fact that same laws that govern the universe also apply to us as individuals? The sun rises in the east and sets in the west because of the “Law of Rhythm.” Everything moves to certain rhythms. It’s why we have seasons, high and low tides, and cycles of life. If a pendulum swings right – it must also swing left.
There’s a rhythm between every pair of opposites, and it’s the “Law of Rhythm” that enables the transition from one to the other. It’s also this law that gives us the ability to transition from something that doesn’t serve us to something that does. We grow by law as everything in the universe does.
Whether you asked for the change or not (or thought things were going to go very differently), understand it doesn’t matter and that change is one of the only things guaranteed throughout life. You can make an argument for taxes and few other things, but I digress.
The other day I saw part of a conversation with Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Hanks, Chris Rock and several other insanely funny and successful comedians. One of them asked Tom Hanks what he’s learned throughout his life. His response? “This too shall pass. Life going poorly? This too shall pass. Life going great? This too shall pass.”
Good, bad, or indifferent…our circumstances are going to change and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, once we identify and recognize it for what it truly is, we can then harness the change for our benefit.
Phase two: I’ve got to get my shit together.
First, I believe it’s critical to re-establish our emotional center/home and retake control of how we feel. Use the energy from those negative initial feelings and create our “Power Emotions.”
- Clarity – Without clarity you can’t tell an opportunity from a distraction. With clarity comes unparalleled precision and control.
- Energy – Remember energy is directed by your FOCUS not your desire. “Where your mind goes your energy flows.”
- Appreciation/Gratitude – “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you’ll have more to express gratitude for!” -Zig Ziglar
- Curiosity – “Cultivate curiosity. If you really want to grow in your lifetime, learn to be inquisitive as a child. Curious people are never bored, and for them, life becomes an unending study of joy.” – Tony Robbins
- Confidence – this will give you the push you’re going to need to take the first step…and then the next…and the one after that.
There are plenty of others – find the ones that best relate to you and make them your emotional home. When you feel the negative ones trying to creep back in, try to replace it with its counterpart from this list.
This is a principle I learned from Tony Robbins. We have the ability to control and change how we feel at any given moment, most significantly through our physiology. If you’ve been to a Tony event, I simply say to you: MAKE YOUR MOVE! #iykyk
Get yourself into a powerful state. Imagine your generation’s Superman and get in that famous pose and stand in it for a couple minutes – it’s next to impossible to remain in a down and unmotivated frame of mind after 2 minutes. If that’s not your thing, go for walk. Just get up and move your body. Your chemistry will change and you will feel differently. This is an absolutely crucial part of this entire process because your focus and mental state control everything.
Also, as we continue through this process, I’d challenge you to transition from the word “change” to “growth.” If we can equate changing with growing, it instantly alters the definitions our subconscious will try to immediately apply to it.
Do the same thing with the idea of “leaving” something and replace it with what you’re “going toward.” “Leaving” implies problems; “going” implies possibilities.
Phase three: I own this shit.
Become super intentional about your growth. Don’t stop learning. If anything, double your efforts now. One of the most important things I’ve ever learned is that to truly grow and accomplish things you’ve never done – you must suspend the requirement of knowing how.
Every great innovation started with someone that didn’t know how to do it. The greatest example is Thomas Edison and the carbonized cotton thread filament for the incandescent light bulb. He tried and failed thousands of times. When asked, he said:
All it takes here is a WILLINGNESS to take a risk; not courage. There is a world full of courageous people that aren’t willing to take these kinds of risk. Most people, I believe don’t ever truly try and fail; they only fail to ever try. Once they’ve been truly inspired with an idea bigger than themselves and something they have no idea how to do; they immediately adopt the belief that they can’t and never even attempt.
Phase four: Keep this shit up!
One of the biggest fallacies in life that is that success is some sort of event. As if there’s some proverbial “finish line” we’ll finally cross one day and be told, “Congratulations! You’ve made it! You’ve achieved success and no longer have to worry about anything ever again!”
While that would be nice, it’s total horseshit. (Should that be two words? I tried it as two and it looked funny. Bullshit is one word. I assumed this would be too, but the WordPress AI Grammar Police seem to think it’s two. Oh well, it’s my blog and I say it’s one.) There isn’t a door with the “final result” on the other side – it’s always going to be just another door. The point, though, is to keep walking through them. Every door presents another set of opportunities and experiences bigger and better than the last.
Everything that is required to sustain physical life exists in an infinite supply. Our access to the supply may be limited, but the supply itself is endless. The same goes for our experience of life. When you”re really feeling that endless supply of problems, remember the endless supply of opportunities.
I don’t know who said this, but it’s one of my favorite quotes:
Your problem is your gift.
My problem is my gift.
We got this shit.
I hope this helps. 🙂
You are indeed a powerful person. Nobody can have the success that you’ve had without a lot talents. Be you, do you, laugh your head off at any insecurities that attempt to bug you along the way. And I send a hug.