I had the chance to gather with some of my girlfriends this past weekend, and I came away feeling way more courageous and way less fearful, and I wanted to share a few takeaways with you.
I know you’re most likely here at LearnDoBecome because you want to make some changes in your life, and I also know that change typically feels uncomfortable.
In episode 149, I actually read a bunch of fears that our STEPpers told me they’d had before they got started. Here are a few:
Victoria: I was really excited initially about getting my life together. Once I got into the content, I realized the reason I was procrastinating and enabling my disorganized behaviors was because I was afraid of various things in each task. Am I going to “get in trouble” for doing this task wrong? What if other people won’t like me when I live the life I want to live (still wrestle with that one)? If I try my hardest and I’m not inhibited, will the failure hurt way more than if I remained inhibited? What if someone trusts me with bigger projects than I’m used to and I disappoint them? What if I get past overwhelm and it turns out when I’m not in crisis I’m not that interesting? Many of these things come up still, but I’ve learned how to process them effectively and continue to grow in that practice.
Katherine: I was also worried about the cost and it turning out to fail for me. Things have always been *so hard* for me for my whole life; what works for others required so much personalizing to make it work for me. I told my therapist about my fretting and she said, “But what if it actually works for you? How good would that feel? You obviously already sense it has some solutions for you or else you wouldn’t even be considering it.” And she was right — I had already found some valuable tidbits in the podcast. Staying in my misery, for free, no longer seemed like such a good deal.
Jody: I too was afraid of not following through. Afraid that I’d have yet another “Unfinished” notch in my belt…proof that I’m hopeless. (I still create big piles throughout the day- but I’m making noticeable improvements and my mind is definitely less stressed).
My friends and I can all relate! We’re trying to make changes in our health, our schedules, our relationships, our businesses, our mindsets, and how big we dream.
Throughout the weekend, we took turns sharing where we are right now—and where we want to go. We asked each other for advice and help, and we created a space where it was okay to admit that we were afraid—or frustrated—or stuck. I can’t even explain how much my heart needed that.
One of my favorite conversations centered around “failure.” We’re a highly-motivated group, and we’re all pushing the edges of our comfort zones right now.
And from the outside, when you see someone stepping into their purpose and trying something new, it looks so easy.
But after spending days in deep conversation, I don’t believe it’s “easy” for anyone.
And as I’ve thought more about it, I identified a few takeaways that will hopefully lift your perspective:
(1) Failure truly doesn’t exist.
We’ve all heard phrases like, “I either win or I learn,” and I know in theory that sounds great, but sometimes in our subconscious minds, we say, “Yeah…I LEARN from my failures, but I still failed.”
This story might be helpful. A friend of mine, who has been incredibly successful in a LOT of areas, is starting something different this month, and she’s been feeling pretty nervous about it.
As a group, we asked, “What are you afraid of?”
Her response? “That I’ll fail.”
First, we talked about how there’s no such thing as “one hundred percent failure” and “one hundred percent success,” but then we pushed a little deeper and asked, “What would that failure look like?”
She paused for a moment and then replied, “Well, I don’t really know. I guess I would be a failure if no one showed up (to her new venture).”
We talked about the logic of that thought for awhile…she literally has hundreds of thousands of people who already appreciate her work, and I think she could see that it was a stretch to believe that absolutely no one would show up.
But then we did explore her worst-case scenario, which was basically that her new project wouldn’t be as successful as she wanted it to be, and she would need to pivot and do something differently.
That’s when the energy came into the room—because everyone started saying things like, “Yeah, and then at least you would have tried. And you would have helped some people. That’s not failing.”
“And even if no one shows up, then you know what doesn’t work, and you can try something new!”
As we all shared our encouragement toward this specific friend, we were actually (secretly) telling ourselves the same things. It was really sweet.
(2) If something happens that was truly out of our control, or because we did something based on the knowledge we had at the time, or if we make a mistake, those also are not failures.
One day, I thought I’d give my two girls (then 9 and 7) haircuts. I’d never given a haircut before, but I figured it couldn’t be that hard. Well, after I trimmed it, it didn’t look even, so I kept trying to “even it up.” Before long, I just had to stop because it wasn’t getting any better, and we were running out of hair.
When Eric got home, the girls ran to show him their “haircuts” and he thought it was a joke—like maybe we’d pinned it up or something?
I felt terrible, and we had to go get it fixed at the local salon the next day.
Not a great success story, but I did the best I could, and I decided it was worth it to hire someone to help us from that time forward. I don’t call that a failure.
A more present-day story actually happened while I was writing this article. I flew home from my girls’ weekend, and due to Eric’s schedule, it made sense for me to take the train home. I actually like the train…there’s good wi-fi, and it’s calm and relaxing, and I don’t have to worry about traffic.
But because I was so tired and had so much on my mind and was so excited to get out of the cold, I got on the wrong train. Then it got worse because I got so absorbed in my writing that I didn’t even NOTICE until 30 minutes later—when I was one stop from the end of the line.
I’ll admit I did shed a few tears as I thought, “I feel so stupid. Who gets on the wrong train? Why do I do things like this?”
But then I reflected on this article (and read a few encouraging texts from Eric telling me it was okay and he’d drive toward me so we could meet in the middle and he could take me home). I realized that I made a mistake, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get on the wrong train again. 🙂
I don’t love the uncomfortable life lessons, but learning to give ourselves grace and take the pressure off is one of the most beautiful skills I think we can learn.
(3) Courage is contagious.
At the retreat, as we were saying goodbye and closing up our last conversation, we were all sharing why this event had been so meaningful for us. And that friend of mine who’d been afraid of failing said, “Being around everyone this weekend actually convinced me that I can do this.”
I get choked up just thinking about that.
We all know she can. She just needed to believe it.
I think it’s the same inside our community here at LearnDoBecome. I go into the Facebook groups just about every day to see what’s happening and to read through the questions and success stories.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something like, “Okay you guys, I’ve been watching all of your successes for awhile now, and this is my first post! I’m feeling really motivated, and I’m excited to be on this journey. I know I can get organized, too!”
Whenever I read those, I just feel so much gratitude—for that person who decided to take the next step, for the community, who so graciously supports one another, and for the chance I have to be a part of it.
The road to launching LearnDoBecome back in 2015—and the road Eric, I, and our team have traveled since then has been far beyond our comfort zones. Sometimes I ask myself if I would have started all this if I’d known how many challenges I was going to have to face.
Part of me quickly says, “No way. If I could have seen all the struggle, I would have chosen an easier route.”
But the braver part of me says, “One hundred percent.” Yes, I can hardly talk about some of my past experiences without breaking into tears as I relive the painful moments, but I don’t believe that an “easier way” would have had the refining power to get me where I am today.
It has genuinely been YOUR courage that has kept me going. You’ve shown up. You’ve trusted us. You’ve labeled your folders and organized your emails and built your Command Centrals literally all over the world.
And I get a lot of emails and kind comments letting me know that my work makes a difference for you, but I hope that you know that YOU are making a difference for ME.
Sending lots of love as you become more and more courageous—and less and less afraid of this non-existent concept called “failure.”
Think of that thing that’s scaring you right now, and then write a note to yourself reminding yourself of the things you’ve already come through, about the fact that there’s no such thing as failure, and about your “why.”
And Come Join us in ARISE!
February’s class is all about strengthening your financial foundation, and then in March, I’ve invited my personal coach/cognitive behavioral therapist to come and teach YOU what he taught me…all about getting to the root of our self-defeating beliefs and getting to the place where we feel totally calm. It’s going to be amazing! Learn more/join at https://LearnDoBecome.com/ARISE
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