Here’s a story of how a minor surgery marked a major inflection point in my business. My experience helped me turn fear to love, and to use that to energetically move my business in a new direction. Hope it brings you some insight – without surgery!
I had foot and ankle surgery in April that required me to avoid weight bearing for two months. Acute recovery was a snap. I’m pretty good on crutches, and could have easily jumped back into networking, speaking and coaching. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, I settled into what looked like a slump. The muscle atrophy that takes place when you lose use of a limb is amazingly swift, and in September I still am still working hard to regain what I lost. While I was dealing with the reality that I had no calf muscle, I was also doing some deep work exploring who I am, where I’m strong, and how I want to make a difference. I focused on physical therapy -- and on heavier things. I read voraciously and noticed where I was letting myself be pulled. Synchronicities became common. I met people with whom I felt closely aligned and discovered ideas and authors and communities that energized me. Most importantly, I became willing to be real with myself. Once there, I committed, effortlessly, to changing how I wanted to approach my work as a coach. How’d I do it?
Choose the story you want to believe
I recognized two dissonant stories I’ve been telling myself.
- Story 1: I recognize the absolute core of who I am (who we all are…) and am learning how to leverage that to create miracles. This stuff is powerful and I want to share it with the world!
- Story 2: This is wacky, deep shit that no one is comfortable hearing about, especially the executive, sales and marketing types who I’ve targeted for my coaching practice. Say “spiritual” once and people will run!
Perhaps you’ll recognize that the first story comes from a place of love. The second story came from a place of fear.
Fear may help us produce short-term results, but they’re unsustainable. Fear eats us from the inside out. It provides useful, catabolic energy, sure, for the immediate task. But over the long term, fear will either result in atrophy because we’re hiding and not using our talent, or we’ll cramp up and collapse because we’re asking more of ourselves than we have to give.
In whatever we’re doing, if the energy driving it is love, it’ll be surprising (at first) how effortless and successful we can be. Love connects us to the unlimited energy all around us. At first, we’ll recognize how to use that to help ourselves and others. A deeper connection with that looks first like self-motivation, which then turns into inspiration, leadership and eventually, the ability to create whatever we wish.
Trust your intuition. Jump!
So I’ve let Story 2 go. I just know it's the right thing to do. I jumped! Moving forward, I’m going to be more authentic than some will be ready for. But those who are curious and ready for deeper spiritual inquiry will find they’re walking with a more authentic, highly energized traveling companion. I promise deeper relationships, more profound learning, and that moving from good to great will be fueled by joy – not effort -- if you're ready to connect with the Pete of Story 1.
Some people have come to think of me as a “happiness coach.” I’m cool with that. I've differentiated my practice around the idea that happiness is the ultimate measure of success. The people I serve will continue to be sales drivers – sales reps, marketing professionals, executives and business owners – who are carrying around way too much stress and angst to truly enjoy their lives.
I’m also expanding my service offering to include millennials who are struggling with the first-world problems of having too many opportunities, not feeling enough passion or connection, and find themselves unfulfilled but uncertain where to turn. I didn't decide to work with millennials because of in-depth deep market research. It didn't happen because I'm an expert relating to young folks (although I’ve sired a couple!) Nope. It just came from an intuitive knowing that this is right for me and the world. When connected to love, your intuition is strong, and so is your willingness to trust it.
Let fear go and love the results!
So what’s in this for you, dear reader, who’s hung on for this long? It’s this: try on the idea that there are only two emotions, fear and love. Take something you’re experiencing -- frustration, joy, jealousy, commitment, persecution, loyalty, etc. – and see if you can boil it down to its source. Am I frustrated because I fear failure? Why am I joyful? Because I love feeling connected? Am I feeling jealous because I fear I'll be left with not enough?
Then ask how those feelings influence what you’re doing. If what you’re doing is driven by fear, how long can you keep that up? Ask yourself, “How is continuing to act this way going to carry me to my big-picture goals? What would I be doing if I were truly driven by love? How could I shift how I’m thinking to align with a higher purpose or a deeper recognition of whatever it is that ties us all together? What would that look like? Where could that take me?”
I’ll wrap up this high-minded stuff with a low-brow expression: “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with shit.” Fear-infested fecal matter can be a powerful motivator. But if you’re creating because you taste the sweet, inspirational honey of an idea fueled by love, nothing will get in your way!
If you’d like to dig deeper, address a specific situation, or bring this to a team you’re supporting, let me know.
Pete Colgan works with sales and marketing professionals who want fulfillment so they can manage stress, build thriving business and create successful, happy lives. Consider investing in yourself to truly understand what brings you joy and how you can use that awareness to increase revenue and kick your life and career into high gear. Whether through one-on-one coaching, or a cost-effective group coaching program, what you discover will help the work you do feel effortless! Click here to learn more.