Have you recently stepped onto a new life path or been drawn to what you feel is your calling? Have you taken on an entrepreneurial venture or made a transition from corporate employment to self-employment? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be experiencing a condition that is hardly ever discussed and usually completely understood. It’s something I have discovered in coaching, especially with clients in the process of changing from working for someone else to working for themselves. This mysterious ‘something’ is an unexpected resistance to putting yourself out there, to really stepping fully into your new role and letting the world know you are completely capable and ready for business.
How do you know if you are affected by the resistance factor? It basically exists if the level of motivation you would expect is not present. As a recent client said, “ I had no problem blowing the doors off my sales objective when I worked for someone else, but now that I’m selling my own product, going for what I really want, I have challenges staying as motivated.”. Now this doesn’t mean that he is on the wrong path. What it does mean is that he hadn’t realized how he had hidden out from truly putting himself out there in the past behind the shield of the other company that was not his own.
It seems that nothing brings up long-ignored life issues like going out on your own in business. Any unresolved issues are forced up to your consciousness to be worked out, resulting in feelings like, ‘maybe I’m not in the right field, maybe I’m not supposed to be doing this’…Of course it does not occur at the same level for everyone, and the solution is unique for each person.
Remember, this is not a fake-it-til-you-make-it method. It is the art of recreating yourself into your next role, a process I designed that takes you through the following four steps:
1. Creating a new role
Define your new direction. For example, say to yourself, “ I am taking full responsibility for my life; I am here and of value; who I am can make a difference”. Step into who you are meant to be instead of who you think you are. Remember only a prince or princess can dream of a castle.
2. Stepping into and living out of the role
This is a chance to develop a fortitude you may not have developed in your former work life. If other people speak more powerfully or enthusiastically about your business than you are able to do, that’s a sign that you have work to do to get to the level of speaking powerfully about the gifts you have to offer. There will be both an element of fear and excitement present, as well as some anxiety as you move to the next level.
3. Collecting evidence of progress in the role
Keep an accomplishment journal to record your successes. Record customer testimonials to apply in your promotional materials and to re-read when you need a boost!
4. Designing the environment to call you forward in the role
Get clarity on what motivates you and have a system to help you remember it. Realize how unstructured time many affect you, and create a new time structure that will keep you in action, with sufficient down time for effectiveness. Set up support that keeps you on track with who you say you are and what you are up to.
Building your own mentor
A client attempting to start a fashion accessory business was facing negative family members who told her she was foolish to go for what she wanted. I saw that support wasn’t going to come from her immediate environment, so I worked with her to create an imaginary mentor, created from a combination of super heroes and Oprah, to advise her in difficult times. Her turning point came when she stood up to her overbearing older sister, telling her, “This is who I am now, and if you want to keep talking to me, you have to accept that.” After that she started standing up for other things that were important—like herself—and built up her business one satisfied customer at a time.
Another client who had previously done well with a large real estate group was not doing as well in the new agency he had started with a desire to offer greater customer service. We worked to build a mission for him and his partner and tightened up his work schedule. Since he was going to his office but wasn’t being productive there, I had him show up at his favorite coffee shop first thing in the morning for work. But his best motivation came from envisioning sitting down with his grown kids in the future, giving them advice on exploring their own business by telling them how he worked through his fears. Just one year later I gave a presentation to his team of employees in their new expanded office space.
Leaning into progress
People who have made progress on this describe moving from a state of mentally leaning back and occasionally moving forward to an experience that feels like steadily leaning forward into what they have to sell or offer, while realizing that if they don’t get it out there, either someone else will or the value that they have to offer people will be lost. They move from a state of diffused focus to clear focus, from disharmony to harmony.
What are you doing to lean into your goals? To create a sense of urgency?
When you put yourself out there, you will see the adventure as exhilaration.
So deeply engaged that you’re energized, you’ll feel confident that you’re absolutely in the right place.