The people around us make a difference. As I ooze my way into the freelance world, I’ve intentionally been populating my surroundings with the goal of creating relationships of mutual support as we each face the inevitable challenges, hiccups, setbacks, and celebrations inherent to start-ups. I feel fortunate to have included myself in a weekly ‘mastermind group’ shared with some really great people.
Yesterday when we talked, when it was my turn to speak about my about the progress I hoped to make this week, I felt awkward, like I went to the right station, but got on the wrong train. The words coming slowly, lumbering, landing like spoonfuls of wet mashed potatoes splopped to the floor.
But as I listened to the other folks in the group talk, each of them dropped nuggets of knowledge that hit me like signal flares, lighting up the darkness around me.
Of course-- I can’t think my way to where I’m going.
It seems so obvious...now. I’ve driven the vehicle called grit till the wheels came off. Till I’m staring at my own mental and physical wheels gone cartoonishly far out of true.
That conversation turned the floodlights on for me: I had been struggling to build things in the dark. Not having much fun with it, and abusing myself over the difficulties and lack of progress. Somewhere along the lines, I settled into: Just. Do. The. Things.
Somewhere along the lines, I had forgotten to dance. I had lost the groove.
(This post's soundtrack. "god help us, help us lose our minds," at least the thinking part.)
I was losing track of the joy in my work. The stoke draining away and in its absence the vacuum claimed by a cocktail of fear with a shot of desperation floated on top.
Not backsliding: A new hole in a new place. But a hole all the same.
The end of my coach training looms on the horizon. So close I can almost taste it. But I hadn’t stopped to think about what it might taste like. The realization: Right now it tastes acrid and metallic. Fear, like a penny under my tongue.
You can hide anywhere if you want to. We are ninja disguise chameleons at our core. As it turns out, we can hide everywhere if we’re not careful. Even if it’s not what we want. The line is thin and it shifts and billows in the breezes, internal and external. What yesterday was showing up and being fully present is today’s place to hide. Last week’s learning and new experience is tomorrow's camouflage, known and comfortable. The same training program that each day and each week pushed me a little bit further into unknowns, discomfort and a new way of being so quickly, so insidiously, became a comfortable place to hide. Yet, as soon as I’m realizing this tendency, I’m watching my hiding place being dismantled from without and within brick by brick.
I didn’t come here to stay here. And this space and time wasn’t created for permanence. I can’t go home and I can’t stay there. And where I’m going, that is where the metallic taste comes in.
The advice and strategy provided by others can’t get me a step further. Not without my own internal advances. The new software won't run on the old hardware. I have to upgrade my own tech to get the results I want, and more importantly, to know when to run someone else’s program and when to toss it and write my own.
The reasons so many people I talk to keep taking various online marketing, business, or self-improvement seminars and workshops. one after another, or repeating them for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th times is that they are doggedly attempting to overlay the same external advice, strategy and format without systematically and intentionally working with their own interiors, their own operating systems. At their best, these programs force a deep internal dive, but at their worst, they give us a place to tether ourselves to the external world, and worse yet, give us another thing to beat ourselves up with, if and when, at the end of the process we don't feel any further along than when we started.
The same level of thinking that got me here isn’t going to get me a step farther. And we don’t think our way to the next level of thinking. The coaching and the work I did to get here can’t take me any further. I reached yesterday’s goals and let myself coast, but I reached the bottom of the hill and lost momentum. For the climb ahead of me, to get where I’m going now, I have to dive and drop back in, to my own interior depths, resources and knowing, to both stand on the shoulders of giants, and, be my own giant.
Creative Destruction: Golder Goldstein's Blog
Nearly every time I sit down to write, to create, something gets destroyed.