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5 Lessons for Trusting Gut from a Recovering Rule Follower

Intuition Guiding Meerkat

Are you a rule follower that becomes frustrated when people break them? When things don’t go according to plan, does it cause anxiety? If reality doesn’t match expectations, do you get annoyed? If so, then read on!

I’m an organized planner by nature. I find comfort in structure and I love when there are rules and formalized processes so that I have a box to work within and a path to follow. It gives me a sense of stability. (Sound familiar?)

Spoiler alert: Life and people don’t operate this way.

When I get caught in the minutia of the plan, the way things are supposed to go – and more often they don’t – I have become frustrated and confused. I usually attempt to right the course and get back on track. And in my corporate career, I was paid very well for this skill. My motto was: “Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.”

I once heard a coworker say, “Disappointment is expectations minus reality.” His point was to set expectations reasonably. My desire was to elevate reality and fill the delta. That meant I pushed my employees hard and myself even harder because heaven forbid that my boss could ever be disappointed in the results.

Coaching has been an interesting experiment in allowing myself to follow intuition instead of a process. Yes, the tools we’re taught have a specific formula that we practice past the point of competency into habit. I’ve noticed something interesting happening now that I have engrained these tools.

I’ve started to play with them. I’ve given myself permission to veer outside of the process. I follow that little voice inside that says, “probe here…ask this…” Pre-coaching, I’d call that “winging it.” Something I would never have attempted for fear of failure.

You know what? It works. Even better than following the process.

Recently I was given an assignment to provide feedback to a coaching peer on a particular pre-recorded session (with permission from the client). In my mind, the rule was to identify where the coach was following the process and where she strayed. Then, we were both asked to assess that feedback with six of our peers listening in. (No pressure!)

She had accepted all of it as-is. My internal monologue reaction was, “Push back. Tell me where I’m wrong.” When I probed a bit as to why, she revealed a limiting belief that perked my ears. With her permission, our feedback exchange morphed into doing The Work ™.

In that moment, the formal series of questions fell away and I felt into what wanted to be asked next. I let my intuition guide each step as we took it. Was it exactly how we were taught? Partly. Was it messy? Sometimes. Did she find insights? Yes.

I broke the rules twice. First when I veered off expectations given by our instructor to discuss feedback about feedback. Second when I remixed The Work ™. And it was fine! More than fine. Not only did the sky not fall, but it also achieved the intention for which we set out to accomplish.

If I may impart any lessons from this experience to you, it would be this:

  1. Rules are intended to be a general guide and there are always exceptions.
  2. Processes help create habits, but if followed too rigidly, they can inhibit innovation and growth.
  3. Trust your intuition. You know what to do.
  4. Let your intention be the cornerstone for action.
  5. At the end of the task or project, did it work?
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How to Avoid the Compare & Despair Trap

Long Road

It’s easy to get caught in the compare and despair trap when others appear to have more, achieved farther and look better. From this limited perspective, we can always find someone who has “figured it all out” leaving us to judge our own lives harshly in the shadow of their apparent success.

I’m not immune from this, either. I am a relatively newer entrepreneur who is hustling to grow her small business. If I’m tired and allow my mind to compare my business to the myriad of successful coaches, authors and photographers out there, my ego can find lots of proof to support why I am not as spectacular. It’s all in my thoughts and perspective.

Social media is breeding ground for the compare and despair syndrome. Most folks only share the shiny-celebrations unless they’re looking for attention for the misfortunes. Let’s take Instagram as an example. Its purpose is to perpetuate pretty pictures of perfection. Pinterest is similar with its gorgeous, professionally taken photos representing what we assume is an average Jane selling her smart, creative DIY solutions. All germinating admiration and, in extremes, jealousy for what others can do or experience that we can’t or aren’t.

As a former coaching instructor once said, “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” Things aren’t always as they appear. We only have to look at celebrity suicides to recognize the picture on the outside doesn’t match the storm raging on the inside.

It’s understandable, though. Our mind is always searching for context and where we fit in the world. Our logical brain is labeling and organizing. Socially, we naturally create a pecking order. So, what should we compare ourselves to if not others?

When you start to judge yourself, my suggestion is to compare your current self to your former self. Where are you now in relation to the past? What do you know now that you didn’t know then? What growth has happened? Where are you better off than before? What skills, knowledge and experience have you gained?

When I can see myself through the lens of former versus current self, I acknowledge the many ways I’ve grown, learned and successfully moved my business forward. I appreciate my accomplishments and challenges I’ve overcome. I notice the powerful impact I’ve made in a relatively short time. I give myself permission to learn from my mistakes and travel at my own pace.

As long as we are moving forward – and everyone who is not in a coma is – then we’re doing this thing called life the right way. Each of us will have a different experience. Pitfalls and setbacks are growth opportunities. Struggles are guidance systems. Happiness is all in our perspective on how we choose to look at it.

Some of my greatest gifts were also my hardest challenges. My hunch is, if you can find a way to give yourself credit instead of tear yourself down with comparison, you’ll also find self-perpetuating motivation and strength.

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How to Find Your Driving Motivation & Why it’s Important to Achieve Your Goals

Lion Scratching Head on Bush

What we think we want is not always what we truly want. Often, there is a deeper desire hidden underneath the surface. When we connect with that driving motivation, it helps guide us more clearly.

The longer I coach and the more people I work with, I’ve realized that most often our root desire is freedom. (The others are either joy or connection. For the purpose of this blog, though, we’ll focus on the most common.)

Take any goal or desire, and ask yourself, “Why? What do I get from that?” until you can’t find another driving motivation beneath the last.

Let’s take money, for example. Often my clients come to me with a goal to make more money. When asked what more money (or a certain goal retirement amount) will get them, their response is “stability” or “security.” When asked what stability or security gives them, they usually respond with some sort of variation of, “the freedom to do whatever I want.”

If I have a client who wants to lose weight, we often find she simply wants to feel confident or accepted. At the root of that is connecting with the freedom to be herself without fearing other’s opinions. Sometimes it’s even finding freedom from her own self-judgment.

Another client wanted to be healthier. What did he think a healthy body would get him? The freedom to do all the activities, and go all the places, he enjoys.

My entrepreneurial clients, who are building their own businesses, are driven by the freedom that enables. They’re free to work on the projects they want to, work with the clients they want to, hire the people they want to, and set their own schedules. They have the freedom to work wherever they want, however they want. That autonomy is much juicier to them than the alternative of working for someone else, who would dictate their time, projects and goals.

Why do people enjoy vacations? Yes, it offers the opportunity to recharge our batteries. It is also a socially acceptable excuse to spend that time completely autonomously.

If you want to lounge all day and dance all night, you have the freedom to do so. You are free to go wherever and do whatever you want (within budget and legal constraints, of course). You are free from household chores, errands, work responsibilities and whatever burdens you carry at home. And if you’re like me, I also give myself the freedom to eat and drink whatever I want because, hey, it’s vacation!

What is it you want? Ask yourself “Why?” Dig into what that thing will give you. Keep asking until you’re at the root cause, your driving motivation. You might surprise yourself where you end up.

Once you find your driving motivation, ask yourself if there are other ways to achieve that right now. Finding that feeling state doesn’t necessarily require reaching big, far-off goals. It can often be found in simpler, quicker ways.

Use this driving motivation as your touchstone for decision making. When deciding between two paths, which one will get you closer to achieving your root desire — whether that be freedom, joy or connection?

I’m curious what you uncover. Please share your experience with this exercise in the comments!

 

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Animal Guides Back from Extinction

Over the past week, there have been a surprising amount of news stories on animals, which were once thought to be extinct, now showing up. I can understand going into hiding to survive. So why are they now re-exposing themselves? What does it mean?

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported that for the first time in nearly 100 years, there is “confirm[ed] existence of a black leopard in Africa, and the first in Kenya.”[1] Yesterday, the BBC reported on a “sighting of the Tengmalm’s owl believed to have been the first of the breed in Shetland in over a century.”[2] Today, Gizmodo reported that Wallace’s Bee, “the world’s biggest bee, once thought extinct, has been found alive” in native Indonesia after four decades of absence.[3] Also on February 21, USA Today published that a Fernandina Giant Tortoise, “believed to be extinct for a century, was found on Santa Cruz Island.”[4]

I don’t know about you, but this feels like an inordinate amount of animals in a short period of time reappearing as if it were a sign of something big to come. What could that be?

Our ecosystem is at a critical time right now and requires a united effort from around the world to save it. Have these animals come to help remind us of what might happen if we don’t act quickly, or are they here to join in the effort to save the planet? One could only wonder if a mammal, bird, insect and reptile — a representative cross section across nature — are the ones to lead the way.

I’m a firm believer in the reciprocal healing relationship with nature. If we heal nature, nature heals us. And we (the collective we as a human species) both are in need of some deep healing. My hunch is that this Black Leopard, Tengmalm’s Owl, Wallace’s Bee, and Fernandina Giant Tortoise are our guides to do so.

This also brings me hope. We’re like these animals, none of us are past saving. Each of us has a chance to rise again no matter how dire the circumstances may look to be.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it. Why do you think they’ve reappeared?

 

[1]https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/world/africa/black-panther-leopard-africa.html

[2]https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47304318

[3]https://earther.gizmodo.com/worlds-biggest-bee-once-thought-extinct-has-been-foun-1832785689?utm_medium=socialflow&utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&fbclid=IwAR1HQssh3_O7LD80lycUONzeHjMNX56wPyRH1ylwvaha-wWfZz1rfvX8vNA

[4]https://apple.news/AX8nNq-W-Q128sk7kOCN6eA

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What my Mom’s Suicide Taught me About Love

Open Heart Love

After my mom’s suicide, I read her prayer journals. The final six-months of entries were variations of the following:

“Please, Lord, let me feel love. Let me be loved. If I can feel love, I can make it through anything. Without it, I am lost.”

Between Hollywood’s Rom-Coms and the annual commercialization of Valentine’s Day, we’ve been socialized to believe that the feeling state of love is found from external sources. In 2018, Romantic Comedies grossed $241 million in North America alone.[1] According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent $20.7 billion on Valentine’s Day this year.[2] We’re constantly bombarded with the message that to be happy, we need love from a partner, family members, our friends and our pets.

Love is not found in others; it can only be generated within. Each of us is love; we simply get confused sometimes. When we allow that confusion to take up residence in our head and continue to seek it outside of ourselves, we live in a state of lack and non-fulfillment.

I was named after Guinevere from my mother’s favorite movie, Camelot. She was enthralled with the idea of two men loving one woman so deeply and tragically.

Growing up, I lived in a menagerie of sorts. Name any domesticated animal and we had it…dogs, cats, rodents, birds and reptiles. My mother was continually adding new pets to the household.

Once, I remember walking into our living room and seeing my mother crying on the couch reading her Reader’s Digest. When I asked what was wrong, she handed me the magazine and told me to read the story.

It was about a woman who owned a parrot. She had tried for years to teach her parrot to say, “I love you” without success. Then she had a medical emergency that put her in the hospital for months. When she recovered and returned home, her parrot greeted her with, “I love you.” Cue the tears.

The next day, my mom was highlighting the Penny Saver’s Pets For Sale section. Within a week, we had our own parrot.

Another time, I remember overhearing an argument between my mother and stepfather.

“You never say I love you anymore,” she said.

“Why do I need to say it?” he asked.

“Every morning for the past two years, I’ve walked you to your car and tell you ‘I love you’ before you go to work,” she said. “And every morning, you drive off without saying it back.”

“You’re exaggerating,” he said. “It hasn’t been that long.”

Perception is a powerful force. And I’m not blaming anyone for my mother’s suicide other than her perception of whether she was loved. When she believed she needed others to love her and thought they didn’t, she suffered. She based her happiness and self-worth on external validation.

It didn’t matter that her kids frequently said, “I love you.” We were all affectionate with each other. We spent copious amounts of time on family activities like hiking, riding bikes and crafts. Yet, no amount of “I love you,” quality time, or pets were going to satiate something that only she could provide herself.

If you are also looking for love and coming up empty, I invite you to assess how often you seek it versus how often you give it to yourself. If you’re looking outside more than inside, here are five ways to practice loving you:

  1. Tell yourself in the mirror, “I love you.”
    Look in your eyes and mean it. Each time you pass your reflection, whether you say it aloud or silently, give yourself some love and appreciation.
  2. Be kind in your thoughts about yourself and your worth.
    If you catch yourself talking smack about you, notice it and without more self-judgment, simply acknowledge it as unkind. Take a breath and start over again with a more loving and compassionate thought to replace the original.
  3. Trust your judgment.
    Follow your intuition and trust that you know what is best for you. If something feels icky, then it’s probably not right for you. If something feels zingy, more of that, please!
  4. Respect yourself.
    Set boundaries and keep them. Treat yourself with respect and others will treat you in kind. And if they don’t, respect yourself enough to walk away.
  5. Treat yourself with the same tender, loving care that you give to your loved ones.
    This is the Reverse Golden Rule. Treat yourself the way you treat the most treasured people in your life.

At your core, you are love. The big “L” love. You are your own happily ever after. You are your own knight of the round table.

 

[1]https://www.statista.com/statistics/668722/romcom-box-office-gross-north-america/

[2]https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/fewer-consumers-celebrating-valentines-day-those-who-do-are-spending

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Stop the Pretense of Success to Actually be Successful

Sprout in Hand

Building a business from scratch is extremely hard. AND it’s profoundly rewarding. There’s truth in the expectation that entrepreneurs will invest about two years of solid hustle before their business is profitable. I’m proof to support that.

It’s like planting a seed. It takes time, tender care, the proper environment and resources (sun, water, nutrients) to grow. You may not even see the sprout break ground until it’s time, and yet so much is happening under the surface to get there.

For the first two years of my business, I admit that I didn’t want anyone to know that I only had a half-dozen clients. I didn’t lie about it; I just danced around the answer without giving one. Like somehow not being an instant, rolling-in-the-dough success meant that I was failing.

I knew my clients were glowingly happy with our sessions and offering unsolicited referrals and testimonials. I was learning, growing and building expertise in a completely new industry for me. And yet, I had attributed my value as a coach to how much money I was making…to what was showing on the surface.

I feared that if my clients (or potential clients) knew they were only one of a handful that they’d assume I must not be good at what I do and go find a better coach. (Talk about limiting belief!)

Then I explored Acuity (a scheduling SaaS) and saw the feature “Make me look busy” with the customized option to block any percentage of time available. I realized that I’m not the only one pretending to have more clients than I do. To be a feature, this must be an in-demand need of small businesses. Make me look busier than I really am.

So I started having blunt conversations with my peers. Even the excellent coaches that I greatly admired weren’t as busy as I’d assumed or they let on. They were relieved to know I wasn’t either. Well, imagine that.

Anyone who sells overnight success with a simple and glitzy, new fandangle process is preying upon our desire for instant gratification. Like the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Yes, manifesting is real. It’s not all work. Resting and playing as forms of self-care is an important part, too. And yes, overnight demand explosions happen…but it’s the exception, not the rule.

The Hero’s Journey is real. It requires persistence, patience and passion. If you are passionate about it, it makes all the patience and persistent effort worth it. Coaching, to me, is absolutely worth it. I love what I do. I even love the planning, marketing and learning how to run my business better. I would start at the beginning and do it all again if I needed to because I love being a coach. It’s one of the best feelings in the world when my clients have insights and breakthroughs.

The sooner we own up to the fact that starting a new business takes time and a whole lot of effort, the sooner we can all be more successful because we stop comparing ourselves to others who are also pretending to be wildly successful. We can stop believing that we must be doing something wrong because our peers have more clients than we do. Or thinking the coaches who are charging more must be better coaches. When we release those limiting beliefs, we actually do better and accomplish more.

I’m breathing easier knowing that it’s supposed to be hard and take time. I can relax into the process and allow it to unfold as it is intended to. For all you entrepreneurs out there with a vision, keep going! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t worry about your speed, you’ll break the earth’s surface when it’s time; and when you do, we’ll all admire the sprouting beauty.

 

 

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How to Achieve Big Goals in 5 Simple Steps

Post It Notes on White Board

Setting intentions is powerful. For those who’ve worked with me in one-on-one coaching sessions, you may be familiar with Wildly Improbable Goals* (aka WIGs). The process to achieving any dream is simple:

  1. Write down a WIG. (And make it a BIG, BEAUTIFUL one!)
  2. Map out the steps to get there.
  3. Plot smaller turtle-steps that support the big steps.
  4. Add turtle-steps as you learn more about what is needed to make it happen.
  5. Take turtle steps one-by-one toward your WIG.

A couple of my WIGs from a year and a half ago (August 17, 2017 to be exact) are close to becoming a reality. I wrote on a post-it note: “Publish and sell my photography.” On another one I wrote: “Publish a book.” I put these up on the right side of my wall, and three feet to the left I put a post-it with the date. In between these, I put steps two through four above on post-its.

Some initial turtle steps were simple, like:

  • Find a photographer mentor
  • Write daily (which became weekly)
  • Join a writing group
  • Take a publishing course
  • Watch post-processing how-to videos

Turtle-step by turtle-step I’ve moseyed closer to these WIGs by combining them. And guess what? I’m so close I can see the finished copy of what will be a photo-with-journal-prompt book.

Using nature as a wise teacher, I’ve captured the metaphoric lessons she teaches us paired with my photos. And I use coaching-style questions to help the reader find their inner answers through writing.

Magic unfolded as I worked toward this vision. I found a fabulous writing group, Community of Creatives, led by the Courageous Wordsmith Amy Hallberg. I met fellow coaches, who had published their own novels, that became my dear friends, editors and sounding boards. My community rose to support me by choosing their favorite photographs and encouraging my ideas and concepts. I have designers from my former career that I can call upon. It all came together beautifully in perfect timing!

Now, I’m in the final stages of self-publishing and it feels so delicious!

Achieving your WIGs is possible with perseverance, patience, seeking knowledge and turtle steps. If you’re looking for a coach to help you bring your dreams into reality, let’s talk!

*The concept of Wildy Improbable Goals, and how to get there, was developed by Martha Beck.

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So What is Life Coaching Anyway?

Counting sea turtle eggs

Our human life cycle is analogous to that of a sea turtle. We have various roles that we play in our career and relationships that end and require our taking on a new, and sometimes unexpected, identity. That could be shifting from employed to unemployed or retired, wife to single parent, mother to empty-nester, or athlete to injured patient. Whatever that transition, this new identity takes a while to fully form inside its egg.

Once it has, there’s a coming out process much like hatching. The new environment feels uncomfortable and foreign at first. After all, habits are hard to break and it’s bright, cold and vulnerable outside of our shell. So we try on the new role by saying it out loud to some of our closest friends or family members. Once we get used to that, we tell the next layer of our people.  And slowly we emerge from our shell and our nest and show the world who we are now.

When I made the transition from corporate employee to entrepreneur, I felt extremely vulnerable. It was a while before I realized what my true purpose in life is and dreamed up what I wanted that to look like and the shape I wanted it to take. I just knew that where I was in the corporate world didn’t “fit” me…and I wanted something that would.

Calling myself a Life Coach felt awkward at first, and I rattled off a whole monologue of how it happened before I ever introduced the term. Not that others asked for it, but it made me feel more comfortable sharing why. After telling a few family members and friends that I had started my own coaching business and no one laughed or criticized, I felt comfortable going more public. (Now I say it with pride.)

After coming out, we begin our Hatchling’s Journey (often called The Hero’s Journey). There are still predators and obstacles to overcome along our path to the ocean. Sometimes we go the wrong direction, get knocked on our backs or find barriers that we can’t climb alone. And when we finally reach the ocean, we’re completely beholden to whatever fate has in store for us until we grow bigger and stronger.

Eventually we reach sea turtle maturity and it’s time to birth a new set of identities. Thus the cycle begins again.

As a Life Coach, I am a sea turtle hatchery. This means that I make all of this struggle easier and the process faster because I offer you a safe space, guidance and helpful tools.

Rather than leaving the nest unprotected from poachers, I create a sacred place for you to come exactly as you are – vulnerable, soft and gooey as you figure out what shape you’re going to take. I use questions to help you connect with your inner guidance to form that new identity. Whatever you share is confidential in this judgment-free zone.

When you’re ready to emerge from your nest and claim this new you, I maintain that safe space while you reintroduce yourself to your people, some of whom may not be ready. And I help you navigate that IF it happens.

As you tune in to your right path, I accompany you on your long journey toward the ocean. I offer tools to keep the seagulls and other predators at bay as you make this exciting and challenging expedition. And when you’re ready, I help you learn to surrender into allowing the Universe coordinate the details of your grand intentions.

All of this so that you can live the life you crave! One that is fulfilling, peaceful and joyous!

You may choose to join my hatchery at any point in this process, and I would be honored to coach you.

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Why Surrender is the most Challenging, Important Step Toward your Dreams

Aerial Adventure Leap of Faith

Surrender is the most challenging, important step toward manifestation. Our minds usually give enough attention to something we want, and intention happens merely by wanting it and dreaming about it. These three combined – intention, attention and no-tension – is the formula to bring any true-self desire into form.

So why is surrender so hard? Why do we try to control everything we can get our graspy hands on? Why do we fear releasing our grip?

My hunch is that we mistake our own emotional or mental imbalance for instability in our lives. That instability causes us to hold on to whatever is perceived as stable for dear life.

On a weekend trip to Catalina with my husband, we decided to experience its Aerial Adventure obstacle course suspended high amongst a eucalyptus grove. While each climb, swing and slide was challenging, I found that the rope free fall to be the hardest.

I knew the pulley system would catch me after a few feet, but standing 30 feet in the air on the platform, I did not want to jump off. I stood frozen while contemplating whether I should go backward through the course, where I could hold firmly to ropes and chains and maneuver my feet along the steps, in order to come back down. The leap was the last obstacle to overcome.

Giving up control and being willing to lean into whatever happens next is like taking that trust free-fall on an obstacle course. We must have faith that the pulley system will work in our favor.

I eventually jumped, and after a second of feeling my stomach in my throat, the ropes caught and I lowered to the forest floor as gently as a leaf while laughing at my prior self’s fear.

We can over-effort over an extended period of time and it’s still not as effective in creating what we want as it is to simply let go. Some of the most respected coaches and spiritual guides (such as Martha Beck, Deepak Chopra, and Gabby Bernstein) all attest that the not-so-secret ingredient to manifesting our dreams is simply surrendering and trusting the Universe/Source/God to coordinate details.

I read a blog by Master Coach Abigail Steidley about what she has dubbed the Slacker Vision Board. It’s no more than writing “Vision Board” on a dry-erase board with subsequent visions listed underneath, and then walking away and forgetting about it. And it works! Brilliant!

I don’t know about you, but I want more of that ease in my life. With all the over-efforting our society has engrained in us and how we place busy-ness on a pedestal of importance, our problem is not will power or dedication. It’s that we don’t have an equal amount of rest, pleasure and play. We are unbalanced.

And when things feel off balance, we have a tendency to hoard perceived stability in the form of things we can control like money, material objects, and salaried jobs. So we amass and we work and we amass some more, but are never satiated. In fact, we continue to throw off our balance and the co-dependent cycle is strengthened.

As scary as it is to give yourself permission to rest, play and then leap, trust that the Universe/Source/God will carry you gently to your intended destination and your dreams will meet you there.

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Fear Part II: Each of us is Worthy

Wiley Coyote

No matter how many times I do The Work, I’m still in loving awe of the wounds that continue to surface and be released. In the words of Lloyd Dobins, “Continual improvement is an unending journey.” I will not stop seeking spiritual growth because the freedom it brings is so delicious.

Most recently, I’ve been working on my fear of public speaking, which was born from an incident on a stage where my mind was wiped clean of all thought and my tongue disabled. Since that Spring of 1997, any time I was called on to speak in front of more than a couple strangers, I felt fear.

My heart rate drummed like pounding rain, my palms would sweat, my tongue would feel like sand, and the words I searched for would swirl around evasively in my mind. Most often, I would write down what I wanted to say before I ever spoke…practicing it over and over again in my mind, and then repeating verbatim when the time came.

The more this happened, the more reinforced my fear became until it was a belief that my brain and body would betray me.

At first, I uncovered and dissolved this limiting belief by turning it on it’s axis and realizing that it sabotaged me from going down a path that wasn’t my calling. It actually saved me. Had my time on stage worked out, I might be an actress or a news anchor. That’s not my intended path.

Yet, the public speaking fear continued to grip my heart like vice clamps.

The real culprit was worthiness. Resistance was using my fear of not proving worthy enough. Who wants to listen to me? What do I have to say that is of importance? My words are not worth people’s time.

Aha! There you are, you sneaky little painful thoughts!

Thanks to a very dear friend and fellow coach, we looked at this silly – yet paralyzing – belief group and found plenty of proof to the opposite.

I am worthy of people’s time and attention. What I have to share has value. My story and my experience is mine and mine alone. No one before me and no one after me has lived my life. While there may be some commonalities, for sure, it is uniquely mine. AND SO ARE YOU AND YOURS!

On a call with Martha Beck, she shared, “There are only about five stories ever told across all time, and still we all want more. We want to hear it over and over again.”

Think about it. The best-selling books, blockbuster movies and Tony-Award winning musicals are all the same stories about the same struggles with the same archetypes told in different ways, with different backdrops, characters and voices. Yet we still can’t get enough of them. And we continue to create more in unique and innovative ways.

What I have to say may not be for everyone, and I actually prefer to reach only those who need to hear it. And it may not be life changing. Yet planting seeds is still a necessary step before ever picking fruit.

Each one of us is worthy.

What story do you have to share?