Get out of your own F#$%^!& way

Did you ever stop to think that maybe the only thing standing in-between you, and you achieving something great, is, well…YOU?

Three people told me last week to believe in myself. Three. Now, I’m sure someone important somewhere figured out that a person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers into his/her mind. Well, after the third time in one week I was definitely starting to take notice, also noticing a hint there might be a blog post a brewing. Marking a return to my blogging after a bit of a blog holiday. What do you mean you hadn’t noticed I’d gone?! With my last post on meditation, you’d maybe thought I’d run off to be a monk. Not so. Still here. Still meditating. But, while I’ve missed the writing, I just haven’t felt compelled to write and writing for writings sake is just too hard, it has a feeling of homework about it, and it would, I’m quite sure, result in a pretty average read. But, here I am returning, fingers to keyboard, with a feeling I’ve got something to share. And hopefully for your sake, an above average read.

It’s that time of the year when we start talking about the end-of-year festivities & the new year just around the corner. A time that often results in reflection. Many of us will already have been reviewing the past year in our mind and wondering if we achieved enough, did enough, made enough money, travelled enough, saved enough, exercised enough. Enough already! It gets to this time of year and sometimes it feels like someone hit the fast forward button – everything is going faster and we talk about Christmas like it’s upon us all ready, then we blink (go to a few parties, eat a mince pie or two…) and well suddenly it IS upon us already. For me, probably unsurprisingly, a lot of those reflections are starting to creep in around my business. Have I done enough? Have I achieved enough? And even the existence of this blog can make me feel more vulnerable to those reflections and / or judgements of progress because I chose to share that progress with you the reader, I chose to tell my story; the good the bad and the ugly.

And I’ll be honest with you, another reason for not writing recently is because I worried I was being a bit of a fraud. Worried that because I’d returned to paid work I’d given up the right to write a blog about starting a business because I was cheating. I told myself I’d taken a step backwards. I imagined some of the things people might be saying. None of it true. All of it a self-created illusions. Not entirely useful thinking, is it? But if you’ve read my other posts you know that self-doubt has been a biggie for me on this journey and I’ve written about that often in the blog and it continues to come up so that I can continue to grow through it.

On my intro blurb to this very blog blog back on the beach in Byron in February this year, I wrote…

“…& by New Year’s Eve 2015 I plan to be (comfortably) self-employed as an Interior Designer

Well there you go. Shoot for the stars. Interesting isn’t it I used the word ‘comfortably’ in brackets, assuming perhaps that this part was a bit of a stretch target and if need be the sentence could still exist around it. And really, being self-employed is the easy bit; register an ABN and company name and technically, boom, you’re in. Making it a success is probably the part that’s going to need the oompfh. The brackets were a bit like my safety net though. The ‘Ok, so I’m um really doing this, but um… I’m not saying it’s going to 100% work’…part. The self-doubt part. The fear talking part. The part that has the potential to start getting in the way of something great if I continue to give it air play.

I was at an event this week in Sydney where I heard 8 entrepreneurial women share their journeys of success in business and life, and their relationships with money. It was massively inspirational stuff and it was the kick-up-the-butt I needed because honestly the only difference I could see between me and these successful women is that they’re doing it knowing they can and I’m doing it wondering if I can. Each of them their own biggest advocate and here I am playing the role of my own biggest criticYep, I realised I’m kinda getting in my own way.

Back in February when I left my job, I didn’t know how I was going to make this all happen, I just knew I had to try and the statement above, let’s face it, well it isn’t exactly very heart-led inspiring stuff is it? Instead it’s a pretty matter-of-fact statement that served a purpose at the time to get me started. And back then I was sort of gently stepping into the unknown, not wanting to shout too loudly about what I planned to do or achieve, sort of testing the water, quietly. But now I’m ready to start believing in the success of my business. To start driving my business hard, with a passion and a fierce determination to achieve the financial goals I want to achieve in 2016 and a belief that I’ll achieve them. I want to own my talents and I want to start being the positive voice of my business. Like those women I saw speak, I want to be able to stand-up and inspire others to confidently follow their dreams and I know to do that I need to first inspire self.

Whether it’s excuses, ego driven fears, distractions or general ‘I can’t do this’ bullshit that pops in to make everything that little bit harder, it’s all created within self. I’m responsible for all of it. It’s all just a story which stops me from taking action.  There isn’t really any reason not to go at this with everything I’ve got. I’m lucky enough to have found something I love and I’m loving doing it. And as if on cue on I was reminded of that last week in a rather lovely way…

After chatting with a friend over coffee about my perceived current lack of clients, the very same day something kinda cool happened. Over coffee as I shared woe is me start-up business tales, my friend asked me – with kindness – was I procrastinating? Remember I’ve been asked that before? It would appear to be a skill! I admitted, I probably was, and in that moment I also consciously decided I was going to step forward. I was going to actively seek out new clients. Starting that day. After coffee I drove to Bondi for another meeting. Something told me I was going to get a park near the arranged meeting point and I spot a space just outside where they’d chosen to meet and do a winning reverse park. The guy parked in front is getting something out the back of his truck. He watches me park, and then comes up to my window. He asks if I want him to move forward a bit as there is space in front of him. “No, it’s ok, I’m in!”, I tell him, rather chuffed with myself. He points out though that I’m in a no parking zone. Oh. Awkward. So he kindly moves forward and I park. Sorted. What a lovely man, I think.

When I get out the car he’s still getting stuff out his Ute (my Scottish friends will love that) I thank him again. He notices my accent and asks if I’m Irish (he’s Irish) no, I tell him, Scottish. And so we start chatting and he asks how long I’ve been here and if I like it. I ask him if he loves it too. He does but he’s a builder and it can be hard work. Then he asks what I do. Interior Designer I tell him. We chat about that a bit and then he asks if I have a card on me? Yes, yes I do. Turns out he’s renovating a 4 bed place in Bondi and might need some help. He’s had someone out to look at it but they never got back to him. He said he’d wait and see if they call in the next day or so and if not call me. “Giving you that space might have been an expensive move for me!” he jokes…”It was meant to be” I say. By the time I got home, he’d called and left a message. I’ve since seen the house and have a job out of it. My biggest yet.

A sign from the universe? Serendipity? Call it what you will. But it served as a very useful reminder that the clients are there. It was a reminder I love doing this. It was a reminder that all I need to do is let people know I’m here. It was a reminder life is awesome and that I need to believe in my business & to believe in me. It has reinvigorated my energy for my business which had taken a knock because I chose to tell myself I was too busy or too tired or too scared to fail.

And when things like this happen, I’m left wondering why I spend so long giving myself such a hard time when things are really so great. But, realising I’ve been getting in my own way is awesome, because it means I can get out my way and start to focus energy into more positive actions.

So, maybe there is something you want to do or achieve in 2016 or even before 2015 is out. There is still ‘enough’ time. My advice, is to a look at what you’ve perceived is stopping you, really look, and be honest and kind to yourself, and you might find that it’s actually you. You might find that a simple switch in perception of what is possible is enough to get you started. Ask yourself what’s the easiest thing you can do now towards achieving that goal and do it.  We spend so much time supporting loved ones and friends, championing their goals, yet often forget to be our own #1 supporter. The tragic events in Paris this weekend are a reminded of how precious life is and how important it is that we own our own power and that we do what we’re called to do.  That we love each other and ourselves and our lives, in every moment.

Believe in yourself. Step aside and allow yourself to achieve greatness.

Step aside...

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Cabin Fever (& books, lots of books)

This week I did something I’ve not done in a very long time. I frequented a library. In fact, to be entirely accurate, not only did a frequent a library, I became a member of a library. Yep, I’m now the proud owner of a library card. I know what you’re thinking, how very eighties. So, why the return to the kingdom of books? Well, working from home is ok, it definitely has its benefits, but I realised I needed a change of scene. I needed to get out of the house, you know, see other humans, interact, speak, that sort of thing. Home has a lot of distractions, most of which reside in the fridge and as much as I love getting my grove on to Spotify, it can get a wee bit lonely. And, I’m not going to lie, I really rather liked the library. Plus, I mean, it’s not just any library, it’s Surry Hills award-winning-architectural-design-library. It’s where the hipsters hang out. It’s a far cry from the mobile library we used to go to when we were kids. Literally a mobile van filled with books which used to rock up at the bottom of our street. Why go to the library when the library can come to you?… I think that’s now called a kindle. Continue reading Cabin Fever (& books, lots of books)