As I work with my clients to help them grow their businesses and sign new clients, I find one dominant self-defeating habit that thwarts their outreach, again and again. For some, they become paralyzed, telling themselves they aren’t ready. Yet most of us continue to engage in this insidious habit, thinking we are responsible, rather than self-defeating.
We all have way too much focus on ourselves. Paradoxically, this self-consciousness involves being overly concerned about what others think of us.
Incessantly trying to look good and overextending ourselves, we want to make sure we are doing it right to please the other. We tend to wait to see what the other will do (think “waiting to exhale”) instead of freely flowing in our own rhythm, inspired by our own passion.
The roots of this self-consciousness include feeling not good enough, thinking we don’t yet know enough and insisting on doing things perfectly.
One of my symptoms involve checking email too much. I’m looking to find out who wants to connect, essentially asking the question, “who likes me now?”
Another of my symptoms: recently I told my coach, Jeff, that I felt weird because not very many people were giving me feedback after they read my new book. I realized that what I meant by “weird” was not being sure who I am or if I am good enough if people don’t tell me my book is good, that my book helped them.
Wow! I am now using an awareness process in which I notice myself looking to the other and then remind myself that who likes me and what people think about me is none of my business. I have absolutely no control over what another person does or doesn’t do.
And, if I try to control them, I have lost the beautiful, true power that I do have:
- The power to be me.
- The power to create my life and work.
- The power to fully express myself and my unique gifts (sometimes imperfectly, sometimes messy).
- The power to love and connect with others.
- The power to invite others to participate with me, allowing them to freely choose, rather than trying to twist myself into a pretzel to “get” them to play with me.
The joy of practicing partner yoga with my 10-year-old niece, Hailey: we both had a ton of fun, each fully ourselves without trying to take care of or impress the other.
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“Ann Strong hits the nail on the head with “Thriving Work.” I’ve long been a fan of her work and am thrilled that she’s offering her expertise in this book! You can’t help but be inspired by her words, and implementing her suggestions will make all the difference in your business.”
– Jeannette Maw
Good Vibe Coach and Author of
“The Magic of Pray Rain Journaling”
“Thriving Work” serves as a guide and companion to moving beyond limiting beliefs, perspectives and habits to more consistently and consciously choosing to live and work from your naturally radiant self: