Fear, Regret, and Free Stuff
In “Working with the Law” Raymond Holliwell talks about the Law of Receiving. He talks about giving your substance where it can do most good, and about specific behaviors that would indicate you are out of harmony with the law.
One such behavior is delighting in something that is received for free. He asks, “Do you look for a deal or a bargain?” and “Does it make you happy when you get something for nothing?”
These thoughts are out of harmony with the belief in the abundance of the Universe, and that you will receive exactly what you need when you need it. It’s operating based on fear.
I’ve seen this recently. I received a free bonus with a program I purchased. It wasn’t really something I would have bought and paid for on my own and I was a bit uncertain about accepting it because it wasn’t something that was really in alignment with my current set of priorities, even though it was great.
But it was FREE.
And we are trained to be excited about stuff that is free in our culture.
You SHOULD take something free, right? It’s like a lucky opportunity, right? When will you ever have the chance again, right?
Or, perhaps it’s out of alignment. In my case I attempted to talk myself into believing that it was right, and I resisted outright saying, “I don’t want this free thing.” Energetically that behavior was coming from fear… “maybe I SHOULD take it.”
Rather than just say no, I took it, but without real energetic commitment on my part. It was a bad idea. The whole thing became steeped in fear and scarcity based energy, and didn’t work out very well.
Scarcity Thinking is the Root of Fear
Scarcity thinking is the root of all fear-based decisions. There is not enough to go around, I am not enough if I don’t do this, etc.
I write this article from Juror Lounge 100 at the Denver courthouse. I’ve been traveling pretty extensively recently, and I could definitely be in a scarcity thought-process around my time, and resenting jury duty. I’ve chosen to embrace the opportunity to experience a part of our society that I’ve not experienced before. I’m staying positive and looking for what’s right about the fact I was selected for this part of the process (and powerfully intending on not spending much more time here!)
Many people have offered me ideas for ways to get out of jury duty and talked about how ‘it’s not fair’ and because I’m self-employed I shouldn’t have to go.
Where is that coming from? Is there a belief that self-employed people have a scarcity of time and money and should be pitied over their J-O-B-holding counterparts? Why would I want to buy into that idea?
Taking something free because it’s free is rooted in fear and scarcity as well, and fear begets fear.
Regret is a Form of Scarcity
We could say that I might regret my decision not to say “no” to the free thing. In Truth I took it because I didn’t want to regret not taking the opportunity. The definition of regret is: feeling sorrow or remorse for an act, to think of with a sense of loss.
Why would we worry about the loss of something in the past? Because we don’t believe that there is an abundance of opportunity in the future. The moment we notice ourselves entertaining thoughts of regret, we must catch it and stop it in the act. Instead, ask yourself, “Of what am I now aware that will help me to make a different decision in the future?” Own the new awareness and release the regret, it never serves you.
Make a Decision and Make it Right
Early on in my business I invested $15,000 in a coaching program. The program was a group program that did not include individual attention. I felt crazy for making the investment. I’d never done anything like that in the past, and I wasn’t making anywhere near that in my business, so I was somewhat terrified.
But my gut told me it was the thing I needed to do (I couldn’t sleep the night before making the decision). And I went for it. And I never for an instant looked back.
OK, maybe for an instant or two I would think, “Shit, can I really make this money back?” Then I would let it go. Immediately.
Any time I was with others in the program who began talking about how they weren’t getting what they needed, I either declared that I was or I walked away. I refused to buy into any conversations about regret about the decision, or not honoring my commitment to be all-in.
The people who talked about the problems with the program, who focused on regret… many of them didn’t complete the program because they didn’t make the money, and some are not in business today.
I made the decision and made it right – with no doubt that I’d make the money back.
What if You Go Out of Resonance?
What happens if you made a decision to participate in something, and you either evolve and grow and it no longer resonates for you? Or, if you recognize you made a decision out of fear and scarcity, and you can’t align with it?
Pay for it anyway.
If you are in business and you have signed a contract, honor the contract. Period. It is not a sound business practice to not honor your agreements. Just do it.
I have participated in a program in which I paid for the entire program, and only took advantage of part of the program. I could get my undies in a bunch about how I didn’t get the full value from the program, or force myself to do all parts of it even though they aren’t parts that are aligned for me. But the Truth is I got exactly what I needed from the program. I made the decision and made it right, and participated powerfully on my terms, and the terms of the contract I signed, with no regret.
If you are the type of person who views contracts and agreements (or jury duty) as things to get out of, that is the energy you will bring to your business and your clients.
Love making your payments, be empowered by your decisions to make and spend money, and don’t spend time spinning in doubt and regret. All that says is that you don’t think your time is better spent being of service and making more money, and I don’t think you want to believe that!
Is the “Not Enough” Hype Killing Your Profit?
I am the first to say that moving past where you typically stop requires a ‘come to Jesus’ sort of moment. To decide to change your life will always come with a brief (or sometimes more than brief) moment of panic as you break through your fear.
If it doesn’t, you’re probably not upleveling yourself enough.
That said, it shouldn’t cause you to feel like crap! In fact on the other side of an aligned decision (which in my world often means putting down a ‘burn-the-ships’ type deposit on something) there is freedom.
True, peaceful, freedom. Not a “oh-thank-God-someone-will-save-me” idea of freedom, because that doesn’t exist.
Yet too many people make decisions from that place.
Much of the coaching industry is built on decisions made from that place.
I have made decisions from that place. I learned a whole lot from it, but it didn’t grow my business. I have worked with clients who have made a lot of those decisions from a place of fear, and in their work with me finally get to tap into who they really are and what they love… what works about them.
Cycle of Proving in Action
I watch it happen. A perfectly capable, confident business owner puts themselves in a situation to learn, without a clear awareness of who they are and what they are there to accomplish. They learn all of the latest tools, tactics, and trends that they COULD be using to grow their business. And they forget who they are and where they are, and the current skills and resources they have that work for them. They lose track of everything they already know and all they have learned before that day, and they turn themselves over to the person in front of them to give them an answer to who they should be.
And they start to think they need it all right away, and feel bad for not having it. They forget that while organic search may be dead, and paid search may be where it’s at, learning how to buy paid search will make no difference because… they don’t even like their website!
They want to prove they are good at that this thing called business, that they are enough, and they create an agreement that they are not enough if they don’t have paid search.
The Hype Can Win Out
A guru paints a picture of hoards of people being led right to you! And you think you need that right now. But you don’t, you wouldn’t know what to do with them if you had them! It’s not a problem to learn paid search. But aside from taking your precious time, here is where it really doesn’t serve you. If you buy into the idea that you are somehow doing it ‘wrong’ if you don’t learn it right now.
In any given day in a business seminar you could learn HUNDREDS of things you’re not doing at a level of excellence: Search, social media, email marketing, webinars, videos, follow-up, networking, finding speaking gigs, converting your audience to paying customers, sales, website copy, design, business cards, taglines, guest blogging, etc., etc., etc.
We always need to learn and grow as a business owner. But the moment you buy into the idea that you are not enough because you’re not doing these things, you are sunk. Energetically you just became the insecure provider trying to sell something. And when you make a decision to get support from a place of feeling inadequate and hoping someone – some program, some technology, some guru who knows more than you – can fix you, you are confirming the energy of inadequacy.
Every decision has an energetic consequence.
Love begets love, and fear begets fear.
Don’t buy into it.
You can move past your leading edge of growth, and I am a huge proponent of getting the right support for you to help you do that. And it will feel scary. But getting support doesn’t need to make you feel as if you aren’t enough to begin with. The best business decisions come from focusing on creating more of what you love, and focusing on the good within you and your business, and getting help to grow your unique genius. What we focus on, grows. Buying from fear grows fear.
The best thing you can spend money on is something that will teach you how to think, and how to make decisions that are in Alignment with the Truth of who you are, not ones that make you doubt all of the ways in which you are successful already. Own your value, damn it, and choose and invest from there!
He Loves Me, He Supports Me Not
It’s a story I can’t stop going back to.
I call it my 10 years in the self-help aisle.
I was aware of this thing called coaching, and I was pretty sure it had something to do with what I was meant to do with my life.
And I would get moments of divine inspiration about how I could put my gifts to work in a business.
And I would tell the people around me, and they would wrinkle their nose or give me one ‘solid’ reason or question that suggested I was wrong and I would quit.
And this pattern went on for a good 10 years.
So lets talk Truth. Were the people in my life hell bent on keeping me stuck? No. And yes.
See I now know that who I was being during those years was someone who was secretly saying with my energy, “someone please stop me from this madness because I’m really afraid I might fail.” This is true, even though what I was actually saying was, “Don’t you think this is exciting? Come on, agree with me!”
Love and Support
I titled this, “He Loves Me, He Supports Me Not,” and ‘he’ can just as easily be interchanged with ‘she’ as we’ve all got friends, family members or significant others in our lives that just don’t get this whole entrepreneurship thing.
It’s time to get really real on the dynamic of love and support around you. This is arguably THE hardest thing that an independent business owner faces. It’s making the decision about who is going to be in your life, and what you require in order to keep them in your life.
Do they have to support you and your dreams, or is it OK if they just love you ‘in spite of’ your dreams? This is a personal decision that each person needs to make, but let’s explore each side here.
What is Love?
The first thing to ask yourself is what it really means to love someone. A common definition of love is as follows:
Love (n): a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
My favorite definition of love is simply, “accepting another exactly as they are and exactly as they are not.”
Here’s the thing about my definition of love. You don’t have to be in someone’s life to love them by this definition. They may have behaviors and thought patterns that simply don’t work for you, even though you can accept that they are true for them. But you don’t have to be around them.
When someone in your life tells you they love you (even if they don’t seem to support you), the thing to ask yourself is, “Do they really accept me exactly as I am, or are they secretly hoping I’ll change?”
Oh, and by the way, ask yourself the same thing about THEM!
What is support?
I recently created a list of 10 Lies We Tell Ourselves in Business, one of which is “I need the people in my life to understand and support me in order to succeed.”
So I looked at the definition of support.
Support (v): to bear or hold up; to sustain or withstand to undergo or
endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
Now, do we really want the people in our life to support us by this definition!? Ha! We want the person we love to endure and tolerate us? Really?
What do you really want?
It’s worth stopping to ask yourself, when it comes to the relationships in your life, what do you really want? If you can stop focusing on needing other people to support you, you can give them the freedom to give you what you really want. And, you can give yourself the freedom to choose what you really want as well.
Most likely, if you’re a “my people” type of person, you’re not looking for someone to support, or tolerate, you. You want to surround yourself with people who love you. In the definition that says they accept you exactly as you are and exactly as you’re not. Even when you grow. Even when you have ideas that seem like hair-brained schemes from their point of view.
How do the people in your environment respond to you when your intuition, or personal Truth, gives you signals about what to do, and they just don’t get it? Do they accept it as what you need to do, or do they question you and suggest you might be wrong?
But, what if you’re right?
If the people in your life don’t believe you when you are stepping out in alignment with your Truth, what is really going on? What are they really saying when they ask you, “What if you’re wrong?”
We like to justify their responses by saying, “Well, they just love me and want what’s best for me and they are helping me to think it through.” I know I’ve said that. But what if the Truth is that they are really meaning, “It makes me uncomfortable when you change, and I’m afraid of what would happen if you are right, so I’d rather have you doubt yourself and stay the same than believe yourself and actually grow.”
People who question and doubt your decisions, they aren’t concerned about you. And in that moment they certainly aren’t loving you. They simply don’t want to be inconvenienced by the outcome that happens on the other side of your decision when you are right. They are saying “What if you’re wrong?” but they really mean, “I sure hope you aren’t right!”
Who gets on your bus?
I teach in my programs that when you invite a client to work with you, you are letting them “on your bus,” and that you want to be really clear about who you invite on your bus. The same is true with the people in your life. There is no right formula for determining what is really going on. Are you are busy pointing fingers at the people in your life so you don’t have to grow? Or are in a place that you’re ready to move away from the people in your life so you can attract a loving environment?
It’s different for everybody based on your own personal subconscious programming and degree of growth and awareness. The one thing I can say for certain is that you are teaching people how to treat you, and the surest way to retrain your environment is to begin honoring your Truth without fail every time, being completely willing to accept the outcome of your actions and decisions. Stop looking for and waiting for support and start living in love, and watch what happens!
Polished Enough? – Let Me Never Be That Good
“You really look like you have it all together,” said a woman entrepreneur as she checked out my sponsor booth. I was bummed.
In my early life in corporate I worked countless late nights to make sure I had it all together, my presentations edited just so. I never shed a tear or showed an emotion that wasn’t appropriate, and I gave people what they needed to see to think I was amazing.
Not that it didn’t fall apart from time to time, but I was striving to be one of those people who had it all together.
Above All, Let Me Be Real
Today my goal is to be real, truthful, raw, honest, and highly successful. I completely believe we can be ourselves and make money. Not the polished version of ourselves with the real, good stuff hidden from view, but just us, however we really are, ‘warts and all,’ as they say.
Being in alignment means that the things you do all make sense because they are a reflection of who you are, and everything vibes together. That’s different than looking perfectly put together.
Interview Gone Boring
Awhile back I interviewed someone to share them with my list. I’m usually meticulous about who I share with my list, ensuring that who they are is a great fit or compliment to the point of view you rely on me for. In one case I chose someone because they seemed popular and I didn’t take time to suss them out.
The person sent me a list of questions to ask them, which is customary and helpful for busy people doing interviews. However, I like to talk truth and make interviews interesting and real. I asked several off-script questions during the interview, and the interviewee expertly weaved the conversation back to script without missing a beat. No behind the scenes stories, no vulnerability. Every response carefully put my guest in the light of someone who mastered all problems with ease and grace.
Now, you don’t want to be in breakdown as you share your stories. But you want to share them. No one avoids breakdown. No one. And I, personally, don’t want to work with people who pretend they have.
I was out with a friend the night before writing this article, and we were talking about this topic. She’d been telling about an art exhibit, “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” and she tied it to the point beautifully.
The exhibit was representing those items that are left behind at the end of a relationship – things that you don’t feel right giving away and can’t sell, yet really have no business keeping.
The bulk of the displays are things like old love letters, t-shirts, “the skis I wore when I broke my leg trying to impress her.” My friend herself contributed a stuffed animal her ex brought home from a business trip.
Then she described the displays that were “overarticized.” The actual items were encapsulated in artistic paper-mache frames and collaged into polished works of art.
She described how those pieces left her feeling disconnected, almost cheated of the real story and real emotion of how that break-up went down. She went on to describe how we view raw food as good these days, yet rawness in people we still somehow want to cover up.
I don’t want to sound as if there is no value in crafting a strategy and being intentional about how you present yourself to the world. It’s important. My interviewee makes lots of money by keeping to the script. There is clearly an audience that wants that. But it left me feeling cheated of the good stuff I know was a part of that journey that I could really learn from. How-tos are a dime a dozen. The nuances of how someone did what they did create real learning. And it’s often the stuff we wouldn’t think to share in our polished pitch that is the stuff that forges real connection with clients.
There’s no right and wrong approach here, it’s about what level of polish is in alignment for you. I, personally, leave my ponderings saying, “Lord, let me never be that good.”
Forget Your Credentials – Your Lifetime is Your PhD!
I’m a big fan of education. I love to learn.
That said, you are not your education. You are not the letters behind your name. You are not even your roster of client success stories. All those things, if you have them, have brought you to this point and they are valuable.
But let’s talk Truth.
You don’t need any of that to make you valuable. You just need to recognize your unique point of view, for which you have a lifetime of training!
There is a view of the world that only you can see.
Dancer Martha Graham said it like this:
There is a vitality, a life force, and energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.
Your view is like a seed planted within you and it has caused you to observe the world in a particular way for the whole of your life. You may have gotten degrees or certifications or jobs that have supported that point of view (even if they felt like a ‘wrong fit’) but either way, your view of life has been honed for as many years as you’ve been on this planet.
If you can harness that in the way you package, price, and communicate about your services, you will be absolutely creating tremendous value for the clients who need you most. I have no doubt. You would not be on the planet with that point of view if there were not people who need exactly that!
I’m all about aligning with your Personal Truth. My mantra that you won’t find on my website, but keeps me grounded in what I help my clients to do is this: Believe yourself and no one else.
See, I’ve had a lifetime of experiences that have made me doubt myself and pay attention to everyone else. Between growing up around alcoholism, needing to keep a close eye out for people’s moods and actions to stay safe, and a sequence of doubt-planting experiences (I even recorded a video about them), I have developed an ability to see when people are operating from doubt and fear. I’m also really passionate about it.
What skills have you developed, either through your painful experiences or your peak experiences, that your client can get only from you? What is the mission in your business that they can get on board with only through your unique point of view? That is what makes you marketable, and that is what makes you a premium provider of what you do.
If you’re having trouble seeing it, or your “What if I’m wrong?” doubts are getting in the way, join me at the Inner Alignment Intensive so we can get you believing yourself about what matters to you in your business, and charging for it.