Whenever I write a newsletter my intention is to be of service to my readers. Today, I am more present to that intention as what I am going to share is deeply personal. I trust if I am willing to speak honestly about some of my struggles, you will find something of value you can use in your own life.
What Am I Not Willing to See?
I recently invested time and money in attending out of country conferences to up-level my business. I came back filled with confidence and ready to get started. I had two cataract surgeries scheduled for shortly after I returned home.They were supposed to be pretty simple, so I was not expecting anything to hold me back from implementing what I had learned.
The morning after I got home, I awoke to extreme pain in one eye and I wasn’t able to open it. I had to go to the hospital and found out I had scratched the cornea. With no idea of how long it would take to heal and no way to work that day, I canceled a workshop planned for that coming Monday.
I had my two cataract surgeries and both went well. Then, just as I was all set to launch an introduction for a teleclass series, I had another injury. As I was putting the post surgery drops in the right eye I felt pain and wasn’t able to open my eye. This time the scratch was even bigger and for the past ten days I have been in extreme pain and unable to open my eyes for any length of time.
After the first injury, my intuition said I needed to look at what I didn’t want to see. When it happened a second time, I knew I had to dig deeper or I would just keep repeating the problem, and possibly it would become even worse.
This may seem strange to some people who would think it was just circumstances getting the better of me. However, there are some things I know to be true. The first is that I am 100% responsible for everything in my life. Another is that everything is for my benefit; and the third is that the subconscious has a job to do of keeping me “safe”.
When I say I am going to increase my business and I am stopped twice, especially in the same way, I have to take a look at what I am afraid of, what I am unwilling to see.
The Fairy Princess
When I was a young girl, fairy tales were very popular. They were read to me and when I could read, I enjoyed several beautiful books of fairy tales. I grew up thinking there was a fairy prince who would come along and marry me and we would live happily ever after. I didn’t know consciously I believed that, however, it was definitely operating in my subconscious. I also completely internalized the idea that if any harm came to me I would be rescued by the prince.
There were other family dynamics that reinforced the idea someone else was supposed to take care of me. My dad was a very proud man who believed that if his children worked at real jobs it would appear as though he couldn’t provide well for his family. Consequently, my training to be financially responsible for myself was delayed until my adulthood.
I learned a lot about being financially responsible through my life as an employee, but when I decided to retire from my teaching career and go into business for myself, I found there was another learning curve to master. Teachers don’t have to put the students into the classroom; someone else has the job of marketing and sales to get students enrolled. As an entrepreneur, I am responsible to make the sales necessary to stay in business.
If you’ve never been in sales before, you quickly find out it can be frightening to sell yourself. Selling brings up all our issues of self-worth, confidence, and belief in what we are selling, fears of rejection and anything else we have to overcome to be successful. They say that going into business for yourself is the best form of personal development work anyone will do and I can attest to the truth of that for me.
That brings me to my recent eye injuries. I thought I was feeling excited to get on the phone and talk to people about working with me, however my subconscious had some deeper fears I wasn’t able to see. Having an injury that kept me from working was a perfect excuse to keep me from picking up the phone. After all, a charming prince will surely come along and save me from disaster.
However, I had good heart-to-heart talks with my friends who hold the space for me to dig into the mucky interior and face my fears head on. Fears of not being good enough, successful enough, or just enough came up to be released. And, with their help, I decided that telling the story was a perfect way to heal. Hiding behind a mask of perfection just perpetuates the myth that you have to be perfect to help other people.
You see, the other aspect to this is that not making any money brings up all my money shame. Ever since I committed to speaking and writing about shame and money, I have had to confront my own shame, process it and share it so it doesn’t keep me stuck.
The internal dialogue has been pretty much like this for the past few weeks. “What if this goes on longer and I cannot work? I’ve made all kinds of commitments and not paying my bills is irresponsible. How can I teach the Miracle of Money Program if I’m not able to pay my bills? No one will believe me. I’m a fraud.” Yadda Yadda Yadda.
What I am choosing to see as the gift in this experience is that I have a new awareness of what is stopping me from boldly carving my path in the world.
Refuse to be Stopped
If you are on a path to change your life, you will come up against the part of yourself that is designed to keep you safe in the familiar zone. It’s often called the comfort zone, but that’s not a correct use of the word comfort. It’s really that we are used to this place, it’s familiar to us, and thus perceived by our subconscious as safe.
Any time we make a conscious choice to change something about our lives, we will run into the opposition of our subconscious, whose job it is to keep us safe. When we start to make progress and our reality shifts enough that change is evident, the subconscious goes to work to get us back to where we were.
There’s only one way to retrain the subconscious and that is to persist despite whatever it creates to stop us. Once we have done that frequently enough, it will realize we are okay in the changed state and settle down.
So, my stake is in the ground. I am not quitting. I am telling my subconscious I am safe in being vulnerable.
I know you may have your own stories of shame that you think keep you from putting yourself out in a big way in the world. There is a reason we have gone through the pain we’ve had and when we are willing to share what helped us with other people who learn from it, and gain courage to confront their pain, the world heals and is a better place.
Thank you for reading this long message and may you find something within it to serve you.