Avoiding the Forest
For some, the thought of starting a small business brings about such intense fear that they won’t allow themselves to entertain the possibility. I know because there was a time when the idea of being 100% responsible for my livelihood gave me such intense panic that I chose to believe that I was ‘just not cut out for entrepreneurship’.
That is, until the pain of not being able to express who I truly am became more unbearable than the anxiety I had associated with the loss of my perceived job security.
Entering the Forest
When I started training to become a coach I was still employed full-time as an executive assistant…a role that I had long outgrown, but would later serve me in my business in countless ways.
My goal at the time was to establish an internal coaching role at my company or elsewhere. The individual clients I saw outside of work were an added bonus on top of my regular salaried income, so I was not attached to how many clients I had or how much money I was making from them. I just knew that I loved coaching, and getting paid for it was the icing on the cake!
The only problem was, the more coaching I did outside of work, the more unbearable work became. I found myself feeling completely apathetic and drained from my hours at the office, and energized and inspired after coaching. There was a fork up ahead, and there was no turning back.
Encountering the Wolf
As I continued along my path of passion, it was clear that I needed to make a change. I remember sitting at my desk one day so frustrated by what felt like a tremendous waste of time and energy that would be better channeled into what I was really meant to do. I started to ask myself, “If you put as much energy and time into your own coaching business as you do for this job, what could be possible?”
At the moment I posed the question to myself, fears, anxieties, even my mother’s voice (sorry mom, I know you’ve come a long way since then!) crowded my mind with reasons why I should just ‘be grateful that I had a stable job at a solid company, when so many others had lost theirs’ (this was around 2008-2009).
Then it hit me. If everyone else was losing their ‘stable jobs’ at their ‘solid companies’, then there really was no such thing as job security!
Tipping my hat to the Wolf
Once my perspective had shifted I started to get a handle on all of the fear based assumptions I had made or been fed by others. I was excited to pursue the career path that only I could create.
I took the plunge into full self-employment at the tail end of 2009 and can honestly say it was one of the best decisions of my life.
The wolf continues to appear in the form of doubt, overwhelm, scarcity thinking, and any other idea based in fear. But now when I see him up ahead, or he jumps in my face out of nowhere, I just stop, turn around to see how far I’ve come, smile at him, and keep walking…
I know he will only chase me if I remain afraid. Otherwise, he just scampers off into the woods until the next time…