Almost two and a half years ago, my dream of becoming a life coach began as a small seedling in my mind’s eye and in my heart and soul. Just like a tree, it took time for this dream to take root and to finally begin to grow. Instead of having to poke up through the soil, this dream had to poke through my own self-doubt, lack of business knowledge, and other obligations and responsibilities at home and at work. For the first year, I did not tend my dream, but when I was faced whether to renew my LLC or dissolve it, I was forced to make a decision about my dream’s fate.
When I chose to pursue this dream, I surrounded myself with a business coach, a brand stylist/web designer, and a supportive spouse, all of whom helped to nurture my dream to grow and flourish. With their expertise and support, I was able to be very intentional and thoughtful in the steps I needed to take during this growth process, and I saw it through to fruition.
The day of the launch, I was so excited, and to see my dream come true was surreal. After talking about it and planning it for so long, it was incredible to see it become a reality. When the website went live, I felt like I went live, too, as this is not just a business. It’s my business, and being able to work with other people to assist them to reach their goals and to make their own dreams come true is my passion.
The launch was exhilarating . . .and anxiety provoking. As the day wore on, I started to come down from the initial adrenaline rush, the familiar feeling of anxiety returned. Everything had gone even better than I expected, so, my brain did what our brains are designed to do. It decided to present me with a list of things to consider, in order to protect me and to keep me safe from possible threats or danger.
What if nobody wants to work with me as their life coach?
What if this fails?
What if I fail?
Maybe, I should not have resigned from my full-time job until I know that this will be successful.
What if people laugh at you or say something negative?
None of these thoughts made me feel good at all, and I could feel myself edging toward a sinkhole of anxiety. In the past, I would have allowed myself to do a freefall into the pit of despair and quit as soon as I took those first tentative steps out of the starting gate. On this occasion, I took a different approach, though. I coached myself!
When I noticed that I was berating myself for feeling anxious, I backed away from judging how I felt and the thoughts that were swirling through my head, and I allowed myself to get curious about the thoughts and feelings. Immediately, I recognized that having anxiety when doing something new, such as launching a business for the first time, was understandable and perfectly okay. So, I allowed myself to just sit with the anxiety for a bit, instead of resisting it, until it eventually loosened its grip on me.
I also reminded myself that thoughts and feelings are not necessarily facts. Every doubt and fear that I had were definitely in the realm of possible outcomes, but they were not the only ones. There was zero evidence that my worst fears would materialize, and instead of making me feel prepared for, or protected from, them, dwelling on them only made me feel more anxious. I did not shift my thoughts immediately, but I did concede that I could hold space for both the worst and best case scenarios, which felt better than camping out in the worst case scenario.
Just because we think something or feel a certain way does not mean that our thoughts and feelings are always accurate. I felt really vulnerable sharing my career shift to become a life coach publicly, but I know that fear is sometimes only part of the journey, not the end of the journey.
Do I still feel somewhat anxious? Vulnerable? Afraid? Yes, yes, and yes! I know, though, that if I keep showing up to work with, not against, these feelings and shift my mindset that they will be transformed into more useful ones. Just like we have to invest in our physical health, we have to commit to mindset work. It’s an ongoing practice, and if you need someone to practice with, I am here.