I remember the first time I really grasped the concept that what we believed about people we tended to see in people, and that the biases we were taught growing up were shaping our reality as adults. It was like a punch in the stomach. WHAT? You mean these people really aren’t all those things I’d projected onto them? You mean I was the bitch in this scenario? Darn it, I thought I was innocent as pure snow.
I call this a bad news insight. Now from a spiritual perspective there’s no such thing as ‘bad news,’ but when we recognize behavior or thought patterns that we have that are having a negative impact on ourselves and others, it can sure feel bad.
For me personally, it feels especially bad when I’ve affected others. Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier for us to beat ourselves up than to know we’ve hurt someone else?
So I was sitting in a personal development retreat many years ago, and through the expertly designed group experience that allowed us to see and recognize how we were showing up in the world in relation to others, I was able to distinguish something. I could suddenly see that my whole life I’d been ‘taking charge’ of things, and while mostly people loved that because it meant they didn’t need to do as much, my pattern had a dark side. I really believed that if something was going to be done right, I needed to do it myself. I thought I had the best ideas (I was always smart in school so my grades supported this), and that others simply couldn’t be trusted.
I came by this honestly having been disappointed a lot early in life, and given more responsibility than a kid should ever have.
But in this retreat I was able to see clearly how DISEMPOWERING my approach really was. Sure I got a lot done, but at what cost? As a result I viewed everyone else around me as less capable and I am certain they felt that judgment. I suddenly recognized that my whole life I’d been missing out on the contributions others could have to me and my life and work by instead being a stand for empowerment.
My life changed dramatically at that point. I began asking other people’s perspective. I became able to let go of my agenda in favor the greater good. I could connect more deeply and be more present because I wasn’t always planning out the next ten steps I was going to go do. I became a more effective project leader and enjoyed my colleagues more. It was a miracle.
And it was not easy to see and accept that Truth. My subconscious mind really wanted to keep it buried and keep operating in the same way, because “Miss Take Charge” was safe and predictable. Not to mention super efficient!
Fast forward to starting and growing my own business. Even though I’d “worked through” that issue in my job, and let it go, when the stakes go up, the subconscious likes to take over again! This can look like not empowering my team, or going into efficiency mode rather than leaving space for collaboration.
So I had an ah-ha just last week in this realm, and it punched me in a gut like a ‘bad news insight’ often does.
Here’s what it looks like. Something happens that makes you feel a bit uneasy. Your mind goes into overdrive trying to explain the uneasiness. People in your life quickly jump in to tell you why you are awesome and you shouldn’t feel uneasy. Yet deep down you know, even though all the things they are saying are true, that there is something for you to own in the matter. The result that is making you uneasy is making you uneasy for a reason and you need to take a look.
I’ll spare you the details but lets just say I had that uneasy moment about a result I got recently that really wouldn’t let me be.
I know enough at this point to know that this ALWAYS points to growth for me, if I’ll have it. This is a way of life for the Aligned Entrepreneur.
Here’s what I did. I got out a piece of paper and began writing. I made two columns. On one side I wrote, “What I own,” and on the other side I wrote,” What I don’t own.” Both sides are important because if you’re in my tribe you are probably the type of person who takes responsibility for everything and carries the weight around for the next 10 years or so!
I began to fill in the columns. In the “What I don’t own” column generally go all of the logical and reasonable explanations for the results. Things like, “the wrong people are on my list” or “no one comes to an event in the summer or the holidays” etc. This is where most people stop in evaluating their results. They find logical reasons why things don’t work and are left disempowered, feeling that their results are dictated by things outside of their control. However it is good to get these things out in black and white to see that not EVERYTHING is on your shoulders.
But the “What I own” column is where the magic happens. This is where you get at the ENERGETIC source of your result. By energetic I mean, who were you BEING that that result happened. What thoughts were you holding that conflicted with the result you wanted? What beliefs got in the way? What energy did you project that had people either draw toward you or away? This can be done for a positive result as well by the way!
Often with my clients we see things in this column like, “I secretly didn’t want to make the sale because… I knew I was under charging… I wasn’t sure I could deliver… etc.” Or, “If I’m really honest with myself, I didn’t believe the message I was sharing. Or I’m not really living what I’m selling so there was a misalignment.”
The moment we can own the TRUTH about how we’re being we restore ourselves to power.
For me recently I noticed in the “What I own” column that over time I’d allowed old “take charge” pattern to creep back in. It didn’t serve me then and wasn’t serving me now. I saw, and this was an awful bad news insight for someone who is all about Truth and alignment, that I had been assuming responsibility for the results of my clients in one of my programs that was not good for me, and not good for them. Because I’d had success and knew how to create it, I’d assumed responsibility that wasn’t mine to take. It resulted in an injured right shoulder back in January (carrying weight that isn’t yours) and an anxiety that was duly unnecessary.
So here’s the great news about operating in alignment with Truth. The moment you can own it, you can restore yourself back to freedom. Instantly.
I could shift the energy right away. And what’s so special about the way that coach, in full transparency, I can own it with my clients right away and they can learn from my new awareness. They can feel the energy shifts, and they can learn how to manage them firsthand for themselves in their own lives.
There is nothing like having a space for Truth to be safe, and valued. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we MUST insist on having relationships in which this level of Truth is not only allowed but valued. This is part of what has been so special about my tribe, and what I value about the collective experiences I bring to the table.
Today I declare my stand for love, freedom, and empowerment and invite YOU to step up and claim your own power, letting go of any belief that you hold responsibility for anyone else’s results but your own. Shake it off and step into freedom. You’re welcome.