I was chatting with a mentor the other day and the subject of my writing came up. I admitted I hadn’t written anything substantive in months(pretend you noticed, okay?), just short little posts for social media and a few emails to my community. When he knowingly asked, “what is keeping you from the one thing you always say you wish did more?” my response was typical of many entrepreneurs who are busy spouses, parents and community participants. I started listing kid schedules, dog groomer, doctor, dentist, work emergencies, and so on. He gently but firmly said, “Story.”
See “story” is kind of the magic word for me. I love to hear other people’s life stories and I truly love to tell stories. In college my roommates groaned loudly because I usually had a story about any topic we started. But I also use stories with myself as a distraction or if I am being completely truthful, an excuse. They serve as an excuse to avoid something I fear or worry may come true. Such as, if I write what’s in my heart people may not like me. If I reveal myself to be someone other than the image they’ve created they might reject me, and more importantly reject the big message I’m trying to share in the world – that women entrepreneurs create ripple effects in their families and communities by becoming hugely successful because they tend to share their resources willingly; that money in and of itself is not a bad thing; that the wealthy have immense power for positive change.
The strategies I share with my clients absolutely help grow that wealth. I see it over and over. But most women don’t want to talk about that success, that growing wealth, because of fear. Fear that their friends, family and colleagues will not celebrate their success but see them as someone who thinks she’s better than everyone else, that they will reject her as if she has become a different person instead of just someone with better income and a more relaxed outlook because the money stress is gone, that their mainstays will abandon them. The secret is that for most women their self image, their sense of self worth, grows right alongside the bank account increases. And her inner circle may change drastically because as she grows those around her are not growing at the same pace.
There are so many layers to this. Fear of rejection. Worry that our inner circle will go into comparison, perhaps get jealous or resentful and then we might be cast out, left alone. There is a fear of success while we are striving to achieve it. Talk about internal conflict! No wonder we let petty and not-so-petty distractions creep in and lead us off our paths.
So what keeps you from doing what you love? From using your creative energy where it will serve greatly? I want to start a discussion and keep this moving forward. Until we acknowledge the problem we will never move through the fear. My hands are open and outstretched. Please accept this invitation to keep talking, online and offline.
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