We can officially check the box called Christmas as “completed”. It is behind us and many of us had an ambitious goal of taking the last week of the year off and instead are sitting in the office starting to get that annual, panicky feeling. You can’t really explain it other than you’re feverishly trying to recover from the “Christmas hangover” - the credit card bills will be coming soon, the out of town family is heading back home and the house is feeling empty, your assistant is out this week and you don’t have a packed calendar with revenue generating activities. And in the midst of it all the glimmer of “the New Year” that is on the horizon… where things are going to be (have to be) better…right?
We get it. We’ve been there too. However, this is our 2nd year of taking a very different approach to the year-end wrap up and New Year resolutions. It has made a tremendous difference and we’d like to share it with you.
We like to end the year with “Year End Statements” that include a declaration of the Top 3 things we learned over the past 12 months. These will launch us into 2011 with intentional determination and discipline that is filled with passion, purpose and growth.
The Top 3 Things We Learned in 2010
1. We Created Pain. We each individually stepped out of our comfort zones (traps) and fully embraced “feel the fear and do it anyways”. We became much more focused and committed to the business. We made a conscious commitment to focus on staring that which fears each of us straight in the face. We each declared that if something challenged us, we would feel the fear and do it anyways. For Molly it was public speaking and sharing what she was “up to” with the world. She jumped in with both feet and joined Toastmasters, Speaking Circle programs, a weekend retreat at The Omega Institute, Journeywork processes, put her voice in print as a contributing author in “Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories from Inspiring Women”, and participated in a Winter Solstice Firewalk, just to name a few! For Laney it was learning to accept and receive relationships, personal and professional, where she is appreciated and celebrated, not merely needed, which can leave you tremendously vulnerable. Being “needed” is safe. We learned and will walk into 2011 with the ability to know that fear is just an emotion. The faster we take action, the less scary and stressful it is. The longer we wait and worry, the more we needlessly suffer. We only rob our own confidence. In 2011, we will continue to look fear in the face and move faster to take action.
2. We Quit. We quit subscribing the school of WSC – “woulda, shoulda and coulda”. In the past we’d receive a criticical email and be totally shut down and paralyzed with doubt about ourselves and the value we provide. In 2010, we stopped beating ourselves up. We stopped trying to retain clients who were not a good fit for us and focused on those who were. We know what our soulful client looks (and acts) like and we will not accept anything but that – it is a disservice to them and to ourselves. And… it feels GREAT because it allows us to lock arms with like-minded people and support them every fearful step of the way into the unknown void towards success. We learned and will walk into 2011 with confidence that we provide tremendous value to people who are in a place to receive our services. And for those who don’t, that’s ok – there are many paths to success. In 2011, we will learn from mistakes but not allow other people’s decisions to shake our confidence.
3. We Fired. We made the decision that we were going to invest in people ONLY if they showed an obscene amount of passion and integrity in everything they touched. Life is too short to not be passionate about what you do, the world you live in and the people in it with you. And we work too darn hard to not care tremendously about what we are doing. This started out in our personal worlds, first and foremost, and then carried into our professional worlds. We learned and will walk into 2011 with an absolute conviction to make a difference in this world. We are and will remain passionately committed to our purpose, despite the letdowns, disappointments and failures that get in the way. In 2011, we commit to continue the search for others who are passionately committed to their purpose, for together we can create tremendous momentum and change.
If you still feel like you need a “jump start” to moving forward in 2011, we recommend a book that we read together back in January 2010. “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways” by Susan Jeffers. The concept of the book is “we’re all afraid of something: beginnings, endings, changing, getting stuck. But fear doesn’t have to hold you back from happiness or success. You can change your relationship with fear — and in this dynamic, inspirational program, Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., teaches compassionate concepts and highly effective exercises that help you unravel the complexities and reverse the effects of fear.” Most of our stress, worry, indecision and hesitation comes from some form of fear. Don’t let fear rob you of what’s waiting for you in 2011.