Six years ago, in the garage of my old house, I led my very first workshop. There were seven women present who each paid a fee of $59 to attend. This day I gave birth to my first business, bodyheart.
When I recently came across the photo (shared below), tears ran down my cheeks. This photo may not look like much, but it is huge to me.
When I started, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I didn’t have a business plan. I’d never taken a business class in my life. I’d never led a workshop, and I was consumed with thoughts like: What if no one shows up? What if they don’t get value out of my content? What if they hate it? What if I suck at facilitating? What if I fail?
I had so many fears, and yet, I moved forward anyway, connected to something larger than myself and my negative “what-ifs”. I was attuned to my heart and to my desire to help. I had experienced a powerful healing in my relationship with my body. I went from hating it to loving it, and wanted to share how with anyone who would listen. I had no idea if my offerings would be relevant to others, but I knew I had to try. Fortunately, I discovered that my experience translated. What worked for me, worked for others!
From there my confidence grew, I led more workshops, group programs, started speaking and working with people individually. Big things can come from humble beginnings.
In my line of work as a life coach and speaker, I talk to a lot of people about their visions and dreams. Whether their deepest desire is to feel confident in their skin, make their first $100K, or be in a thriving romantic relationship—it all starts out the same way: with a glimmer of possibility and fear of the unknown. These two go hand-in-hand. The key to success is to embrace both.
The only way to diminish fear is to walk through it—to do the thing you’re afraid of, which is easier said than done.
I know 2016 is just around the corner and you are most likely breathing life into what you want to create in the new year, so today’s blog delivers supportive ways to lean into your dreams.
Start with Why
If you’ve never watched Simon Sinek’s TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” you must here. If you’re thinking, “this doesn’t apply to me, I’m not a leader,” I beg to differ. You are the leader of your life.
In the video he discusses the power of starting with “why”; knowing why you want what you want matters. How will your life and the lives of others be impacted by reaching your goal? Many people only think about what they’ll get from making their dream a reality. They don’t consider the ripple effect, how achieving their goals inspires and affects others. Your dream is bigger than you. It’s a contribution to us all. Knowing this will help you move beyond your fear.
For example, if you felt completely comfortable in your body, what would that bring you? More confidence? Freedom? Happiness? And, if you had that, do you think it would affect your marriage? How you show up at work or in school? Or even in your friendships? What message would you send to your daughter/son? What else might you create in the time and space you devoted to worrying about your body?
What is your why? Why is it important for you to bring your vision to fruition in 2016? The more potent and authentic your why, the more it will drive you forward through the unknown.
Never underestimate the power of willingness. I often say in one of my keynotes: “You don’t have to believe it’s possible, you just have to be willing to try.”
When I was working on my second year project in my master’s program at the University of Santa Monica, I made a decision to base my project around the question: Is it possible for me to love the body I’ve been given? This was a huge paradigm shift. I’d been steeped in the mindset, Thin is better. I’ll only be able to love my body when I’m 115 pounds. Simply entertaining this new question—is it possible to love the body I’ve been given—was progress.
Honestly, I did not think it was possible to love the body I had. It was unfathomable. And, yet, I had spent twenty years fighting my body, trying to make it (and myself) something I wasn’t. Since I was miserable and tired, I figured I had nothing to lose. That gave me the willingness to lean into something new and different. Which, turned out pretty great!
The more you can embrace where you are, the better. If you are a beginner, let yourself be a beginner. Don’t think you have to start out looking like Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins to be effective and make an impact. They’ve been doing what they do for a long time, and I can guarantee they started out as amateurs too.
This is one of the biggest obstacles people face. They have an expectation of where they should be and how “it” should unfold and ultimately, let perfectionism and unrealistic comparisons block them from the success they want.
I recently spoke with a woman who wanted to expand her business reach online through video. I asked how the videos were going and she said she hadn’t recorded one yet, because she didn’t have the money to hire a professional team. She wanted to present the most polished version possible.
I’m all for polished, but when polished means not taking action in the direction of your dreams and telling yourself you aren’t good enough today—well, I’m not a fan. Had I waited until I felt polished to hold my first workshop it might not have happened. I didn’t rent a venue or have a projector. There was no stage or linen-covered tables with flower centerpieces. There were folding chairs, a white board and handouts. And, guess what? It worked beautifully.
It’s more important to start than to be perfect.
Build a Love Team
None of us reach our goals by ourselves. Even if we think we do, that’s not the truth. We needed people along our path to be way-showers, to open doors, to believe in us and help us see what’s possible. Having someone in your corner who has “been there and done that” can also be a great gift, offering you a cliff notes version and saving you from unnecessary suffering. Left to our own devices, fear paralyzes.
Whether you form your own mastermind group or work with a coach or mentor, this is one of the most powerful ways to keep moving forward. In those moments when it feels like fear has a death grip on you, you can rest in knowing you aren’t alone. You can lean on your team, who will walk through the fear with you.
How long have you wanted to feel confident in your body? How long have you wanted to crack the six-figure mark? How long have you yearned to feel fulfilled? Let me help you! I’d be honored to be part of your love team. Take my Rock Your Body Challenge, an eight-week course, with two private sessions, or talk to me about my Coaching Immersion Adventure (CIA), a dynamic and transformational six-month group for highly motivated solopreneurs, ready to take their business and their lives to the next level.