For me, this time of year is kinda lonely.
My husband works really long hours, and it’s probably the one time of year where I almost regret being a solitary kinda person.
However, like many others, I also see the festive season as a time for deep reflection, contemplation – and all-in soul-searching. And this year is no exception.
I’ve had the flood of customary goal-setting emails in my inbox, from all sorts of different sources, and I have indulged in setting some lofty goals for myself and my business in 2015. I decided my word for the year ahead is EXPANSIVE.
(I even made a little SlideShare presentation to help me remember this).
As I was setting my goals, I felt like there was a bigger question that was lurking in the corner of my heart, hoping I wouldn’t notice it and force it into examination.
The question was this:
What am I going to commit to in 2015?
Not in the goal-setting sense. This was something much deeper than that.
This question, to me, meant:
What is it that scares me sh*tless, that I can’t ignore any more in 2015?
This is a pretty deep question.
But ironically, it was one my soul was screaming the answer to.
I am TERRIFIED of letting other people down.
The thought of letting someone down – or multiple people down – fills me with dread. Disappointing people, for me, is the stuff of nightmares.
But the elephant in the room is this:
When the fear consumes me, I shut down. I freeze.
I go unconscious.
I default to doing nothing at all, rather than risk being a disappointment.
I don’t write. I don’t post. I don’t evolve.
I just…stay still. Hoping no-one will notice me.
The irony is…I know that this actually has the opposite effect. By staying still, people notice that I’m staying still. They ask questions, and I can’t bring myself to say: “It’s because I’m scared”.
So I don’t say anything.
And then I’m terrified I’m letting people down by not saying anything.
And on it goes.
So…back to the question. What am I going to commit to in 2015?
In 2015, I’m going to commit to transparency and vulnerability.
If I’m unsure, I’m going to say I’m unsure – and take action anyway.
If I’m scared, I’m going to say I’m scared – and take action anyway.
If I’m hurting, I’m going to say I’m hurting – and take action anyway.
As I look back at 2014, one of the most important lessons I believe I have to learn is that I could have achieved so much more, IF I had embraced this approach. When I think about all of the opportunity I had lined up in front of me, that I blatantly ignored through fear, I feel sick to my stomach. Not because I missed an opportunity to grow my business, but because I had an opportunity to make an impact. And I froze. I got scared, and didn’t take action.
If I care to think of all the ways fear dictates what I do – or don’t do – in my business, it’s clear I have a lot of work to do in healing my preference for perfectionism over vulnerability.
Because let’s face it:
Solopreneurialism is messy. It’s raw, unpredictable, and wild…and the only way we can make the impact we’re hoping to in this world is by embracing the messiness.
Things go wrong. Things don’t go to plan. We change our minds. Our views evolve. We get ourselves into messy situations.
We are not airbrushed. We do business in our pyjamas; because we can.
We make mistakes. We lose our way.
Some people won’t appreciate your messiness. Some people will choose to view it as ‘flakiness’, or will unsubscribe from your mailing list. Some might even choose to tell you that they are disappointed in you, or that the fact you changed your mind has lessened their view of you.
But the thought I’ll end with is this:
[Tweet “What kind of a world would we live in if we all embraced vulnerability?”]
Let me know what you think, and what YOU’RE going to commit to in 2015, in the comments below 🙂