Most of my life, I’d trust my feelings. I’d listen to what felt good. If I started to feel unsure, I’d reevaluate. If it felt hard, a sign to go another direction. If I felt overwhelmed, stop everything and realign. Well, I discovered a couple years ago, I was listening to the wrong guidance. Not only was it untrue, but it was actually keeping me stuck. Keeping me from my dreams. Keeping me from making a big difference.
It was keeping me small.
Feelings come and go. Like the seasons. Like the tides. I’ll wake up and feel on top of the world and a couple hours later, I’ll feel like crap. I’ll feel confident and moments later I may be questioning if I am good enough.
I remember when I first started doing small workshops and women’s circles out of my home. My first circle had 6 women. We painted. We had chocolate. It was a success. I felt amazing. I held monthly circles and it felt amazing. About 9 months later, I had 6 women again. As we got closer to the event, I had some cancellations. The night of, I had everything set up and got a last minute call 3 more women weren’t coming. So it was me and my mother-in-law Diana sitting alone at the table collaging. (She is SUPER supportive and came to ALL my early workshops). After she left, I just cried.
Why didn’t people want to come? Why did I think people would want to do this? Who was I anyways? This must be a sign. I shouldn’t do this anymore.
I took those cancellations as a sign I was on the wrong path. I felt unappreciated, unseen, not good enough, embarrassed. And I stopped holding circles. Looking back, I regret that decision. My feelings shut me down. They took me OUT of my mission. I cared more about myself than the women I could have helped.
I see women do this all the time. You may feel a calling towards something and are all excited and then it gets tough and you take it as a sign you should go another direction or stop altogether. But what if instead when things felt hard or uncomfortable, you leaned in? What if you knew part of creating anything had times when it felt hard?
I finally learned this lesson a couple years ago when I filled my first group program. Sales is not something that comes naturally. In fact, among some circles it has a bad rap of being UNspiritual and greedy. No one wants to be that person. You know.
The first time I tried selling, I totally sucked. In 3 months, I had 0 people say they wanted to work with me. 0. So I crawled in my avoidance hole for 6 months until I mustered up the courage to try again. This time I brought 6 women into a program. What was the difference? I didn’t let my feelings take me out. When I felt like crap, like no one liked me or understood me or wanted what I could give, I still made the calls (although I’d let myself sit in pity party for a week or two). I still showed up. I didn’t find an excuse to do something totally different or think it was a sign I wasn’t meant to help women in groups.
If I had stopped, you wouldn’t be reading this. The 25,000+ women in our creative ‘ohana wouldn’t exist. My mission would have been derailed by my feelings.
So next time you’re tempted to change your plan based on how you feel, keep your focus on your original vision, that original moment you felt clarity and inspiration in your spirit and made a decision. And wait. The tide will change.
Share. Where are you letting your feelings make your decisions?