In life, our point of greatest strength is often our point of greatest vulnerability as well.
Let’s say you’re a coach, and you’re extremely good at doing on-the-spot laser coaching. It’s one of your strengths. You’re able to become very present for the person, really listening and really hearing them.
But while you give excellent coaching, you also feel most vulnerable about it or about promoting it.
It’s the place where you can get most thrown off. If something doesn’t go well, you might immediately feel like you’ve done a horrible job or engage in negative self-talk.
This is because our passions lie in our strengths: if coaching is one of your strengths, it is most likely something you care very much about, and you want to do it well.
You have to be open in order to express and connect with your strengths, or gifts. Being open like this brings a sense of vulnerability… so when you have a dream, or passion, that can be the area you’re most scared to explore.
I had this discussion just recently with a client. She’s a singing coach and was having a hard time promoting her own concerts. Every time she sat down to write sales material or blog articles, her fears came up and she froze.
During our session, she realized that all her life she’d been trying to be seen and heard by her father. Even though she was pushing hard for this, she also knew that he just wasn’t capable of it. It wasn’t going to happen, so her efforts always felt futile.
Now, having released that need, not only is it easier for her share her own voice, but she’s also able to accept her father as is he and the love that he can give.
You Are Surrounded By Infinite Possibility
Sometimes we’re afraid of going more deeply into our passions and being visible as who we are because we’re afraid we’ll cut out other opportunities. This makes playing small feel safer and smarter. That’s a common – and inaccurate – way of thinking.
The truth is that you’re always surrounded by infinite possibilities.
Imagine that all these possibilities are lights. When you take a step forward, some of the lights behind you go out as those possibilities go away.
And new lights in front of you go on. You still have an infinite number of possibilities! The key is not to get so focused on the lights that are going out that you miss all of the lights that just came on.
And these new possibilities are more in alignment with what you really want. They are on your path moving forward.
You Are Always Safe
When we play big, one of the things we have to do is give up the illusion that we have certainty. Many people will advise you not to go into your own business, but to do something “safe” instead. To them, a job means safety and security.
Yet you truly have no control.
The safety in that situation is an illusion. Big businesses fail and people lose their jobs for a number of reasons, many of which are out of their hands.
When you create your own business, when you take a step to be bigger, you have to give up the illusion, at least in part, that you can just stay in one place and be safe.
True safety comes from continuing to grow, continuing to embrace what’s in front of you, and continuing to become bigger with each step.
When you look at the sky, you can only see a piece of what is really there. And yet, you still see an infinite number of stars. When you feel like you have to give something up, remember that there are still infinite possibilities in front of you.
Have you ever had the experience of one light going out, only to have another, greater one appear in front of you? Share your experience in the comments below.
Thank you for this beautiful blog Sara. I relate as a business owner and just as a woman on many levels. I also know that when I do the practice you taught me and remember it “could be possible” for me to feel safe, secure, focused and confident that something shifts. Thanks for the reminder.
Hi, Lissa –
That’s an amazingly powerful phrase, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re making use of it in all areas of your life. 🙂
Something I’ve found very important in my own life is what I call “staying in the conversation”. It’s easy to forget what we know and the tools we have. Making choices to stay connected to people who remind us of them and who see us as our best selves can make a world of difference.
I’m glad you’re here, Lissa. Thanks for sharing.
We all need to be reminded that we have infinite possiblities. And, the things we hang on tightest to are the things that are limiting us. Love the sentence “True safety comes from continuing to grow, continuing to embrace what’s in front of you, and continuing to become bigger with each step.” That truly is what it takes to be safe–to be fearless in growing and becoming bigger. Thanks Sara!
Hi, Melissa –
Reading the sentence you quoted in your comment, I had the image of a toddler sitting on the floor. It can be scary to take those first steps, and there will be some falling. Yet the pull to stretch her legs, to stand tall and have a new sense of freedom are enough to draw her forward. Sitting on the floor is certainly an option, though you risk being stepped on.
I think you’re definitely right that the things we hold on to tightest are the things that are most limiting us. It’s amazing how we can often not see for ourselves what we’re holding onto so tightly, isn’t it? One reason I love both coaching and being coached!
Thanks for sharing, Melissa. 🙂
I’ve had this happen MANY times in my life, Sara. I call it “The Great In Between” – the place we find ourselves when the old ways are/is no longer there (the lights have gone out) and we can’t yet see what the new ways will be (the lights that are about to show up). It’s always a hard place to be – and yet, I’ve learned that all I need to do is trust it, and not be in too much of a hurry to move past that place. The new lights, showing the next part of the journey, show up soon enough… and what comes is almost always better than what was – and usually in ways I never could have predicted…
Yes, Wendy, it definitely can be a hard place to be. It can have the feeling of letting go of one bar before you have a firm hold on the next.
I like what you say about not trying to hurry through it, but trusting that what’s coming is better than what’s leaving. Not everything can come with us as we continue to recreate our lives, can it?
Thank you for sharing, Wendy. It’s great to see you here. 🙂