"I can't say that"
After listening to a client divulge concerns that he'd been carrying around for a while, I asked. "What if you said that to your boss?"
He jumped in his seat as he exclaimed, "I can't say that!"
I laughed, "well, you don't need to say it exactly as you told me just now. Yet, I heard you express some pretty strong assumptions that are guiding many of your day-to-day decisions, which are contributing significantly to your stress. What if we spent some time processing what is going on here so we figured out a way you could effectively test these assumptions with your boss?"
He thought about it and said, "yeah, I guess that makes sense."
So often, we get in situations where we tell ourselves a story that impacts the way we show up. When that happens for a prolonged time, we get so stuck in assuming the story is "the Truth." As a result, we create a lot of unnecessary stress in our lives.
Back in spring of 2020 I had just completed Seth Godin's course, The Marketing Seminar. Based on what I learned in the program, I was determined to start blogging more consistently. But I found myself completely and utterly stuck.
I kept telling myself this story that before I could publish new blogs I had to develop a game plan, communicate my game plan, get buy-in from my email list for said game plan, etc. etc. etc.
I was stuck in this loop of, "before I can_______I have to_______." It was like the never-ending story of all-talk no action for entrepreneurs. I was experiencing my own version of, "I can't say that."
My coach lovingly called me to face these assumptions. "No one is thinking about you as much as you are, Ariana...if you want to blog more, you just have to start doing it. No one's paying attention to the fact you haven't been doing it consistently."
She went on to ask me what I wanted to write about and how frequently I wanted to publish. At the end of that conversation, I had the game plan I needed, which was much less cumbersome than the story I had been telling myself.
Facing my pretenses enabled me to chart an actionable path forward. And I've been blogging two times a week ever since.
When we believe our assumptions, we create the reality we say we don't want.
After working through the situation some more, my client got to the heart of the assumption he needed to test with his boss. When we met again a few weeks later, I asked how the conversation went.
"It was so great, better than I imagined possible. I can't believe I was carrying this unnecessary stress for so long! I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe again."
It turned out the thing he thought he couldn't say, he couldn't NOT say - he just needed to figure out how!
Have you figured out how you're going to end 2021 strong yet? Hit pause with me, take an hour to reflect on where you've been and where you want to go at the Journal Jam tomorrow. You'll experience valuable realizations coupled with a sense of relief that will free you from the day-to-day grind so you have the energy to persevere. More information and registration is available online here.