When your gut throws you a curveball...
It’s been quite a week.
On Monday evening, I had a big, somewhat unfortunate, realization: the “Fall Into Your Purpose” event I launched, just two weeks ago, wasn’t feeling right. Everything about it felt really hard.
While I’ve done many difficult things in my life, this was a kind of difficult I hadn’t felt in a long time – the kind of difficult I used to feel most days in my corporate career, the kind of difficult I associate with peeling myself out of bed each day to put on the face of a corporate finance exec, forcing myself to go be someone I wasn’t. The kind of difficult I associate with putting a smile on my face to make others feel comfortable, when I’m actually hurting inside. This was the kind of “difficult” I could no longer tolerate.
I thought about making it smaller, or changing the ticket price, theme, location, etc…
So I asked, “Do I need to cancel the event?”
My gut was screaming YES, but I couldn’t yet accept it. I spent a lot of money on this event, much of it non-refundable. I’ve asked people for support – their time, their money. Ugh.
I quieted the fearful voices.
Then asked myself what would happen if I didn’t cancel the event?
I suffer emotionally, which usually turns into physical pain and restless sleep. My clients most likely suffer as a result of my head being fogged by a layer of unwanted stress. And to top it off, I stand up at my event feeling inauthentic AF. In other words, forcing this event would be fully letting myself down in order to show up for others. This fundamentally goes against my core values - it’s a form of people pleasing.
While some would plow through because they “committed” (and old me would have just forced the sh*t out of this thing), I have made a vow to listen to my gut, no matter what it says. I had to cancel the event.
So how in the world did I not notice my gut screaming “no” BEFORE I announced the event?
I succumbed to something I call “shoulding” and “supposed to’s.”
I felt that in year three of my business, I should reach a certain revenue goal, I should be hosting big events, I should have a bigger community and tribe, and I should share my voice and ideas with more people. Truth is, I was comparing myself to others doing things similar to me, and the shoulds were a lot louder than my poor gut voice… until I started to promote the event.
Why am I sharing all this with you?
Because on one hand, this is an apology. I don’t like to start things and not finish them. I don’t like to say I’m doing something for you, and not deliver. But on the other hand, there’s a bigger lesson in all of this:
When something isn’t feeling right, you gotta dig to figure out why. Sometimes you can’t cancel the meeting or event – we don’t all work for ourselves and have this flexibility. But we do have the power to change our trajectory in the future. Without mindfully examining what’s going wrong, we continue to perpetuate discomfort that compounds over time, and we end up doing only the things we “should do” instead of the things we want to do. Too many “shoulds” and we lose ourselves and our unique skills & talents; something none of us want!
I encourage you to look inward to identify what may no longer be serving you. My sincere apologies and if you were looking forward to the Chicago “Fall into your purpose” event, please stay tuned for some new, smaller, more intimate workshops that will address very similar topics. I got you. Lots of love.
P.S. Here’s one of my favorite quotes that summarizes this challenging experience: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.