If you're an entrepreneur, you're most likely familiar with the world of online business coaching. You're probably inundated on a daily basis with concepts like "going big in business," "creating a life you love," "creating a "business you love," or "creating a business that funds your dream life".
We see these promises and hear the stories of those that are living these ideals on a daily basis in social media and in our inboxes.
But this is a different story. This is a story about my friend who invested thousands of dollars on courses and masterminds and hundreds of hours on social media trying to get traction on her business.
This friend is a former nurse who worked her way through college and graduated with honors and two majors. Excellence was a concept she was well acquainted with and that she strived to live every day. She aimed to apply the principle of excellence to her new venture - her coaching business.
She did this because she wanted to feel like she was a person of value. She did it because she wasn't living the life she truly wanted and pouring herself into her business was a way to drown out the barrage of self-criticism that she constantly inflicted on herself.
Deep in her heart, a wish was being carefully nurtured: the wish to be a mother. She and her husband tried for years to get pregnant and still it wasn't happening.
She was feeling stuck.
The months wore on and she continued to pour time and money into developing her business with little to show for it. She struggled on a daily, even hourly basis with feeling useless because her creativity seemed to be stunted on all levels: physical, mental and spiritual.
The harder she pushed in her business, the more stuck she felt on all fronts. She knew that subconsciously, what she really wanted was to be pregnant, to grow a baby, not a business. And to make that happen, she approached it from every angle she could: fertility testing, exercise and yoga regimes, visualizing, praying, special diets and supplements.
But she felt powerless to make it happen. She felt blocked from the flow of creation and she felt like there was nothing she could do about it.
Along the way, she came to an important realization. She needed to have faith that her baby was out there for her but was not ready to come into the world on her timeline and that she needed to have patience.
Using her business to distract her was only causing more frustration and heartache. So, reluctantly and tenuously, she loosened her grip on both her business and her timeline for her baby. She committed herself to honoring her inherent value and letting go of the notion that her value was contingent on making money or creating and caring for another human.
This spring, she applied for a scholarship to a high-end business course. She felt confident that she would get it.
Several weeks later, she took a pregnancy test and it was positive.
And for the first time in her life, she realized that she was exactly where she was meant to be. She decided to put her business on hold while she focuses on being present in this brief stage in her life.
Yes, she is extremely fortunate that she has the option to do this, and she's very aware of that fact. People also have no problem reminding her of it. In fact, her choice is the subject of judgment from strangers and sometimes even family members.
And still struggles constantly with feeling worthless because she isn't being productive in a quantifiable, measurable way. But this story isn't about who has it harder and why.
This is a story about how my friend came to realize that when she lives life from her most deeply held values, she comes home to herself.
For another woman, the values might look completely different. Living authentically for you might look entirely different. The point is do what your intuition tells you to regardless of what it looks like to others.
So my friend is "going big" with what has meaning to her in this chapter in her life. She's "creating a life she loves" even if it doesn't look like much from the outside. She's modeling true bravery and conviction in the face of massive social pressure to be more and do more.
In doing so, she's contributing to the world and in a way that living from a desire to achieve or please never can.
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