What's Up Buttercup?
What's Up Buttercup?
Yeah, I’m not talking about the weight I’ve gained over the winter 😜
I’m talking about that thing that happens when we get excited and even passionate about what we are doing.
We put time and effort into bringing something into the world.
We create what may well be our version of a masterpiece.
We can hardly wait to share what we are doing…. and then some (well intentioned) loved one attempts to bring us down a notch by telling us to stop being “too big for our britches”.
What the fuck?
We are pushed to achieve and then told not to “brag” about our accomplishments.
We put professional athletes and entertainers on pedestals and then tell our kids not to toot their own horns.
We give everyone a ribbon for participating and being exceptional and then, when we actually do work hard and do something amazing we are told to keep that to ourselves so someone else won’t feel bad (what because they didn’t work hard?).
What’s with the mixed messages?
Yeah, all that mixed-up shit gets stored in our subconscious and gives our Voice of Doubt some amazing fuel for it’s fire in our brain 🤯
So how is our VOD able to use this bullshit against us?
Remember there was a time when we not only had to consider being lunch for a saber toothed tiger, we also had to “fit in” to our tribe because if we pissed off the wrong person we would be out in the cold and surviving alone was a shit ton harder back in the day than it is now.
We no longer live in that time AND our old behavior patterns and beliefs systems are still stuck in our subconscious and can cause us some challenges when we are not aware of just what is going on in there.
From the mouths of babes...
The other day my daughter was talking about a project that she had spent a lot of time and energy on (finally, she’s 8 and I was beginning to lose hope that she would ever have an attention span longer than a gnat) and when I asked her about whether she was proud of herself she said that she didn’t want to brag 😬
I encouraged her to brag away AND we talked about what real bragging is about.
Real bragging is about allowing ourselves at least a moment to acknowledge that we worked hard, stayed focused, and put our best effort into a task, activity, or project and saw it through to completion.
Real bragging isn’t about putting someone else down while building ourselves up. It’s about recognizing what we have accomplished without comparison to anyone or anything else.
Real bragging is a great way to talk back to VOD.
My good friend Laura Long over at Your Badass Therapy Practice recommends keeping a Brag Book.
You can whip that thing out and read a few pages to your Voice of Doubt when it gets all up in your grill about how you suck! I have been known to write compliments that I receive from clients on sticky notes and put them on my computer or on the dashboard in my car!
We are not all exceptional...
That’s just a fact.
Exceptional, by definition, does not include everyone 😜
The thing is, we do not have to all be exceptional.
We don’t even have to be the Expert in what we do.
There will always be people who are better at what we do then we are AND there will always be people who are not better at what we do.
Comparing ourselves to others is not the point 🤔
What we have to be is the Authority in the room.
We have been over this before.
You have taken all of the classes and passed all of the exams and jumped through all of the hoops and read all of the books and done the hard work to get where you are.
That makes you the Authority in the room.
Of course you are going to continue to read and take classes and attend workshops.
You are a life-long learner and that is awesome AND you don’t have to wait until every last course or workshop is taken to know that you are the Authority in the room with your clients.
Take a moment and wrap your head around that 🤔
You are the Authority in the room.
Now tell your VOD to shut the fuck up about not being good enough, and “needing” more books or course to make you feel better.
Be the Authority in the room and choose to read books and take classes because you want to, not because your VOD is telling you that you “need” to!
OK, so now I am going to do some “bragging”.
*Keep in mind that to get to this part of this email I have spent two days going to get a drink, going to the bathroom, letting the dog out, letting the dog back in, fucking around on Facebook, and any other non-purposeful activity possible to assuage my discomfort in doing this “bragging” thing that I know logically is important to share AND (because of my subconscious shit) is super scary.*
In March I got a wild hair up my ass (and was able to slap some duct tape on VOD’s mouth) and I made a post to a FB group for local practitioners.
Now, in my mind I was just testing the waters.
You know what I mean, those thoughts we have that allow us to take any action at all, the ones where we tell ourselves that we don’t really care what happens, that we don’t have any high hopes, the ones that say we are “just going to see what happens”...
So I wrote up some copy about what I was offering and slapped it in a FB post on the page in this local group 😬
I was offering a group for practitioners to deal with the mental bullshit that keeps us stuck in moving our practice forward.
I had six spots available in the group.
I expected to be posting and begging for sign ups for the two months until the group started and I did the mental math and gave myself permission to start if I got at least four members.
Six amazing women signed up in the first week 😳
Now it might seem like I am bragging about “winning” and while that is part of it, what I am really bragging about is all of the work that I did to get to that moment.
Five years ago I made a decision to go from an agency into private practice.
I argued with my Anxiety.
I rented office space for one day a week while I made the transition.
I talked back to my VOD.
Decisions about insurance and time lines and EHR’s and marketing were made and I took the steps to execute them.
I faced my fears.
I invested in hiring a business coach and finally made a decision about my niche.
I tried to outrun the Imposter Police.
They kept showing up and I kept working on ways to deal with the mental bullshit that kept me on the run.
I woke up to the realization that I didn’t have to be an Expert, I only had to focus on being the Authority in the room.
I stopped running and started being really present to my greatest teachers: my clients.
Did you notice that I did not spend money on more trainings or even reading books about new techniques to use with clients?
I did spend money on learning more about how to run my business.
I learned to embrace being uncomfortable without false comforting by buying another book or taking another workshop or training.
Doing the work takes time and a willingness to face our fears, be uncomfortable, and to CTFO (chill the fuck out in case you don’t speak short hand text lingo) and be fully present to our clients and the truly valuable lessons that they teach us!
Now back to my bragging….
You see two years ago I made a post offering a group for practitioners to learn how to run a business and the response that I got was 🦗🦗🦗
What made the difference this time?
I spent the last two plus years listening to what practitioners want and need to move their practice forward. I spent that time being the Authority in the room with my clients and my colleagues AND I listened and took notes.
It’s not about the shiny objects and the distractions we use to keep our VOD and the Imposter Police at bay.
It’s about digging in and doing the work and being in the game for the long term.
It’s about focusing more on what we are doing well rather than what we think we are lacking.
It’s about taking action, making mistakes, and seeing them as opportunities instead of reasons to doubt yourself.
It’s about telling our Anxiety and VOD to either help or get out of our way!
We have some awesome shit to do, so let’s remember that we are the Authority in the room!
Now, grab yourself a notebook or a stack of sticky notes and start bragging and reminding yourself that you are Awesome!