I chose to leave my fab and secure job in Asia to start my own business just few months before the pandemics hit, nations went into lockdown and many businesses were forced to close and people became redundant. If I wondered before definition of insecure times is, I definitely found it. What a timing for a new beginning!
Every beginning is hard, but to me mine seemed excruciating. The start of it took too long; I have been lost, I knew what I want to give and contribute to the collective with, but I simply couldn’t wrap my head around how I should go about coaching as a business. After all, I formally spent 15 years developing legal business and this is completely different; nobody in my business circles knew that I have been simultaneously developing into a coach, so how do I gain the trust of my ideal clients whom I want and can help that I know what I am doing?
Insecurities were washing all over me. There were bills to pay and food to be put on the table. Savings were melting and I was overthinking, constantly worrying, and panic was starting to pick up. I have been stressing out, semi-paralyzed and hiding, not showing myself anywhere and definitely NOT doing what I have been supposed to do on business development.
As I was trying to understand how to cope with circumstances, I put myself into my own coaching program (after all, I am walking my own talk!). It hit me then that the hardest part is exactly when we are in the middle of the storm. When we can’t go back where we came from, and the way forward has not yet unraveled. We feel stuck and as if nothing is going for us. We are worried and stressed. In those moments we have a choice – stay where we are and indulge further in overthinking and worry or call upon our mental strength and the will of the heart and push through.
That “pushing through” has several stages, first being acceptance.
Acceptance means sitting with the discomfort of the situation, allowing it to exist as it is. We can get to that place by having an imaginary conversation with ourselves where we examine our current circumstances and the biggest source of our worry asking ourselves “what is the worst that can happen if my worry comes to life”. When we have it, we continue looking for the worst thing that can happen until we have no more answers. This chain of questioning puts things in the perspective and most of the time we come to conclusion that our biggest fears are highly unlikely to come into fruition, or even if they might, at the particular moment of questioning everything is ok. Here and now, this minute, in a present moment all is ok. It is our mind and its believes that create excessive worry over the hypothetical future, affects our feelings and creates fear and panic.
Realizing that, we can actually start to be appreciative (and even fond) of the situation that we define as an adversity, as it is providing adequate grounds for us to further develop ourselves, get to know ourselves better, grow some new skills, and increase resilience.
This is the moment where acceptance becomes appreciation, we stop resisting circumstances (what we resist persist) and where we are finally able to turn our focus to some other, more productive and healthier direction – to a stage of action.
Once we are at a “ground zero” with our worries and accept that the future brings whatever it brings, we are free to act in the direction we feel inspired to. Some people call this acting upon our greatest excitement, where we follow joy and inspiration to whichever direction it takes us. This requires listening to yourself and being aware of what is it that brings you the most joy in the moment and acting upon it. It is important however not to have second thoughts about where that action is supposed to take us, not to have expectations as that is not important per se. It will take us somewhere, just perhaps not where we think it will. Still, the process is what matters as that it what brings us relief from the storm.
In the story of insecure times, we are doing this process as a way of conscious living that helps us accept what is and move forward when times are tough and when our first impulse is to shrink in and withdraw. It brings progress, expansion and most importantly, peace of mind.
If you need help with this process, reach out.