What happens when you are working toward your goals and you suddenly realize that you aren’t going to accomplish that important goal fully. Or you are going to miss the deadline? Or maybe you find out that the goal you set doesn’t actually get you where you need to be?
Those words creep in. I’m not good enough. Who am I to be doing this?
Last week in Episode 40, we talked about measuring progress in a holistic way. Just to quickly recap, we can’t just rely on the numbers we need to make sure that we are using subjective measures as well. These are going to help us look at the whole situation rather than just the black and white picture.
Let’s face it, progress is anything but black and white. It is not clear-cut and especially when we realize that human beings are part of the equation.
Now moving forward this week with our concept of measuring progress I’d like to share something with you that I hear on podcasts time and again. In fact, I listen to all kinds of business professionals and thought leaders and one theme that comes through time loud and clear is the encouragement to remember, “I am enough.”
You see, when something doesn’t work perfectly, it is easy to place blame and often people blame themselves, particularly when they are entrepreneurs. You want to do your absolute best, you want to make sure that you are helping others and serving them to the best of your ability. Those are all noble goals and make you a hero. You are there to help others.
What this doesn’t say is that you need to be perfect, know everything, or have all of your ducks in a row right now all at once.
How many times have you wondered to yourself, “Do I know enough to help this client?” “Am I qualified enough to reach out to the local chiropractor and share my services?” “Do I have enough experience to guide others on their journey?”
You know what all of those questions have in common? Two things. The first is that you want to avoid failure. As human beings we are hardwired to want to avoid failure. I’ll talk more about that in a minute. The second thing that all of these scenarios, and more, have in common is the word, “enough”.
Lets break this down. Do you want to avoid failure? Of course! Do you want to make sure that you are successful? Of course! We like to feel confident, forward-thinking, and sure of what we are doing. We don’t want to fail.
Are you ready to hear what the great thought leaders often say?
“There is no failure, only learning”
“Progress over perfection.”
“Just take action”
“Get scrappy to find a way forward”
“Perfection is procrastination in disguise”
All of these indicate that we need to reframe how we think about the situation. What if you were to remove the concept of failure from your vocabulary? That neural pathway in your brain would slowly shrivel as it is no longer used. While that pathway that tells us we might fail shrivels up, new pathways are being formed. The ones that remind us that each step is progress. That perfection is not necessary or required. That taking action is the right action regardless of the outcome.
These positive pathways become stronger and stronger the more we use them and shifts our mindset from being fixed to one that says we can grow and learn.
Let me give you an example that happened just this week. I am working on a new workshop for the Coaching Hive as part of a peer entrepreneur community that I participate in. I had a few ideas and we were tasked with posting the idea to see if it got traction and if it did, great! You move forward with that workshop idea. I followed the format suggested, posted, and got crickets. No response. Now the leaders of this particular activity were prepared. They offered next steps and ideas for what this might mean and how to proceed. Nowhere in the conversations or documents was the word failure. In fact, it was stated that no response was fantastic. Now you don’t waste your time creating something that you audience doesn’t really want or need. You see how that growth, positive pathway is being strengthened? It didn’t matter that there were no responses, it provided more data and a way to move forward.
With this positive outlook, I felt empowered to post three ideas in a different format in a highly respected group where health coaches hang out. It made me nervous, my palms were sweaty, but this is how you learn and grow. I genuinely wanted feedback and knew that this group of coaches would help me out.
A funny thing happened. I posted three ideas and all three ideas got votes. I reached out to each respondent and listened to why they made their choice. I had the chance to connect with people whom I have never met and reconnect with others that I already know.
More positive pathways. My willingness to step outside my comfort zone paid off. By reminding myself that I really wanted honest feedback, regardless of the outcome, I was no longer worried about failure. I would learn what my potential clients really wanted in a workshop. That is a win in my book!
I share this not to say that I’m perfect. Remember the sweaty palms while I was posting? I also had to get some encouragement from my husband to reach out to each respondent. I’m a work in progress. That progress is not perfect, nor is it a failure. There is an opportunity to learn from each expedition in your business and coaching journey.
To summarize that first point. We have to actively work to prune the pathways that suggest we cannot grow and learn and actively work to build the pathways that support our growth. This is a daily commitment you make to yourself and often requires the encouragement of your peer community and mentor. At least that is the case for me!
Now, lets talk about the second piece of today’s puzzle. The word, “enough”. Remember the thoughts, “Do I know enough to help this client?” “Am I qualified enough to reach out to the local chiropractor and share my services?” “Do I have enough experience to guide others on their journey?”
They all have the word, “enough” in common. As you say these words you are suggesting to yourself that you are NOT enough. You don’t know enough, you don’t have enough, and you can’t be enough. This goes back to what we were just discussing. We need to strengthen the positive, growth-promoting pathways and prune the pathways that lead to this negative thinking.
Shifting your mindset to say, “I am enough” changes the playing field. While a different coach might be wondering if they are enough to go reach out and make those community connections. You are saying to yourself, “I am enough”. You reach out to create the community connections. You say yes to the one-on-one conversations. You stretch yourself to learn more to better serve a client. You say each day, “I am enough”.
By saying this simple phrase, hearing it from your peer community and mentor, you are worrying less when the challenges arise. You are accepting that you can follow your passion and serve others. You can be that coach who has a calendar booked with their ideal health coaching clients, the opportunity to choose coaching over a 9-5 job that is no longer fulfilling, and gets to engage regularly with their peers in a supportive network.
You can be the coach who is excited, free, relieved, and jazzed about the future where your days allow for self-care, meaningful work, and you are seen as an expert health coach.
This mental shift to one of, “I am enough”, allows measuring progress to take on a whole different light. When you see something that doesn’t work the way you thought, doesn’t garner the attention you hoped, or just plain doesn’t work at all you are already thinking about how to make changes. You aren’t doubting your worth when measuring progress, you are looking at the measure of progress as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Let me ask you a question, do you want to be the coach who wonder, “Am I enough?”, or do you want to be the coach who knows, “I am enough.”? Send me a DM with the words, I am enough and one thing that you are working on this week. I want to cheer you on, offer you support, and celebrate as you learn.
Now, to recap today’s conversation we started with the reminder that measuring progress is really a holistic endeavor. We talked about that concept in more depth during Episode 40 and this week, we paused for a dive into mindset revolving around the measurement of progress. When measuring progress you need to do three things:
- Prune the negative pathways that have us thinking we failed or are a failure as a result of the progress we are or are not making.
- Grow the pathways that are positive and growth promoting. And finally,
- Remember that you are enough. Just as you are right now. You are enough.
As always, I hope that this podcast has given you something to think about, something to practice, and something to explore. I look forward to your DM with the words, I am enough and one thing that you are working on. Until next time, have a happy, safe, and healthy week!
~ Dr. Moira