Why I’m Not an Expert Anymore

Oxygen Volume 11I used to be an expert.

Not too long ago, I regarded myself as someone who could solve anyone’s business-building problems on the Net. I just ‘knew’ what to do.

In my own tiny mind, I rocked.

Then Teal died, my mother died, this happened and that happened and everything got stripped bare … including my desire to stand up as a so-called expert in the world.

What is clear to me now is that telling the world I’m an expert is simply false. Perhaps I know more about a few things than some others … but who cares? Aren’t we all peers in this game of life?

Why can’t I meet you just as an equal and a friend?

For the stinging truth is that in our industry, there has become on over-class of ‘experts’ and an under-class of perennial students who must learn, learn, learn to one day become ‘experts’ themselves. Because isn’t that the goal?

Take caution, my friends. Because what we are learning here isn’t brain science and does not require endless hours of study. Nor does it demand an endless panel of experts upon experts telling us how it is done.

What this business does demand is confidence, faith and perseverance. It’s just like Woody Allen famously said. ‘Eighty per cent of success is showing up.”

So I believe what is really needed here is community. Fair and equal support and mentorship with those who have walked the road ahead of you and are willing to give you the time of day.

Instead of experts, what we need is a friend to learn from.

We need someone to talk to as we find our way ahead — that’s what I find I need at this time in my life. I was reminded of that last weekend when I attended a conference up in Canada among many old and dear friends in this business. Being with these people was like manna for my soul.

These friends want nothing from me – and expect nothing from me, and I need nothing from them. But magically we meet in the middle and inspire each other and so give to each other endlessly.

And that is how this wants to be; the simple, generous sharing of hearts wide open.

So I have been looking hard at alternatives to the broken training system that is dominating the coaching space right now. Because as long as there is an over-class and an under-class nobody wins. The under-class simply keeps having their self-doubt underscored, and so they sign up for more and more and more training.

And the over-class has to keep continually reinventing their own personal wheel, until they eventually burn out from overwork and a lack of fresh inspiration.

There is a clinging to the old models that have always ‘worked’ instead of a fresh embrace of the new. And that old model is built on endless repetition, an a reliance on formula. We must sell our community into our work again and again to stay viable.

But like a good therapist, we actually need to serve our clients and then set them free. And so the client can stand on her own two legs and find her path, and so become empowered to step into full service.

There is nothing to be afraid of, friends. Nothing at all. Because in each moment there is a little gem of inspiration waiting to be uncovered by you. Your guidance will show you the way, again and again. That’s how you find the confidence you need to believe in yourself, your work, and your path.

I will report back here as I find the place I feel I can best serve.  But one thing I know for sure … I won’t be standing anywhere but beside you.

I don’t want to be an expert any more. I can’t, really. Because now I understand the information and experience I share doesn’t belong to me – nor does it make me any better or worse than anyone else.

And so I am no longer an expert, but just a slightly battle-worn fellow traveler. I am happy to sit for a while, exchange thoughts, enjoying a cup of virtual tea.

How about you?

 

 

A Thought from Ghandi …

Ghandi trree.PINT

When Does It All Finally Feel Like Enough?

5952919-a-man-s-hand-cupping-the-earth-earth-image-courtesy-of-nasa--visible-earth-http--visibleearth-nasa-gPerhaps you can relate.

For most of my life as an earning adult, I’ve been dogged by a vague feeling that there isn’t enough — not enough money, success, or clients. And seldom enough abundance or love.

Even in the height of my work as a platform building coach, when I was earning in the upper six figures, I was continually haunted by this strange sense that even THIS wasn’t enough. I always felt that distinct lack right in the pit of my stomach.

And I had good reason to be concerned, as it turned out.

Because one reason I never felt like I had enough was that, actually, I didn’t. Yes, I made a contribution to my retirement account every year. And yes, I saved adequately for taxes and went on vacation each year. But beyond that, little money ever got put into a reserve for me and my future, or little things like paying for my son’s college education.

In the rush to run a bigger and bigger business requiring more and more money – all in the quest for ‘enough’ — I’d forgotten to take care of myself.

And yet at the same time, there was always a voice in my head driving me on — Dive deeper, go bigger! You are not working hard enough! Because the other thing there was never enough of was time. So in my frayed state of distress, I would slight those most important of all — my clients — by not being fully present. And simply because there was so damn much to do.

Sometimes I would become frustrated that my clients just couldn’t ‘get’ my coaching fast enough. Or that they weren’t showing up diligently … In my distraction, I forgot that they, like me, were probably afraid. And that their resistance was just a mirror to my own.

So fear and its unlikely bedfellow, arrogance, became my constant companions. In the rush to succeed I’d lost touch with my compassion, and so I built a business that took instead of gave.

What I know now, as I finally tell myself the truth, is that I spent most of my life living in a condition of scarcity.

No matter how much money I made, I never felt like I had enough because I believed that I was not enough. I believed I didn’t deserve full gratification and personal abundance at every turn.

And why? I got to know scarcity well as a child; it was something of a default setting. This was the kind of emotional scarcity that keeps you scared at night, as adults keep fighting in the background. And so you worry in your silence that you somehow you will not survive.

And even today that little child hasn’t stopped worrying.

So the truth settles down. Many of us are driven by the ghosts of childhood, pushing us further and further after that elusive state of enoughness.

This was what drove me when I could make the money … but i couldn’t keep it. And when I could have some success … but it felt empty and somewhat meaningless. All the while I was caught in an emotional chasm between worry, frustration and that sinking feeling of dread.

The taunting wounds of our childhood put strict governors on how much we can give and receive. It’s just as true in love as it is in business. No matter how many Law of Attraction CD’s we listen to, those governors are locked firmly in place — until we do the work of reclaiming ourselves.

For me, I was called forth as soon as my daughter Teal died. Now I knew I had to grow up and tell the truth that I never had before. And I suspect we all have these galvanizing moments.

So I can see my own perpetual pattern of arranging things so they really are never enough. Like falling in love with a woman who was emotionally unavailable. Or taking on too many clients so I have no time to run my business or take care of myself. Or hiring others to ‘just take care of things’ because I’m too mentally exhausted.

Still the soul requires nourishment … and so the path to wholeness becomes twisted. And that is how we find ourselves throwing tens of thousands of dollars at those we hope will save us. When, in fact, that job is up to us.

Now in this place of simplicity and grace I am learning to listen to my own needs, and flow with the tide in my business. I am feeling into what needs to be done each day, and surrendering to my guidance as I go. And you know what?

It is finally enough. Even with relatively little in the bank, no lover by my side, and no firm business plan at hand … it truly is enough.

I wake up sad, of course, but still eager to get to my business. I have a renewed feeling of passion that seems to live alongside my grief. I have stopped worrying about money. And not surprisingly, clients and income are showing up just as I’m becoming ready to work again.

I get in bed happy to be alone at night, knowing that will change eventually. But for now, I’m exactly where I need to be.

And I no longer cringe when I think of my overloaded schedule. Nor do I overbook it. I am learning to get comfortable with open gaps of time … and so my creative juices can flow again, unimpeded.

Most of all, I am learning to honor myself, and that is the sweetest gift of all. Yet, that is happening not through some defensive egocentric embrace of Me Fabulous Me. Instead, it’s through simply acknowledging that I’ve made mistakes. By looking them all square in the eye, and then just saying thank you, I can finally reclaim myself.

And so I wish the same to you all. May you, too, know the sweet miracle that you really are enough.