Prior to leading a component of the online course I offer on rolling daily habits into identity evolution, I sometimes go through a ritualized freak-the-*$@!-out period in preparation. I get extremely stressed over the expectations that I tell myself the course members have of me, of my performance, and of my responsibility for their experience in the training. I even have moments of anger at them for having these expectations. (How dare they expect me to be/perform/deliver perfection!) Then, I pop back into sanity and recognize that this is all a story I am telling myself. I calmly remind myself that I am prepared, that I do have lots of knowledge to share, and that I have seen transformation occur for many that I work with.
This whole cycle occurs because I truly care that the people I am working with have a deep, meaningful, and authentic experience. But, it can become a frenzy of expectations, comparison, and un-needed pressure for perfection. I may even get wrapped up in comparing myself, my skills, my abilities to what I see in others in my role. I forget what I have to offer and fall in to the trap thinking I must do it like someone else does it for there to be worth in what I am offering. This never goes anywhere good.
As a recovering perfectionist, this cycle is no new experience for me. I can identify the long list of thinking errors I typically run through during the process as well as all of the things that I tell others to practice and to be aware of, but at times, I seem unable to practice myself. I think this is why I can effectively help others through it; I have literally been there myself.
So, recently, as I was preparing for my online course in my usual stressed out and critical manner, I just happened to see a clip of Gloria Steinem from an interview with Oprah. Oprah asked Gloria what advice she would give to her younger self and magic came out of her mouth. She simply said, “Do more of what you can uniquely do and less of what other people can do.” Brilliant. Mic drop.
I start thinking of the experiences that have really touched me, helped me to grow, or inspired me personally. They were usually created out of someone else’s unique ideas or creative delivery or authentic spirit. The pivotal, eye-opening experiences I have had did not occur from cookie-cutter moments of zero creativity.
And then I got it! I started thinking, ya know what makes something great? When you do it with your unique talents, that’s what! It’s like Rudolph when he puts the mud on his shiny red nose to fit in and do what others do. How was that ever going to save Christmas?! He had to do it with his unique talents that no one else had!
You have to shine! Only you can do the unique things that you can do. Go be that light within! You are not your body or your thoughts or the stories that you tell yourself. And neither am I. Exhale. Also, you are not what other people think of you. In fact, that’s none of your business. You are the shining soul within that has something wonderfully unique to offer the world.
I pep-talked myself right into inspiration! I remembered that I lead my course in my own special way. I do my best to offer my knowledge, my creativity, my guidance, and I do it with care. I also recognized that ultimately, it is also up to the course members to then take what I offer and use it in their own unique way.
Is the course going well? Yup. Did I prepare in advance and then deliver in my own unique way? Yup. Will I have to remind myself of all of this when I go through this process again during my course in the future? Yup. But that’s ok; It’s a journey.
So, go be unique! Fly! Do what only you can do. Will some people be disappointed? Yes, because they went into it with expectations. But that’s not your problem, that’s theirs.
And remember, I will be trying right along with you.
Chat again soon,