What’s Love Got to Do With It?

In thinking about February, the month of love, I am compelled to ask you a few questions:

Do you LOVE your life? Do you get up in the morning just raring to go? Have you surrounded yourself with people who inspire you? Do you bring a strong sense of service to your occupation? What impact are you making in your world?

If you answer no, or are unsure, you might think “Wow, I need to make some major changes.” You might even think I would encourage you to do so.

But I wouldn’t.

Huh?

Nope, I wouldn’t encourage you to change any of your circumstances. It is much simpler than you think. Loving your life is not something that comes from the trappings of your said life. It doesn’t come from your occupation or your workplace. It doesn’t come from your partner. It doesn’t come from the house you live in or the car you drive. I know you’ve heard that before, but do you believe it…deep down?

Loving (and being massively impactful in) your life comes from understanding that your experience is generated moment by moment from the inside. It comes from realizing that the difference between having a mediocre experience and a fantastic experience is directly related to where your head is at in any given moment. And that in fact we are only experiencing anything as a function of our own state of mind.

Most of us don’t factor our own state of mind into the equation of our lives. It looks like the equation already includes things like demanding clients, overwhelming deadlines, a dispassionate partner, or scary cold calls. We don’t see our head space as a variable, at least not one that we can influence. I’ll give you an example:

Prior to having a life altering insight around this, I experienced a brief “downturn” in my business. Except that at the time, it didn’t look like a brief downturn to me. It looked more like a major problem that required massive attention and re-tooling from the outside. So I set about learning some new skills, doing lots of marketing, and spending a ton of time and money attempting to fix something that seemed broken.

About 6 weeks into this mind-numbing process, it was as though a fog lifted. One moment I felt burdened and beaten down; the next I felt light and full of inspiration. I realized that all that had happened was that I evaluated my business from a low state of mind, and that from that low state of mind, I took actions which were at best not necessary, and in some cases, actually made things worse.

And all of a sudden, I fell back in love with my business. Nothing changed within my outside circumstance, yet everything changed in my internal experience. It is much simpler than we think.

The Key to Creation

Recently I’ve been in creation mode in my coaching practice. I am working on bringing something to the world that has not yet existed. Based on the work that I do one-on-one with coaching clients and the work that I did last year in Michael Neill’s Supercoach Academy, I was inspired to create a group for entrepreneurial leaders; a playground of sorts where they would experience support, deep learning, camaraderie and just plain fun in creating what they want in their businesses and their lives from a place of profound security, connectedness and “ok-ness.”

What I’m finding is that it is one thing to work with powerful, accomplished people one-on- one, but in moments, it feels like a whole ‘nother thing to say “Hey…you…follow me.I’m running the show.” At times it feels like creating this group is impossible.

So what makes up the difference between feeling completely capable in one area and at times feeling unsure in another?

What I’ve seen is quite simple. The key is my relationship to my own thinking.

As I’ve had meetings with potential members of my group, I have noticed that my thinking changes drastically moment to moment. When I say drastically I mean in one minute I’m thinking I’m brilliant, my group will fill up in no time and that I’ll be fending people off with sticks. In others I seriously question myself thinking “What the &$%^ are you doing??? You actually think this is going to happen?” Now, if I related to all of the thinking as true, I would be bouncing off of the walls one moment and laying in the gutter the next.

But my experience has been really stable. Like *really* stable. I’ve stayed calm in the storms and cool as a cucumber when it seems I should be celebrating.

What I’ve seen is that my thinking changes dramatically. And that dramatic change used to send me on a roller coaster ride. It used to have me bail out of an inspired idea the second I thought an insecure thought. What I’ve seen is that thought is just thought. I can think pretty much anything. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. And that when I let particularly negative, non-motivating thought just settle, let it be, it just passes. I’ve learned that those thoughts are not there to inform me what to do next, they are just there. They exist. Then they pass.

What I’ve gotten a glimpse of is that I’m capable of attempting anything. And win, lose or draw, I’m ok.

Dealing with Fear about Price (or anything else) from the Inside Out

I was reading an article recently about selling and how often in business seasoned sales people go from pro to “whoa” when it comes to talking about price. In the article, the author laid out some tactics and strategies for dealing with fear around price conversations. At first glance this seemed reasonable. When I took a closer look, I knew there was an opportunity for me to go deeper.

What is fear? When fear around a pricing conversation looks like an actual “thing”, like it is real, then it makes a ton of sense to deal with it via strategies and tactics like: support the price as a leader, communicate the price with eye contact, understand why the price is the price. And on their own, these aren’t bad strategies.

But when I look into the nature of fear, I ask the question “what is fear actually, where does it come from”? Typically fear is a thought or an idea that pops into our own heads and then we believe it. Once we believe it, we start feeling it. And once we start feeling it we begin to think we need tactics and strategies to deal with it. The snowball is already rolling down the mountain at that point.

But if we pause back at the moment when we first register that fearful thought around price (or ANYTHING), we have a chance of seeing that fear (along with everything else that is going through our heads) is just thought. One minute it didn’t exist, the next minute it did. You see, there is a difference between having the thought of fear, and getting into the thought of fear.

The nature of thought (yes, even fearful thought) is that it really just wants to flow on through our heads. It is meant to flow and go, just like everything else in life. When it just flows on through, we don’t need to deal with it like it is an actual “thing”. We just need to not get into it. How’s that for a strategy?

Exploring Business from the Inside Out

As a coach with grounding in the Inside Out understanding, I explore business and sales from a unique perspective. While most business coaches focus on the what and the how, I look at what is underneath our experience as human beings, the foundation of how human experience gets created. I’ve found that when people start to get a basic understanding of principles that are true for all, a natural by product of this understanding is doing their jobs with less stress, ability to perform at a high level with a much greater degree of clarity, and just an overall more pleasant experience of life. What I haven’t found is a lot of articles dealing with specific business and sales issues through this understanding. So I decided to start writing my own. With burnout, overwhelm and stress at an all time high for companies and the people they employee, there is a distinct need to look at problems in a new way. This blog is an exploration of fresh ground. It seems to me that state of mind of an individual is the most under-utilized tool in business.