“I really liked your FB post about listening to your intuition vs. listening to what everyone else has to say. I know that the only way this will work is if I listen to myself but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish who is saying what.”
Gosh! I LOVE this one. How delicious is this?
I do hope that your question resonates with readers. I have a suspicion that it will.
This is the problem with all that received wisdom. Can I suggest you stop reading and listening and studying and imbuing everyone else with the wisdom and thinking it is outside of you, and start getting to know yourself better? The goal here is to trust yourself more. I already trust you, I think you have simply either never acquired the habit of trusting yourself or fallen out of the habit perhaps because of what life has thrown at you. I’d bet on that last one. We need to rebuild this muscle, that’s all.
In that post, you saw me observe how long it took me and how much I was swayed by others when I was green. I say much the same thing in the introduction to this book too. It takes a while. But come the moment when you realise that everyone else’s advice isn’t working, it just gets easier to trust yourself from thereon in. There are many people I trust. But it doesn’t mean I slavishly follow their advice or their way of doing things.
Let me illustrate by telling you about two of my friends.
The first one always asks my advice but never implements it. Once I realised that I was just one stop on her very long list of people she would consult simply by way of research, I stopped complying and started to say “What do you think?” I thought that she had so many other people she could ask that this was just a waste of my time.
The second friend does exactly the same thing, but in a way which is completely different and in a way which makes me happy. She asks me what I think when she’s trying to make up her own mind about something. At first, I noticed how often she simply went off and did something completely different anyway and I was a bit sad about that until I realised it is part of her own magical way of being. My advice helps her make up her own mind, and that’s very much how I like to be of service to my clients too.
Listen to what others think if you must (I don’t bother with that much!), then make up your own mind. If you don’t like your own decision, you’ll soon know and can take a different path at the first crossroads, but both those paths will be your own choice and of your own taking.
I wonder what would help you with this? Imagine me in a thoughtful pose as I think about this!
Do you, for instance, journal every day? That’s one way. Some of my clients favour a walk, especially if you do it in the spirit of knowing and trusting that your own answers will bubble up. It’s the kinesiology, apparently. The opposite swinging of your arms with your walking legs. I know I haven’t explained that very well, but if you swing your arms a bit more deliberately, your creative walk will be even more therapeutic.
I see both men and women have different ways of getting themselves into a trance, employing the busy part of their minds with cooking, driving, physical exercise, showering, anything that allows space for your own inner wisdom to come through.
The more you create a space for that wisdom to come through, the louder it will speak to you, always assuming you are quiet enough to hear. Get quiet. Pay attention.
The Facebook post to which my correspondent refers, written and published on 20th August 2017
“When I was 22 I became self-employed under the auspices of freelancing for a firm of accountants. This led quite quickly to my going out on my own and starting up what would become my own small business, my first one, in that same field of providing accounting to the people I still love to work with – small businesses and one woman/man bands.
However, all did not run smoothly. I fell in with a bad lot, a man my father called The Work-Shy Rogue, who persuaded me (it was VERY easy, I was still very young and quite green) that I would never make any money at my own business which required rather a lot of work and exchanging time for money and that we should, instead, go into property investing and various other money-making schemes.
Had I stuck to my guns, had I had enough self-belief, I would not have been susceptible to his blandishments or his schemes, the profits of which he drank and smoked away anyway. He didn’t work. I did the work and funded it all and he lived off it. In the end, we lost everything and I was left hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt in 1992 and had to enter into an IVA, a voluntary arrangement with my creditors.
Had I just focused on my business, by the time I came to sell it in 1997, instead I would have been on a new BMW every three years and two Caribbean holidays each year (I got quite close to that anyway, not such a new car or as many holidays but my business provided funds for both). I would have E-Mythed it and I would still own it and it would be making money for me without my having to go into the office. Hindsight, eh?
Mais je ne regrette rien.
The same thing happened when I went into coaching. I attracted huge amounts of received wisdom and advice that coaching is no way to make money. What a coach should do instead is learn to package herself up into books and coaching programmes and digital products, and that you’ll never make any money just doing what you trained to do, namely be with your clients.
This time I HAVE resisted it. OK, I have managed to create a few investments around me which means I can perhaps more easily afford to be a largely 1-2-1 coach than some, but this isn’t a business that can be easily E-Mythed, nor do I want it to be. And coaching isn’t the easiest way to making a living in the world either, but it is possible and I know this because I have done it, I still do it every day.
The point of this story is that I realised as I was lying in bed this morning and thinking these thoughts that it is precisely the topic of my book – learning to trust yourself and not be swayed by others, learning to run Your Biz Your Way. What I teach is what I do.”
This article makes reference to being E-Mythed. This expression is taken from a book by Michael Gerber called The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It. You will learn more about the value of The E-Myth later in this book.