We’re on a new mission here on this blog.
It’s to help you live your real life and do your true work.
And that journey starts with the courage to be you.
Yesterday we started talking about the Inner Work.
Like all things in life, we build success from the inside out.
No one can climb a mountain until they decide to climb.
Musicians don’t do justice to a piece of music until they can hear it and sing it in their mind.
Athletes execute amazing physical feats only after imaging and “seeing” them in their mind’s eye.
Your brain, your beliefs, your inner mojo are the first step to any level of success.
There are five main parts to inner work:
1. Letting down your guard and opening yourself to knowing your true self and what you really want.
This is harder than it sounds. When we try to listen to our inner voice, lots of other voices start to pipe up — our parents, teachers, friends, colleagues. You hear them when you dream. They say things like, “You can’t do that.” “What kind of job is that?” “Can you make a living?” “But you won’t be able to….”
Ask yourself “Whose voice is more important”?
2. A clear understanding of your values.
It seems when people start talking about business building, their value systems get weird. Suddenly people who spent their college years building houses for Habitat for Humanity are now jonesing for a seven figure business and working 4 hour workweeks that get them a big ‘payday.’
But if I were to ask them over coffee, “What do you really want your business to stand for?” My guess is they would reveal some true values they hold that go beyond cash accumulation.
All business is driven by values such as respect, compassion, quality, profit, “green” practices, fun, hard work, integrity, doing good for others, etc. You get the idea.
Know your values and it makes it much easier to grow a business that is just right for you.
3. Allowing yourself to feel excited, passionate and energized by your ideas and goals. Since middle school most of us have adopted a “too cool for school” attitude that minimizes our ability to feel joy and engage fully in our lives.
Personally, I’ve been chided by colleagues for being “too passionate,” or “overly excited” about ideas.
Do you know of any really successful person who doesn’t have passion for their ideas? Ever hear a TED talk? No one walks up there and says, “Yeah, well, I have an idea that’s sorta OK.” They LOVE their idea and are excited to tell you about it.
Passion is what drives success. It’s perfectly OK to show it to the world.
4. Developing the ability to sit still and letting your feelings happen. This is hard to do at first.
Starting your own business and living your life on your terms is unconventional. This brings up feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and frustration at others who don’t “get” where you are going.
Often we try to avoid those feelings by giving up our path and going on the road of least resistance. We fall into bad habits of procrastination and avoidance. Sometimes we numb our pain with food or drink or drugs (legal and illegal).
But while the feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and fear are uncomfortable they are temporary and you will get better at handling them. The feelings never disappear ( We all feel anxious sometimes. We are human.) But when you get good at sitting with them, acknowledging them, coping with them your life gets a whole lot more rich and meaningful.
5. Developing self-discipline and self-compassion. To blaze your own path, you need both self-discipline and self-compassion.
You must have discipline to get things done. No one is holding you accountable to meet deadlines, get to work on time, put in the extra hours to meet goals. YOU have to set your own goals and deadlines and do the work to get things done. You and ONLY you. Self-discipline is a skill you develop over time. It’s like training for a running race. You build up endurance by practicing self-discipline day in and day out.
The other side of this coin is self-compassion. While you must do the inner work to have discipline, you will drop your own ball from time to time. There will be days you can’t get started, writer’s block, a headache that levels you out for the afternoon, a sick child you must tend to. This is the beauty of self-employment. You can be flexible and still get important things done for your business, your and your family. Don’t get caught up in self-criticism when things don’t go as planned. Just make a new plan.
Those five things are Inside Work.
At first glance they seem to have nothing to do with business success. But when you take time to think about it, they have EVERYTHING to do with business and life success.
Once you know who you really are, what you really want, how you want to treat others, and the ability to accept yourself and your feelings the steps you need to take to build your business will become crystal clear.
Inside work is an ongoing process. It never stops. No one is perfect at any one of those 5 things. We all need to sit back and re-evaluate from time to time.
However, inside work should never become a full-time job. We all know people who engage in never ending navel gazing. They talk about mediating, praying, going on retreats, self-analyzing and they have no tangible anything to show for it.
Self-analysis is necessary as we go through life. But it isn’t a means to an end. There is no end.
Do your best with Inside Work. Take some time to dream and feel and carefully consider what you and your business stand for. Then go do the work the rest of us can see. Put your thoughts into action.
Thinking AND doing are the ying and yang of lifelong success.
Where are you in the process of your Inside Work?
If you are ready to start to build your business based on your true self, you can take my Lifestyle Business Assessment and find your ideal Lifestyle Business Profile.
And if you feel the concepts of Inside Work would be helpful to a friend, please share. Thanks…