I have been in panic mode this week. I followed through on a commitment that I made after a very insightful coaching session a few weeks ago. I took a step I was afraid of for a long time that would lead to a necessary and overdue ending. Part of the delay though, was that I was blind to the need to take the step. For a long time, I expected others to guide me yet they have been waiting for me to offer leadership and guide the process. Its business related and so allow me not to share too much at this point.
A good coaching session can be an eye opener. A key action point that came out of that session was setting an exit date from my business. In addition to that I committed to communicating that date to my stakeholders in the business so that I can be held accountable. That was terrifying. I’m panicking because my business has been my sole source of income even though its much less compared to past years. That little income has made me yearn for bigger opportunities but I’m scared to pursue them because they are unknown.
Living hand to mouth is no way to live. The slightest change in plan could make one slide under. I’ve heard that the world belongs to the brave. Sometimes I feel like a brave coward, looking confident on the outside but trembling on the inside Folks are there times you miss who you were in years past? I feel somewhat disappointed in myself now compared to my 20s and 30s. I was such a go getter that it was hard to differentiate the line between ambition and foolishness. I would make huge commitments swiftly even before lining up all my ducks in a row. Sometimes I now take so long lining up the ducks that they even end up hatching ducklings in the process. That makes it longer and harder to line up the extra ducks. You get the point.
My mum once shared a story about a poor family that depended on their one thin and malnourished cow for milk and subsistence. For years they would admire their neighbors who lived in plenty. One day they had a visitor who came by. He saw the thin cow and offered to buy it. Poverty can be blinding so they sold it to enable them buy food but they didn’t think beyond the little cash they were getting. Immediately the visitor left with the cow he pushed it over a nearby cliff to its death. The poor family were in shock. How could the man be so cruel? they questioned.
Once the little cash ran out the poor family felt their fate was sealed so they waited to starve to death. That was a turning point for them. The same visitor who bought and later killed their thin cow showed up and encouraged the family to venture beyond their home, beyond the village and hills ahead. It was easier to face the unknown than the hunger at home that was guaranteed to take them out. Beyond the hills was a new, bigger world. They came across new opportunities and driven by their poverty they pursued them viciously. Within a year or so they had added weight and owned a few healthy cows that kept increasing. Life was good and as stories often end, they lived happily ever after.
My coaching session challenged me to look back at the year 2000 when I began my business. There was no safety net and I had to give it my all. I had only two options. To make it or make it. I need to get desperate enough now as I was back then, cut the proverbial umbilical cord and jump. Sometimes our first half persona is needed to push us towards making the leap into a new life. It acts like a spring board from the past to the exciting future.
I have said here before that what got me here won’t take me there (future). Allow me to make a slight addition and say that parts of what got us here are required to get us there. Pick what you need from your past and use it to fuel your journey into the future you desire. How you pick and what you pick depends on you. May our internal compass and wisdom direct us well.
I have extra responsibilities now than I did back in 2000. But shouldn’t that make me jump faster? because I have people depending on me and the urgency is greater. We need to get desperate enough to jump if we are to live the lives we desire. If it will mean spending some time reminiscing on our past to get us charged up to make the move then so be it. But let’s not remain there too long lest we start daydreaming. We don’t get ahead in life by pitching camp in the past.
I’m unlearning, learning and maybe relearning stuff so as to be inspired by the throw back and trip down memory lane. May this set in motion a throw forward process for us all folks.