June 10, 2020
If I could use one analogy to describe January 2020-April 2020 of my business, it would be standing in a swarm of kinda friendly, but really distracting bees who sometimes sweet talk you and then sting you, making it sound like it’s just part of the process.
I mean, think about it for a second. Do you know the feeling?
But all of it makes you wonder, does it REALLY have to be this way?
In the past four months, this business been blessed with crazy growth, amazing clients, brand evangelists who shout our name from the rooftops…
In the past four months, I’ve seen first hand what it looks like for everything to look amazing on the outside and crumble on the inside.
I’m on the way out of this (Lord willing), so this is not a cry for help. Don’t you worry.
Instead, in today’s blog post, I want to encourage you with the only action step that actually started to change things for me:
TAKING A STEP BACK.
My Enneagram 3 wing is already flaring up, saying, “NO, JESS. Up is up! If you’re not growing, you’re dying!”
And while I truly believe that, I also think some of the hardest, but most beneficial growth is learning when you NEED to take a step back in order to move forward BETTER, with more intention, ready for more growth instead of crumbling under the pressure.
So, if you’ve felt that bee-swarming situation lately, let me tell you why this is the BEST NEXT STEP for you.
Taking a step back requires you to let go of some things. You have to say “no,” which means you’re forced to take a hard look at what’s most important to your life and your business. When you’re taking a step back, maybe you can’t afford to show up on social media quite as much, or you can’t afford that weekly blog post, or you have to say no to a client who’s not a good fit.
Whatever you decide to let go of, you’re doing more than just letting go. You’re defining what’s important. So, notice what you’re okay with letting go of. Notice what REALLY HURTS when you loosen your grip. Then, ask yourself: Am I struggling with letting that go because it’s important to my business, because it’s important to my true fulfillment, or because it’s holding a false sense of security for me?
You’ve done it before. You’re reading a page in a book or an article online, and you keep reading the same paragraph OVER AND OVER AGAIN, but you can’t (for the LOVE) absorb what it’s saying. Remember that feeling? It’s really the same thing when you’re taking action and moving forward while you’re OVERLOADED and overwhelmed.
You can’t feel anything. You can’t notice anything. You can’t be intentional. You can’t be present. Being pulled in a million different directions doesn’t ONLY hurt you. It hurts who you help, it hurts who you love, it hurts the life you’re trying to build because you can’t put your whole heart into 5,347 different things, so instead you’re giving a fraction of your fractured focus to everything. And, guess what—it’s going to get you nowhere, FAST.
Taking a step back allows you the space to take a breath and get present.
Imagine yourself in the middle of our giant swarm of schmoozing bees, okay? What do you see? PROBABLY NOTHING but a blur of bees, right? Imagine what it would look like if the only way to get OUT of the swarm was to inch backwards a bit. You take that step back, and all of a sudden, you can see how BIG the swarm of bees is, you can define a path around it, or you can decide if you should just wait it out back here.
In this case, the only way FORWARD is to first step BACK so you can get a clear view of the situation. When we’re in the middle of ALL THE THINGS, clarity is hard because we’re so close to everything that our vision is clouded!
Now, I don’t believe we always need perfect clarity in order to take action. I think action BRINGS clarity. But, that action you need to take? It can’t just be ANY action, it has to be intentional, it needs to have a purpose. That is IMPOSSIBLE to get if you’re totally blinded in your current state.
Real Talk: How many times have you taken action just because you’re afraid of what might happen if you stop moving?
I think all too often, we allow fear to motivate our action instead of true confidence in our mission. When you take a step back, you can take the time to think through—what do I want my actions to produce? What OUTCOMES am I willing to devote my time, talent, and energy to?
When you answer those questions, you’ll be UNSTOPPABLE. But, if you let fear keep driving you, you’ll be on your way to somewhere you DIDN’T sign up for, even if you’re “doing all the right things.”
So, tell me—how can you take a step back right now? Do you think that would help you? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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