At 8:00 this morning, I had my own private celebration. It took place in my head.
An hour earlier I was driving and thinking about how terrifying it must be for some of my clients to do the one thing that scares them the most; To finally confront what’s kept them from moving forward in their lives because they feel overwhelmed and stuck and it’s showing up as piles of papers, boxes and who knows what else, on their desks, on the floor, in their drawers, everywhere.
I was thinking about what it means to do the one thing that scares you the most and to have the courage to do it anyway because you know you have to. Because you know not doing so will have far greater consequences.
For people who are chronically disorganized, the consequence of not facing their fears can be enormous. For some it’s a loss of control over their lives. For others, it’s isolation. I know people who have lost their children, their spouses and their very security because of their inability to face their fears head on. I also know people who have shown great courage and have discovered the meaning of making room in their lives.
My fears are about public speaking. And yet, as a small business person I know the value it brings to others in the form of information and sometimes even inspiration. But I do it quite frankly because I have to. Working with people in their homes and in their offices or helping them move is tactical but it’s also very personal. I know that if people see me and feel I am someone they can trust, and recognize I have the expertise to help them, then they often will remember me when it comes time to organize their offices, or their bedrooms or help them plan and oversee their move to a new home.
This is what I was thinking at seven o’clock this morning, on my way to speak to a group of fifty small business owners and entrepreneurs about how to face their fears, specifically about how to confront their own Paper Monsters. I did this presentation a few weeks earlier and it had not lived up to my expectations – perfectionism, my monster, rearing it’s ugly head, yet again – and now I was getting ready to face him again. Was I scared? Petrified, which is why at that moment I started thinking about my clients.
“If they can have the courage to hire me, then I can damn well find the courage to face my fears as well, ” I thought. And so I did. And it went fine. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. And that’s good enough. But to be honest, I’m glad it’s over. At least for today I can celebrate.
Tomorrow, I do it again.