In my December 2013 post, I declared “releasing” as my one-word intention for the year. I put it on a card and stuck it on the fridge under my “I have an attitude and I’m not afraid to use it” magnet.
Last October, I looked at my word and gasped! Oh, no! I had spelled “releasing” as “releashing” – the exact opposite of my intention! (Easy, Sigmund.) I quickly crossed out the “h”, shoved the card back under the magnet and hoped for the best.
I reviewed the year in December, acknowledging your accomplishments, incredible relationships and lessons learned. I also identified several “releasings”. Turns out intention is stronger than spelling.
Out foul spirits
One self-imposed, self-limiting belief I released dealt with money, on the surface, and something more powerful underneath. As I’m writing this, I’m debating whether or not to share it. When I remind myself of my intention for 2015 (below), the debate ends.
I used to believe that I could only charge $x for my services. Even though the accomplishments my clients achieved were beyond expectations and they continue to tell me that they continue to use what they learned to add satisfaction and power to their lives in and out of work, I believed my fee could only be $x, not a penny more. Even though I often complained to myself that I was under pricing my services, my rates remained unchanged. I resolved to end the complaint and followed the breakdown-to-breakthrough process that I teach.
As I worked through the proven process, I uncovered the unconscious belief that I should/could only charge $x for my work. The “should/could” narrative turned on the light bulb. When I asked, “Who said so?” and heard the response “historical crap, not me”, I released a good laugh and a significant portion of the unconsciously inherited belief – a super glue – called “I’m not worthy”.
The belief isn’t entirely gone – that’s the nature of being human. Yet, equal parts of awareness and commitment provide a solvent that’s loosening the belief’s hold on me. I’ve raised some fees and met no resistance. It’s not about the money. It’s about released from the “should” leash and reclaiming the power of choice.
Given my day job, the words on my list may surprise you: be less judgmental, less righteous, listen more. While I could make a case for each being what I need, they seemed forced and contrived. I wasn’t feeling it. Then, when I wasn’t trying to come up with right word, “the one” showed up.
And the winner is…
As if it was the only word on the only billboard on Route 66, I heard the word “open”. No fanfare or effort. Figuring that it bubbled up from my subconscious, I choose it. I then answered the critical question, “What does ‘open’ mean?”
To me, right now, “open” means to be willing to have someone else’s way work just fine, to be open to the possibility that my idea may not be the right one right now, that my actions may not produce the outcome I intended. It means to be open to not wanting to fix everything or everyone. It means not being so sure that I have the answer or that there is an answer, for that matter. It means to be open to the possibility that a question might be a more fitting response to the call of the situation with which I’m dancing. It also means to be open that my life’s work is working, that I am providing what I intend to. It means that the “not me” stuff is absolutely OK and part of the organic process of living.
If “resolutions” never work for you
I took the advice from a Forbes article (5 Ways to Make your New Years Resolutions Stick) and shifted from declaring resolutions to creating projects. Projects are designed to produce results. Resolutions… not so much.
In addition to my word, I have 1 well-being project for this year with 2 components:
- Stretch 3 times per week, plus before and after I play tennis.
- Write for 10-minutes, 4 times per week. Keep the pen moving. (Thanks, Natalie Goldberg)
Sure there are lots of things I want to have and to have happen. I’m using this 1 project to build my existing strength of keeping my word and expanding my trust in myself — a fundamental building block for living life out loud.
My next steps
Create a plan that keeps this intention top-of-mind and helps me act in ways that match it. My plan includes (1) sending myself an email with a bi-weekly reminder to journal what’s happening regarding being open and (2) sharing my plan for embodying it with my “kitchen table” gang – the people who are my sounding board and my support team.
Your next step
What’s your 1 project for this year? Start it today. If you stop taking action or miss a milestone, start again. It’s not the stopping that kills your incredible spirit; it’s the staying stopped.
The practice of starting again can energize you in ways you can’t imagine. Tip from Captain Obvious: We can bring that practice to any commitment, at any time, on any day. Make it a great year … one day at a time.
Camille Smith helps leaders and teams achieve goals that matter by creating relationships that work. www.wipcoaching.com ~ 831-685-1480