I’ve spent so much time finding and releasing limiting beliefs over the years, it amazes me that it took me this long to see this huge block to business growth. It’s this; my own judgment of entrepreneurship.
I had judgment coming in from every angle;
- My social justice self thought it was too commercial, too immersed in capitalism.
- My spiritual self thought it was too materialistic to earn money by selling things (what was being sold didn’t seem to matter, it was the fact of selling that was the problem).
- My middle class self thought it was crass to sell things for a living when I’d already acquired a good education and really, should go and work for a big corporation or a government agency (that being a more respectable way to earn a living apparently).
- As a feminist I felt guilty about selling to other women, knowing that women earn less than men in society.
- She was also well aware that there’s a collective cloud hanging over women who participate as vendors in commercial marketplaces – one that says ‘You don’t belong here’. She was aware of it and simultaneously unable to shake a feeling that maybe, just maybe that was right….? Maybe there wasn’t a place for me.
- As a writer I judged any money that came in that couldn’t be directly attributed to my writing. The story being this; ‘Was I even serious about being a writer if I allowed myself to receive money in other ways?’ (this was just one of the many ‘struggling writer’ stories my mind was keen to perpetuate).
- I judged myself for being a lifestyle entrepreneur; was that even a real thing? It certainly didn’t seem like a ‘serious job’. Who was I to presume I could earn money working from my laptop, in the hours that suited me, focused on topics that make my heart sing? Who was I to presume life could be so easy, so enjoyable?
- I judged myself for being a small business owner working from cafes, from my garden studio, and sometimes from a beanbag under a tree. What kind of fool did I think I was trying to build a successful business like that?
- I judged myself for not being like everyone else. For taking the road less travelled.
- My inner contrarian even judged the term ‘entrepreneur’. Why was I even using such a wanky term?
Judgment, judgment, judgment. So heavy. So useless.
Finally, after sitting with the discomfort of it all, a small voice asked; ‘What is it that you want?’
And the answer was easy; I want all the choices I’ve already made.
I want the lifestyle and the capacity to earn money while I sleep. I want to work with women who are ready to make a difference in the world on topics that light me up. I want to be one of the change makers. I want to be a part of the community of women and men who are leading a technological and lifestyle revolution. I want the flexibility to tend to my kids whenever they need me. I want to keep seeing my community thrive as a consequence of doing visibility block clearing work; speak up in vlogs and blogs, writing their first book, sharing their opinions on controversial topics, getting awarded prizes they would never have gone for in the past, and seeking out opportunities they would otherwise have shied away from.
I want this. This entrepreneurial life and all of its riches.
So in the end the question wasn’t about what I wanted, it was this; Will I stop judging myself for wanting what I want?
Many years ago I used to jokingly refer to myself as the Reluctant Entrepreneur. I felt I was forced into working online because my body was too sick to hold down a regular job. I felt like I was without choice.
Now I see that I have choice. I’ve always had choice and that I’ve been exercising that choice even while I’ve been judging it. I also see that she was right, this body of mine. I see that she was accessing wisdom well beyond the limitations of my mind.
And I’m very aware that all of this judgment stems from a fear of being seen. (#visibilityblocks) Seen and judged by the social justice community, the spiritual community, the feminist community, the creative community, the entire middle class!
So in the end, I’ve had to choose between what’s right for me and what I’ve decided those communities think about the way I ‘should’ behave. (Noting that in truth, I have no clue what other people think. I only have the wild projections I’ve created so I don’t have to put myself at risk of being judged.)
You can’t succeed if you’re judging what you do or who you are. You have to choose. And once you do, it’s imperative that you go all in. Embrace it. Own it. Claim it. Revel in it.
Otherwise you’re dooming yourself to a life of limitation, frustration, and disappointment. And let’s face it, there are far too many people in the world living like that already.