Are you able to stay focused on the one thing you want most? I don’t know about you, but there are so many distractions and so many experts, it’s hard not to get pulled off course on the latest trend or cure-all, or whatever it may be.
Without question, my main goal is to become successful (read financially solvent) in this business — helping people to heal their stories so that they can write themselves a new life. And in order to do that, I need to sell courses. And in order to sell courses I need to build my email list so that for every new course I launch I have a group of people that are eager and willing to see the value in what I do and pay money for my courses. There are a WHOLE bunch of sub-steps within building my email list, but you probably aren’t that interested in how it’s done. Suffice it to say, I need to build an email list, now.
So how come I keep looking at the next shiny new thing that offers me a “Guaranteed Way to Add XXXXX Subscribers to My Mailing List in Just XX Weeks!” to build my email list?
When we are attempting to do something that we have never done before, we look to those who have done it before to help us by telling us what to do and how to do it. We want the process to be painless and require minimal effort. So we look for shortcuts, or for the most expert-ish of experts.
WHO SAID CHANGE WAS GOING TO BE EASY?
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I believe that lasting change is hard — and oftentimes painful. I don’t want to invest a whole lot of time on the wrong track to building my email list, so I zig-zag all over the place, grasping to find something solid and guaranteed. It’s really about fearing I will fail (or it’s equally scary twin – be successful). I don’t trust myself enough to believe that I can do this and that I AM on the right track.
At its core, my email list example is no different from others searching for peace and flipping from one healer, or one self-help book, or 30-day plan to the next. In order to make changes, at some point, you simply have to pick a plan of action and go with it. And the key word in that last sentence was ACTION. As soon as I wrote it, I heard my heart ask me the Go Deeper Question: “What do I mean by_____?”
In order to make lasting change in our lives, we have to take action, even when it hurts. Write it out, keep digging in that garden that currently looks like a jungle. When we focus our energy on one thing, eventually a little patch will clear. We notice that we’ve made progress. It will make the rest of the work seem possible and worthwhile to get through because there’s beauty in the end.
ASK YOUR HEART. IT HAS THE ANSWERS.
So what happened to me when I listened in about my list-building woes? I got still and my answer was to finish the damn course I was working my way through but to use Pinterest, instead of other people-based social media platforms. It turns out that the very reason I search for inspirational quotes and Pinterest boards pop up, it’s because that’s where my heart tells me my peeps are, searching for the very things I can offer.
At some point, we just have to stop listening to experts and realize that we are, in fact, the experts on ourselves and that we actually already have all the answers. So, get quiet and listen in. And if you can't hear, pick something and go with it!
So how about we make a pact — with ourselves, or with each other? If you read my blog and have done my Writing From the Heart course, you are probably here for answers and guidance. So, give it a real try and see where you get to. You may find a patch of your garden flowering again.
F.O.C.U.S. — Follow One Course Until Successful — or at least until you really make an effort and give it a chance to work. Just like in list building, there may not be only one course of action to follow. And even if the path you’re on doesn’t bring you to perfect peace, you are bound to learn a lot about yourself on the journey.
- Make a list of all the paths you’ve followed and methods you’ve tried, in order to find peace.
- Take a few moments on each and write about how it helped or didn’t and what you learned from it. (Did it send you to another source for answers, did it teach you that you really don’t like Bikram Yoga, etc.)
- Where are you now and what are you longing to commit to, but afraid of what it might ask of you?
kathy mercure is a writer and a storyteller, who helps her clients to tell their personal and business stories. She is also known as a storylistener and a storyhealer whose life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. Contact: kathy mercure, storyteller email@example.com.