Are you afraid to get better? Writing the headline for this post, I felt
an immediate emotional reaction to that question. How about you? Immediately I want to say “No, of course not.I love self- improvement. I’m always trying to get better. That’s what we do
as humans. I am always trying to go from chaos to clarity” Whenever I have a strong emotional reaction to something- it’s time to probe deeper to understand why.
The act of improvement often walks hand in hand with fear. It’s much easier to fight with the day to day busyness and simply react then it is to make time behave. It’s like a lot of things in life- we choose to keep the hot mess we know that’s behind door #1 because we know what is there. We don’t want to look behind door #2- because it is the fear of the unknown. We’re afraid of what’s back there. What if I don’t know how to deal with what I find?
What do do others have to say?
In the last few months, we’ve spoken with hundreds of people. When we talk about using Bella Scena to manage all the chaos, we will hear phrases like:
- It’s not that I have a fear of improvement. I absolutely have a problem with too many spinning plates. I desperately need to do something.
- I’m really struggling with all these manual systems and I keep forgetting things. Then I wake up in the middle of the night remember that thing I was supposed to do and beat myself up about it. So now I’m tired and cranky the next morning.
- I’m writing my meeting notes on the back of a grocery receipt or whatever piece of paper I can find (This one is almost always accompanied by a sheepish look). What do you mean actually be able to find them again?
So why am I so scared?
The idea of abandoning door #1 to approach door #2 will create apprehension for many of us. Starting to proactively manage what’s happening around you means you have to face some fears. What might those fears around managing time reveal? And how do they tie to our fear of improvement?
- I’m just going to stay SO BUSY in my business because I am afraid to work on my business. What if I can’t grow my business?
- I have 50 things on my handwritten lists strung across 4 pieces of paper so I can avoid having a tough conversation with my customers that I need to raise my prices.
- I’m embarrassed that I can’t do it all. Aren’t we supposed to have the marriage, kids, lean in until we fall over and create our own empire? All while dressed in gorgeous fashion and being perfectly pampered and presentable at all times? I’m just plain worn out.
There are days when life is hard and messy. We know that sometimes you get stuck and having trouble moving forward. And some days we all just fall flat on our face. Which makes us completely normal human beings. Falling down is normal. Dusting ourselves off and getting back up again is the hard part. It’s time to encourage that inner fierce part of ourselves. It’s okay to have a fear of improvement once in a while. But we can’t live there permanently.
How do we move forward when we are scared?
How do we do that? If we want to really move the needle forward, what are some pragmatic steps to go forward in moving from chaos to clarity?
- Accept that changing is REALLY hard- give yourself some grace and time. Did you hear that- GRACE. Please just stop beating yourself up. We all have those moment (or days or weeks or even months) where it all gets to be too much and we are hanging on by our fingernails. If you fall off the planning or organization wagon, you are not a failure. It’s just time to climb back on when you are ready.
- Take it one step at a time. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, PLEASE don’t try to do it all at once. We set ourselves up for failure when we try to change too many things at once. Try one small positive change until it becomes a habit. For example, find one thing you need to do to be successful today, and put that ONE thing on the calendar. And then celebrate when you finish that one thing. And do that again tomorrow.
- Create mechanism to get yourself out of the mud periodically. Whether this is lunch with a trusted friend, former work colleagues, or meetup groups- find an outlet that reminds you that you are human. Connecting with other people even on unrelated topics often brings fresh perspective and can help you jar yourself loose from the mud.
Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. So keep turtling along and running your race. The one only you can run.
At Bella Scena, we would love to help you take your first steps on managing all your spinning plates so you can go from deliberate to done. Click here to learn more.