Dropping Chicken Feathers
Jan 03, 2022
January 3, 2022
I’m not going to lie. There are times that I actually act like a chicken. It usually happens when my business starts to ebb and I know I am moving into a space of growth. I can feel “it” coming…..change……change is coming. This is when I start getting excited by what I feel is coming and at the same time start to feel very uncomfortable. Why? Because growth lives in change and that has never been comfortable; it’s where the unfamiliar resides. It’s like three brothers named Change, Uncomfortable, and Unfamiliar who won’t give you access to growth until you cross their bridge.
What’s funny is that I WANT to grow my business and I know I have to go through this discomfort to get to where I want to go but it doesn’t make it any less comfortable. I’ll brainstorm my growth ideas and start putting a strategy together. However, when it’s time to actually start putting things in place to launch it is when I start procrastinating. Each procrastination leaves a trail of chicken feathers reminding me that my fear is getting in the way.
What if it is okay for me to be scared and excited at the same time? What if I add in trust? What if I can learn and make it more familiar? What if I don’t have to know ALL of the answers before launching? What if the process is actually transforming me first so I can deliver with deeper impact?
When I hear myself saying, “Janet, you’re being such a chicken!” Ah ha! Flag on the play (or in the chicken coop)! These FLAG WORDS are alerting me that I’m moving into fear or more specifically into perfection. I’m trying to make it all perfect and putting a lot of pressure on myself. I start procrastinating because I’m exhausted on the thoughts of all that I’m going to have to do to make it “perfect”. Hence the procrastination that puts more pressure on me for being “behind” and not getting things done. Ugh I just dropped another feather. Procrastination is my FLAG BEHAVIOR. When I start putting off the same action item again and again KNOWING that it will actually help me grow my business; then I know I’m in Resistance that is backed by Overwhelm and Fear. (The triplet sisters to the brothers.)
How do I overcome my resistance and fears? I give myself time and permission to OBSERVE my fears first. Observation, without judgement, gives me clarity on where I am in this journey of change. I also get promptings for next steps when I allow myself to step back and listen. I’ve used this process before but have never given it a name. So today, I’m naming it the COURAGE PLAN!
Here are the main points in my Courage Plan:
- Notice Behaviors: Are you procrastinating? Are you piling on busy work? Are you feeling exhausted or overwhelmed? Do you keep adding to your “To Do List” to keep you in the feeling of achievement? Do you know what you need to do but for whatever reason can’t get it done?
- Observe: Get curious. Acknowledge them; don’t judge them. (I know, easier said than done.) Everything starts with thought but many times we feel the feelings first. What are you feeling? For example, I will feel frustrated, Why? Because I’m not getting anything done. Okay, why? And if I really sit with it, I realize I’m feeling a lot of pressure and it is scaring me. Okay - there’s the feeling. I’m scared. What’s making me scared? I’m afraid I’m going to fail or do “all of this work” for nothing. So the thought can start with “I’m afraid I’m going to fail.” And if I dig deeper, I might find out the origin of thought is that I think I’m not good enough or some other dismantling thought. Observe so you can reverse engineer and get to some of the thoughts you are having and reframe them. Are you uncomfortable because it’s unfamiliar? Have you navigated something unfamiliar before? Yes! Are you willing to learn? Are you willing to take action even if it is scary?
- Customized Support: When we’re in fear, we tend to isolate or try to do it on our own. Go counter-intuitive and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. Share what you’re experiencing and how you’re feeling. I will tell you that they are looking at the story from a completely different perspective. They will give you feedback on your strengths and abilities for making it happen because they “see you”. Find your crew that best supports you and has your back.
- Baby Steps: Typically when we’re scared we’ve imagined the workload as so big that we can’t possibly get it done in the time “expected”. Our backs are up against the wall. Not true, it’s not our back; it’s our nose. We are too close to it. We’re trying to accomplish everything in one giant, leap of perfection (in a short period of time). So, back away from the wall, recalibrate where you are and focus on the next step. Make it a baby step if needed so that you can stack wins and successes rather than failures. This will help you grow your confidence in this unfamiliar territory. You’ll start to see that you are learning how to do this “new” thing that is changing. You can finish this step and then look to the next one. You’re building a staircase from where you are to where you want to go; one step at a time.
- Accountability: I know for me, putting accountability in place is key. Not true for everyone, but it is for me and I recognize it. So when I am growing my business, I have to have a deadline as well as the aligned person or pilot group to check in with so I get my priorities completed. Hence why this blog is in place. I had an accountability partner in place to make sure I got it done. I’m not gonna lie - I needed her. (Hugs to you Sparkly Sue!!!)
The Courage Plan isn’t overnight; it’s a ramp that you walk up. I understand that it takes time just to notice behaviors and remove judgements from observations. I’ve learned that worrying has never served me because 99% of the time it never played out how I thought it would. I continue to learn and accept that growth will be uncomfortable and that the best way for me to navigate it is to use a tool that works for me. My Courage Plan.
What if you wrote your own Courage Plan? What if you take some of the criteria from above and add, remove, or tweak it in a way that empowers you to navigate change? What if it’s okay to be uncomfortable and do it anyway because that is where are growth and personal empowerment lives?
What if I’m dropping chicken feathers because through my uncomfortableness I am growing EAGLE FEATHERS so I can fly?!!!
“Eagles don’t take flight lessons from chickens.”
Enjoy learning how to fly!
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