Outside the Lines

It seems like I’ve been trying to change the way I relate to the world. I wanted to move in a straight line, putting my energy into my career vision, staying focused on my goals and objectives, and so on, blah, blah, blah. It seemed like a good idea in the beginning. It seems like other people are doing this and becoming successful.

I believe that I have knowledge and wisdom that matters in the world.

I believe that if people knew what I know, it would enrich their lives. That if they realized the difference it might make to them, they would be interested and want to work with me.

I believed that the way to make that happen was through marketing, through an aggressive campaign — (see? “aggressive campaign…” Does that even sound like me?) — but an aggressive campaign of putting myself out there.

And I did, to an extent. I did some work on my website. I did some videos, some social media posts. Worked on my LinkedIn profile. Started creating a workbook. Read a book about how to stay focused on my own work. But I did not do the whole-hearted, full-bodied marketing myself push that I had intended.

I sidetracked. Spent time with my grandkids. Did other stuff – don’t ask me what. Signed up for some classes. What I didn’t do was make a bunch of money. I made a tiny trickle of money.

Even the referrals for my side gig, coaching for this one organization, dwindled. So I wasn’t making enough money, and that’s bad.

Then I got an interview with this other coaching company – one that I applied to back in JANUARY. Interviewed with them, got accepted. I was super excited – between the new company, and my old company (where referrals have picked back up) I should be able to make ends meet. So I celebrated. For about a minute.

Then I realized, between the new company, and the old company, and these classes I’ve started taking, I don’t actually have time for marketing and such. Not unless I’m going to work 60 hours/week. Which I’m not going to do.

I felt like I was giving up my dream. And that made me really sad and kind of depressed. Plus, a couple of other things happened that added to me feeling useless and I was soooo sad. A real sense of despair came up in me and I just stayed on the verge of tears. I swam around in the sadness, with some dashes of anger, for a couple of days.

But, you know, acceptance is an amazing thing. And at some point, I really gave up. I let go of my hope that I would be different. I let go of my attachment to the outcome. I’m not going to do those things I thought I would do – have all my own clients, and offer classes and workshops and such – because I’m not going to do the things I would need to do that might make that happen.

I can debate with myself all day about why I won’t do it. Maybe I’m actually just a coward. Or lazy. Maybe this is just a huge rationalization for my own failure.

But for real, it is just who I am. So instead of pushing forward on my own work and my own marketing, I’m taking two classes (Mindful Self-Compassion and Conscious Business Coaching) Between them, that will take about 10-12 hours/week. Plus the on-boarding stuff starting soon. Plus the clients I already have. Plus grand kids.

Nope. This big putting myself out there and marketing like crazy is not happening. And today, I’m ok with that. I keep thinking about “willing hands,” a gesture of acceptance. At least some of the time, I can really feel myself in that posture, feel myself move into that state of mind.

Of course that was before I spent a frustrating hour with my grandson in virtual school. He’s 5. Sigh. I’m not complaining, not much anyhow, but on-line kindergarten is not that great.

But that’s ok, this too will pass.

And at least I’m not spending all day feeling like I should be doing something different. Something more. I can be ok with how I am. Who I am.

19 thoughts on “Outside the Lines

  1. Here is the wisdom I have:
    Sometimes the time is not right.
    Maybe for now your own business and your own efforts are small because you need your energy for other things. This doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means you can’t be an effective helper for others if you are pushing yourself too hard and spreading yourself too thin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, you’re probably right. I mean, if I don’t make it a priority, I don’t actually have to wonder why it’s not successful. That’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? But yeah. You’re absolutely right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think your to hard on yourself . Think of the spent time with the grandkids as time well spent. The classes are a investment in yourself . The other stuff im sure was important or enjoyable at the time. Coward or Lazy I don’t get that impression, Just trying the online kindergarten proves that. Keep doing your best its usually enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that perspective, M. (I’ve decided that it’s too awkward to call you ‘Middleage’ so I’m going with M. If you don’t care for that nickname, just let me know.) 😊 Yeah, you’re right about the grandkids and the classes – I never regret classes or learning and the kids are an investment in the future. So there’s that. And yes, I willl, just keep doing my best. Thanks for the support. 💜


  3. Hi Olivia,

    Please don’t be too hard on yourself, maybe now isn’t the right time. You are spending your time in valuable ways , especially time with the grands, and making a difference .

    Have you thought about a business mentor? Just a thought that popped into my head. Sometimes a coach needs their own coach…right?:)



  4. I think you need to get a young mentor to help you with your social media presence. That is a real (important) job now that pays good money. You might not have the licenses for supervision, but you know that there’s a lot of more informal things that can be worked on in order to barter. What students need besides clinical hours are practical things like attending conferences together, or learning the skill of talking about a client without making it obvious who. It’s definitely not a natural way to speak and you don’t get to practice that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Everything you are doing is important and needed. The children are your legacy. I’m glad you are thinking about it all from different angles. Frankly if I had any clue about how to manage social media differently, I would be so happy to help. Honestly everything you have done that I have seen is really excellent. Truly.

        Liked by 1 person

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