What are you sitting on?
What idea or inspiration has you pumped or excited… yet you’re not putting it into play?
What project, direction, or dream have you pushed aside, put on the back burner or talked yourself out of because:
- you don’t have time right now.
- you can’t see how to make it happen.
- you’re not sure if your idea jives with your brand or biz.
- you’re afraid that if you take action now, you’ll get it wrong. And you’ll have wasted all your time and creative mojo on a big, fat failure.
Last week, I got a big slap upside my head. One that left me feeling ashamed, inspired, idiotic and awe-stuck, all at the same time.
I was in a webinar taught by a vivacious, 30-something woman Maru Iabichela who was talking about how when we sit on our ideas, inspirations, gifts, money and any other lovely stuff that comes into our lives, we actually block our ability to receive in all areas of our life.
For instance, when you hoard that gift card for a 60-minute massage rather than use it, or you put off that vacation you want to take, or someone pays you a compliment and you brush it off, you send some kind of cosmic “No!” to the Universe. You’re saying, “Please don’t send me any good stuff because I’m not going to use it.”
You block all kinds of yummy goodness that wants to rush into your life… whether it be more perfect clients, supportive relationships, radiant health, love, joy, money, surprise gifts, whatever.
As Maru continued, she explained how the course she was teaching right now came into being because when she received the idea, she took action. She didn’t wait to suss it all out. She didn’t tell it to wait until she had more time. She didn’t over-perfect it to death. She said, “Hell, yes!” and went for it.
Even though her idea wasn’t fully formed.
Even though it didn’t jive with her current business message.
Even though she wasn’t sure how to proceed.
None of that mattered to her. She fully received her idea, her inspiration and her excitement, and went to work.
As I listened to her, I was flooded with regret and shame.
Because for 7 years now, I’ve been sitting on a project, an inspiration, a divine gift that’s so dear to me. And while I’ve always felt called to take action on this idea, I haven’t. Even though I believe it could be of tremendous value to millions. Even though my heart, soul, spirit and everything that holds meaning for me is perfectly aligned with this project.
Why? you ask. Why am I ignoring my inspiration instead of using it to create something real and possibly amazing?
Well, my mind has a whole slew of seemingly “legitimate” excuses to give you. Like:
- I can’t quite figure out the “how” of it – all the steps I need to take to bring this baby out into the world.
- I don’t have time; I’m too busy with my biz.
- This project doesn’t fit my current business message; it’s not congruent with my brand.
- I need to “test out” all the premises of this project before I present it to others.
In the end, all of these reasons boil down to one thing: Fear. Fear of failing. Fear of taking a chance. Fear of judgment. Fear of pouring my time, heart and energy into something that might not pan out.
And my biggest fear?
The loss of possibility.
See, right now, this inspiration of mine, this project? It exists as a beautiful, hidden possibility. I can think about it, dream about it, even write about it without fear of it being annihilated by the opinions, judgments or criticisms of others. It belongs to me and me alone.
Like a lovely, well-tended orchid secluded in the hot house of my secret heart.
If I were to bring it out and share it with the world, it no longer stays a possibility; it turns into something that can either succeed or fail, be valued or dismissed, prove helpful or prove worthless.
And that scares me most of all. That it won’t prove to be what I dream it can be. And I’ll be left with not only a big, gaping wound in my heart. I’ll no longer have my secret, prized possibility.
Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, talks about how if we choose not to act on our ideas or inspirations, no problem. They’ll simply move on and find someone else who will take action.
This is why you can have a brilliant idea for a book, course, program, whatever, and 6 months later, after you’ve done nothing but consider the idea, you’re shocked to find some other entrepreneur has taken that idea and run with it.
There it is! Your idea. With someone else’s name all over it.
Gilbert states that letting go of an idea isn’t necessarily a bad choice; sometimes the right idea appears at the wrong time. Or sometimes an idea just isn’t right for you.
But when you receive an idea and it sends “the universal physical and emotional signals of inspiration (the chills up the arms, the hair standing up on the back of your neck, the nervous stomach, the buzzy thoughts…)” and the idea won’t go away, and everything you see reminds you of it, and you wake up at night thinking about it… this is when the idea is asking you, “Do you want to work with me?”
And you can answer yes or no. Either is fine, according to Gilbert. Just know that when you answer no, it’s a done deal. That idea is off to find another human to work with.
This is another one of my biggest fears. That my idea will get disgusted and tired of waiting for me. It will move on to someone who isn’t as chicken shit as me. Who knows. Perhaps that’s already happened.
But before I freak myself out thinking about that, let’s slip back to what Maru said about how, by not acting on my idea, I’m not only risking that someone else will run with it, I’m actually blocking my ability to receive in all areas of my life.
So ironic. I don’t act on my inspiration or follow through with my idea because of my crazy fear that doing so will transform my secret, hidden possibility into a reality I may not like. Yet in doing so, in not fully receiving and acting on this gift of inspiration, I cut myself off from receiving more and more and more lovely possibilities, ideas, and inspirations.
By following my fear, I create more of what I fear.
What about you?
Do you, like me, have a 7-year old project you’ve been sitting on?
How’s that book going? The one you’ve been thinking of writing for how long?
What about that new program or package?
Or that trip you’re not taking?
What idea, inspiration or gift have you received that you’re putting on hold? Ignoring? Saving for a rainy day?
Whaddya say we stop all this nonsense? Let’s go with the gifts of inspiration we’ve been given, trust our excitement and our ideas, take a chance and do something besides hide our treasures in a tiny closet of fear?
Let’s decide now to either act on our ideas and inspirations or to let them go. One or the other.
For perhaps it’s not the fact we don’t act on these wild ideas that blocks our ability to receive more. Perhaps it’s our tendency to hold on, desperately, secretly, without either acting on them or consciously releasing them that messes with our ability to receive.
I don’t know.
I do know I’m committed to bringing this 7-year project out of the realm of possibilities and into the light of day before the year is through. Even though I have no idea how I’m going to do it. Or if it will work. Or if it even makes sense.
What about you? What idea or inspiration will you commit to action before the year is through? Leave a comment below and whisper it to me. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.