I was so frustrated! I had hired a coach to help me learn how to build my business and work on my mindset and I felt like she was hanging me out to dry. I wanted to scream, fire her, and go it alone…except that in every other area of my life I knew that I had grown by leaps and bounds with her. Why couldn’t I seem to figure this part out?
So, I asked her. Continually, she reflected back to me that I was approaching the finances in fear, like it wasn’t available, or like I couldn’t have it, or like it wasn’t really possible for me to get it. She would encourage me to journal, to pray, to get into a state of peace around it and listen.
And I had done all that and still felt like I wasn’t finding what I needed. But I did trust her. I trusted that she could see something I couldn’t. So I went and got all messy. And I’m so glad I did because it helped me see what was getting in the way.
I just mentioned to my clients the other day that when we have a yucky thought about a decision that we can’t seem to make, it’s important to admit the yuck so you can deal with it. I suggested it was like feeling like you need to throw up and holding it down. Most of us know that it just feels so much better if you go ahead and vomit and then the tummy settles down. In fact, what if you didn’t vomit and it really needed to get out somehow, so your body started squirting it out your pores? EW! We all had a good laugh, but the bottom line is, the yuck is going to come out one way or another.
Thus, my yuck had to come out.
I wasn’t proud of it, I didn’t even know what all it was, but out it came. At my coach. And this is why we say that one of the most powerful things a coach can do is to hold space for someone. It was a safe place for me to dump all the vomit, knowing that she was willing to hold the bucket for me. So I spewed. I talked about how mad I was at her for not helping me, about how it felt frustrating that she knew how to find money, but didn’t seem willing to get involved in actually helping me find it, and I was paying her! I just let the frustration all fall out and at that moment, I honestly didn’t know what else to do. That felt like the thing that needed to be done--puke it up. So there it was, all the blame, the frustration, the anger, the irritation that I kept hearing the same thing--you are just trying to make money but you are letting fear and needy drive the train. Ah!!! Of course! Isn’t that reality? I’m about to run out of money and I haven’t figured this out yet! Isn’t it dollars and cents at some point? Isn’t it about the bottom line of a business and whether it can survive if you don’t have the money? Gah!!!
So, off my message went to her, and then I set it down and ate dinner with my family. After dinner, while of course this is all still heavy on my mind, the kids wanted to go for an evening swim.
“Go find your bathing suits,” I instructed.
Off they ran. In about 5 minutes, the seven year old came back with his regular story: the bathing suit can’t be found.
“I can’t find it, Mama! I’ve looked everywhere! It isn’t where I put it. I need you to find it because I think it just got taken by someone else!”
"I'm pretty sure it has disappeared!"
Now, if this were the first time I had heard this story, I might be willing to go and help look for it. After all, at first he didn’t even know places to look. But this was not the first time, it was about the 42nd time. So I said, “Buddy, I know your bathing suit didn’t disappear. Did you look in the dirty clothes? (Yes) The laundry room? (Yes) Outside on the hooks? (Yes) Well then, I guess you are going to have to just keep looking.”
He lost it. He fell apart. He was angry with me.
"But I can’t find it! I want to swim and I can’t find it!”
My heart hurt for him. I wanted him to be able to swim, but I knew that the best way to help him was to let him find that bathing suit on his own, otherwise I’d be finding it for him forever. He needed to know that he could find it himself. I encouraged him, “Ok, we know the bathing suit didn’t just disappear.”
(He wasn’t so sure.)
“And it’s probably where you left it last or where you usually find it.”
He wasn’t convinced. And my thought in that moment was:
“It’s not helping to look for something when he doesn’t believe it actually can be found or even exists. It makes it easier to give up.”
By then everyone was ready except him and I walked down to the lake to lifeguard while he stayed in the house mad as hornets looking for his swimsuit.
After all of about 60 seconds sitting by the water and calming down from the stressful conversations with my son, it hit me how closely our stories were related and I exclaimed, “Oh, the money is just a stupid bathing suit!”
I was acting just like my son.
I had looked in the places I thought of, it wasn’t there, and because I am not super confident in my ability to find it, I doubt that it can be found. It would be so much easier if someone who knows how to find the money could help me look for it! And they said, “NO!” We both pitched our fits, we both were convinced that our help was being inconsiderate, and we both were spending way to much energy on the possibility that it didn’t actually exist! And just like that I could see how my mindset was getting in the way. It was easy to tell my son the bathing suit was real and was somewhere. It was easy for me to see that I wasn’t unkind for making him find it, that it was a gift to him. And it was easy for me to decide that the process was worth him doing, even if he didn’t go swimming that day. He needed to learn he could find it, the lake wasn’t going anywhere, it would be there tomorrow.
Alternatively, I could see that I needed to learn that the money was there. That it can be found. That giving any sort of energy and time to wondering if it isn’t there is a waste and detrimental to finding it more quickly. I could see how just because I’ve looked in places already didn’t mean they were the wrong places. I could see how just because I hadn’t come up with new places yet, didn’t mean there weren’t new places to look. I could see how a mindset of believing that the money is there, that it’s possible to find, and that I can find it can make all the difference in the world.
So, my question for you is this? What are you treating like the bathing suit? What have you decided in a little kid fit can’t be figured out or found or gained? What have you decided that you have looked everywhere for, tried every way imaginable, and now you think maybe it isn’t real or can’t be found? Who are you angry at because they can do it, but aren’t “helping” you?
Can you see the mindset here?
Can you catch a glimpse of how we allow the thoughts of scarcity to impact our ability to find what we are looking for? Can you see why it’s so hard sometimes to get what we say we want? Especially, when our actions begin to reflect that what we want is for someone else to do the work for us, or we just want to be right that it can’t be found.
Don’t let the fear of “what if it’s not possible” keep you from looking for whatever it is you’re hoping to find.
Of course it’s there. It’s just a silly bathing suit and it can’t sprout legs and just walk away.