There is an extensive collection of books in my house. Some in boxes in the basement. More boxes in the attic. There are boxes in my office closet and a few in my bedroom closet.
Oh…and I haven’t mentioned the shelves, built-ins and bought, that are filled with tomes. Many of them, not yet read. Most are favorites that are enjoyed, repeatedly. We cannot begin to talk about the children's books collection...y'all know I was a teacher for a long time...
My love for story and learning has seduced me to buy books that I KNOW I do not have time to read. My Amazon account has a list of titles in my “Saved for later” section that I try to ignore every time I place an order. I try to curb my appetite for buying books by satiating my fix at the library.
Then I borrow a book and almost immediately decide I MUST—I am not exaggerating—own it!
Recently, I have begun to take a closer, more reflective look at my book fetish. Yes…my mother was a library maven. As a child, going to the library was a weekly adventure. One of her favorite sayings was, and still is: “You’re never fully dressed without a book.” She even chooses the purse she wants to buy based on its ability to fit a book inside. LOL. Even though she retired from the library system almost a decade ago, she still goes regularly. And she boasts of having at least two, sometimes three books going at once.
So, I think I come by my “fetish” naturally, as they say.
However, that is only part of it. As I delved a bit deeper (as I tend to do), I realized there is more to my ever-increasing Prime queue than family tradition. To me, every book gives a promise of what I will learn or experience by spending time on its pages. For someone like me, who is ALWAYS trying to find the best way to do something, to maximize my potential, and to live abundantly, that is like dangling candy in front of a child.
But why? I asked myself. Why do I NEED to know the BEST way? In other words...Am I allowing fear of X to drive me...again?
Sadly…yes. It shows up as a little bit of perfectionism…trying to be certain that I am doing the exact right thing to be a successful wife, mother, friend, entrepreneur, etc. It is a bit of protection, also. Pursuing information to gain an edge on my situation or to safeguard me from…what exactly? I don’t know. Many times, this has caused me to suffer the paralysis of analysis.
There is nothing wrong with learning. I applaud it. However, here’s the thing.
Certainty can be the enemy of growth and high performance.
I read that statement recently and was immediately changed by it. A wave of revelation washed over me. It is true…when I become so sure that I know the best way to proceed, I become blind to all other possibilities. I cut off innovation and creativity from having their full say in the process.
This tendency is especially difficult to calibrate as an entrepreneur. Starting a business is NEVER easy. The nature of the entrepreneur’s world is uncertainty. Sure, some people make it look otherwise. They seem to have it all together and all the answers. The truth is they’re just as scared as everyone else. “Faking it until they make it.”
And at times, it’s just flat out hard to stay motivated, on your game, and watch fellow entrepreneurs rising. For me, I’ve reacted to the limiting belief that I was “behind” by throwing myself into “Learning & Development” (reading loads of material) and writing lists of “to-dos” without moving on any of them. This became my way to be sure that the right decisions were being made and to avoid mistakes.
Newsflash: EVERYONE makes mistakes! In theory, I knew that to be true but it wasn’t my truth. I espoused the misguided idea that I could somehow avoid mistakes.
For months, I talked myself out of starting this blog. Sure, I love to write. I do it EVERYDAY in my journal! But to put my thoughts and ideas out there for everyone to see…that’s a different story!
So…I read about blogging. I read other bloggers. I tried to do the suggested exercises to develop “my voice.” (I found that too restrictive.) I finally realized that what it came down to was three things: me, my computer, and connecting with my audience of entrepreneurs and like-minded people. I love people. I love sharing what I learn. That part I had down. "Just do it!" I told myself. So, once I simplified my perspective of blogging, I set a date and wrote.
Oh…and I have made other missteps, too…I have spent money on items that turned out to be useless. I have gone down one path to find that it was out of alignment with my vision and purpose. I have started business relationships with people that I probably shouldn’t have.
Instead of always being afraid of missing the mark, I have shifted my focus on growth. I try to stay curious and incorporate habits that support my personal development. I take risks, albeit educated ones. In the process, I have grown comfortable with not chasing omniscience. I operate from a place of genuine confidence (most days).
I’ve stopped considering those people who don’t “get” it…I’m not writing for them. I am only writing for YOU!
You…the highly successful individual who senses a stirring within, who realizes there is more to life than what you’ve been doing, how you've been living.
I know you.
You…the entrepreneur who feels overwhelmed by the process of running your own thing, and just needs some support.
I’ve got you.
You…the individual who is in transition, experiencing a paradigm shift professionally, personally, or both.
I hear you.
To all, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share myself with you, and for sending me messages about how you’ve been encouraged by the candid and casual sharing of my journey. All my fears about writing this and the endless prep time to get me here taught me to trust the flows, and to prepare for the ebbs.
Until next time…