Have you ever “had” to do something that you just didn’t want to do? Silly question, right?
But I’m not just talking about the things that most of us find annoying or boring, like paying bills or cleaning the bathroom. I’m talking about “meaningful” things, like getting my newsletter and blog out to you every two weeks, no matter what.
Here’s why I’m asking. I promised myself that I could take this last week in August before Labor Day as my retreat/vacation time before gearing up for a very active fall – with two exceptions, completing this blog and writing my bi-weekly e-newsletter.
But when it came time to write, I DIDN’T WANT TO. What happened to me? I love writing to you about the things I care about. If I were at a job, I could push myself to get it done so I wouldn’t get in trouble with my boss. But I’m my boss; and I didn’t want to do this! I was stuck.
I’ve lived with this Fierce Refusal to take action my whole life, and I thought I was done with it now that I know what I WANT to do – share my gifts to make a difference in the world. I LOVED all the writing I’ve done in the past four months. But when the Fierce Refusal comes up, then all sense of wanting to do things seems to go away. What happens to it?
I was also really scared this time. What if I never wanted to do those things I need to do to grow Speak Out, Girlfriend!, to let my clients and prospects know that they can count on me?
Well, I did what I often do when I’m stuck; I reached out to my community. A dear friend offered a phone call, and gently asked me, “Is it true that you HAVE to write your e-zine today?” I started to cry in frustration, as I exclaimed, “Of course it’s true! If I don’t get the text to my VA (virtual assistant) today, it won’t go out on Friday!”
“But, ” she gently prodded, “does it have to go out on Friday?” “Yes! I promised my subscribers a bi-weekly newsletter!” BINGO! There it was. A promise that I made – because I really WANTED you to be able to count on me – turned into an obligation…a SHOULD…that triggered my inner Rebel.
My Inner Little Girl, the one who sometimes becomes my Inner Critic and rants at me when she’s scared, (see my last blog post) can also turn into my Inner Rebel when she is faced with a “have to” and loses touch with the “WHY” behind it; when she feels as though she is being forced to do stuff, just like when we were growing up; when she feels as though she has NO CHOICE.
My parents (who did the very best they could) were very much from the “Because I said so!” school of motivation. The nuns in my school were pretty much the same. So I never learned to make choices based on a clear sense of what was really important to me.
I’ve come a long way since then, even writing a children’s book, NoraLee’s Adventures on Planet Ifwee, about a little girl who hates doing chores. When she meets the residents of Planet Ifwee, she learns their motto: “If we care, it’s Magic!” NoraLee learns how to do those things she really cares about, and give herself a gold star each time she does. So it still surprises me, and shakes me up, when my Little Rebel shows up.
My wise friend then said, “This is a gift. This is your opportunity to really check out what is important to you. You’ve never done a consistent newsletter before. Why would you do one now?” I cried a bit more as she suggested that I take a few deep breaths. And then it came to me, I really WANT my subscribers, my prospects, my clients to KNOW that they can count on me. So if I really want that, there are things I must do. Not because they are SHOULDS, or because I’ll get in trouble if I don’t do them, but because they are essential to getting what I want – in this case, your trust and confidence.
And from now on, when I feel that Fierce Refusal to take action, I’m going to look for the “why” that I’ve been missing. When I find it, I know I’ll be able to take action. If I can’t find it, maybe the action is no longer mine to take.
What do you think about this way of making peace with our Inner Rebels?
PS: I’m going to give myself a gold star when I’m finished with this newsletter!