As much as I feel like I have been doing recently, I also feel an equal tug to learn just as much. I’m reading like crazy. I’m taking notes on what I’m reading. And I’m loving every minute of it.
So I thought I’d tell you a little about what I have been reading. I don’t know if I’ll do any of these books justice – since I took dozens of pages of notes on each book and I’m not sharing all of that with you – but I’m going to give it a good go.
I took an entire medium-sized Moleskine book FULL of notes from Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions. I wouldn’t ever have picked up the book if it weren’t for a group of women I’ve gotten involved with. We are all wanting more in our careers – more time, more balance, more control – and are using each other as a sounding board for getting it.
I have to admit that I rolled my eyes more than a few times in the intro and first few chapters. And that says a lot. I’m a (non-practicinig) therapist and I sometimes find self-help books very trite and touchy-feely. And I took that attitude into this book. Not because I read those things in the book, but because I read them INTO the book. But we had a group meeting coming up, so I had to put my issues aside and get into it. So I did.
The deeper I got into the book, the more fired up I got. I give this book tons of the credit for building my belief in myself and what I could do creatively. I think “fire starter” is a perfect description of this book. Absolutely perfect.
I learned how to focus in on who I am, what I am good at, and what I want to do. Reading this book helped me define why I want to coach and guide. Having an explicit outline of why I want this shift and why I deserve it has helped keep me motivated. By defining how I want to feel and ways to go after that feeling, I have brought myself to a place of curiosity and excitement. I learned how to identify moments when I felt passion and inspiration and ways to recreate and foster those situations.
I love that she uses the word “genius” so frequently. She refocused me. I couldn’t identify my genius, so I did something really scary – I reached out to my friends for help. I let them identify my genius for me. As I read through their emails, with tears in my eyes, I realized the truth and depth of something I read in the book: we take our genius for granted because we are acclimated to it. I don’t see the gravity of my skills and talents because they have always been there as a part of me. I don’t see the importance of what I do because I just do it because it is who I am. Seeing myself from the eyes of my friends was very encouraging and empowering. And I never would have reached out for that feedback if it wasn’t homework from this book.
All that said, I’m still being challenged by some of the things I gleaned from this book. I’m wrestling with how to tell people what I’m doing and why. I’m struggling with not letting fear overtake my professional process. I’m doing better deciding what to let go of and then letting go of it.
I’ve learned that doubt and fear are expected and are okay. I just have to wrangle them and use them to my advantage. I’ve learned that I have to stay focused, aim for passion, and not rush the process. I’ve learned that I will have to give up some things to pull this off, and I have to decide what is worth it and what is too much to ask of myself.
I’m trying to be authentically me. To recognize and present my expertise. To take myself seriously. To show up as myself with the goal of doing some good. And trusting that I’ll figure out the rest as I go along.
Thanks for being here with me as I do this, friends.