I have been in the process of creating a new website, consolidating my business, and “putting myself out there” for over a year. I keep putting off doing my part and I avoid following through with the help I’ve requested. I could offer up a plethora of circumstantial reasons and excuses why the website project is not completed but they would not be the truth. The truth is that stepping into the role of “business woman” triggers tremendous shame stories in my head.
For no particular reason, growing up I obtained the message that I should know how to do things before ever doing them. If I took on a new skill and it did not come easily I would quit before anyone “found out” that I was a fake. Anything that required practice or did not come easily was not for me. As a young perfectionist I did my best to avoid anything that I didn’t get right away or wasn’t good at immediately.
I have spent a large majority of my adult life recovering from perfectionism. I have taken on new practices that I swore I couldn’t do when I was younger. I try new things, I speak kindly to myself more often than not, I let myself off the hook, and I enjoy the process instead of being obsessed with the product. I practice daily to embrace the beginners mind.
However, periodically I still shame myself for not knowing how to do things that I have never tried. I can still get down on myself when I do not understand something right away. For example, I do not feel competent with technology so I have been spinning out in shame over this website/business venture. I was at a multiple month standstill until I received the gift of teamwork.
I have a friend who I knew was feeling a similar crippling shame and fear around a different sort of project and so I reached out to her. I asked her to come over for lunch and as we shared our struggles, I had an intuitive thought. I asked her to grab her laptop and we sat laptop to laptop at my breakfast room table and did our work.
Periodically, one of us would look over our laptop and share our shame stories. I would tell her, “I am feeling incompetent when it comes to website management” and the fear would lesson and I would get back to work. A little bit later I would look up and tell her how much I struggle writing my own bio and “selling myself” and then again get back to work.
Each time I shared the fear and shame, its power over me lessened and the work was being accomplished. I learned that I am more likely to live into my power of I’m willing to struggle and ask for help. Even if it is a solo project, a little teamwork goes a long way. We are not alone; let’s help each other out!