I had a really hard day this week. Over the course of several hours I poured my love of the Enneagram into five brand new training videos for my Flourish Formula coaching program. I put on makeup. I plugged in and tested the mic (twice!!). I put essential oils behind my ears. I dragged my chair into the woodsy edge of my backyard, set up the camera, opened up my notes and I was READY. Only after the shoot when I uploaded it all to my laptop did I learn that the audio didn’t work.
There I am, in video after video, animated and teaching and talking to the screen. Only you can’t hear ANY OF IT.
Watching all this empty content I literally felt the happiness and satisfaction drain from my body. And can you guess who decided it was time for a visit?
The Inner Critic.
Because nothing feels better when life is sucky than adding to your suffering by blaming yourself for whatever went wrong.
Actually it turns out we don’t have to do it this way anymore.
We have a whole set of choices even when the externals don’t line up in the way we expect or hope.
So instead of travelling down the inner critic rabbit hole, I reached out and employed some tools. (Coaching works, y’all!)
The next day I got an accupuncture treatment and some rest.
Because dealing with the stress in the body is ALWAYS the first step.
And then I was able to contend with all those gremlin, perfectionist voices without actually believing them.
In fact I’ve been sharing my experiences and laughing about them in my coaching calls this week — because so many of the women I work with can relate to this struggle of holding oneself to an impossibly high internal standard.
Now you can’t jump over the pain when things don’t go as you hope. Trust me I’ve tried. You have to actually stop and feel the disappointment. Acknowledge the weariness in your body. And the frustration.
Honor it. Dance it out. Lay down on your bed and cry. Call a friend who is a fierce creativity warrior and understands long nights in the studio. Find an accupuncturist who gives delicious head massages. Whatever it takes.
And THEN convert it. Use it as fuel for your commitment.
Because content creation — and any dream you are bringing from the internal world of ideas to the real world of form — takes courage and tenacity and grit.
So after my acupuncture visit I stopped at the farmers market and bought myself a bouquet. And the next day I set up a new photo shoot inside with my bouquet over my shoulder (and a DIFFERENT mic). And over the next couple of days I rerecorded every single one of those videos.
And you already know the end of the story, right? The second time around they were better.
So if you are growing or going after a new goal believe me I understand that it doesn’t always go smoothly. And when the big fails happen, it hurts.
But too often when we hit the snags we make it harder on ourselves by believing that if we only arranged it all perfectly this wouldn’t have happened.
Or worse yet we take the obstacle as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be.
What if instead you thought of it as the universe asking you
“How bad do you really want it?”
And my hunch is that if you shed the dead weight of the inner critic, it turns out that you do have the energy, tenacity, and creativity you need. And moreover, our world needs that unique medicine you have to share. So #gogetit
PS With all this brand new content it is a special time to join the Flourish Formula coaching program, which is designed to support you as you make lasting changes in your life. I only have four spaces remaining which include the bonus of a Costa Rica retreat! So if something in you is stirring at this invitation I encourage you to reply here to let me know and to ask any questions. Also payment plan options are available! xo
Courtney Pinkerton is a certified holistic life coach and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More. Courtney is a student and a teacher of the Enneagram who has helped hundreds of busy women slow down and accomplish and enjoy more in their life. She holds dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the creator of the eight-step Flourish Formula Coaching program, and hosts international retreats for women. After selling their house and all their belongings and spending a year adventuring in Nicaragua and being tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more, Courtney and her husband Richard Amory and their three children are making a new home in Asheville, North Carolina.
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