This time of year I do an exercise with my clients called the 100 of 2014.
Right around November people start to fret. They start to think, oh my gosh, I’m such a loser because I didn’t do that one thing that’s so important to me.
For a more realistic perspective, I ask them to go through their budgets and bank accounts and their FB pages and their iPhoto albums to review their year.
Then list 100 things you accomplished this year.
Yes, everyone has at least 100 things they accomplished.
The results are always the same. There are the “big moments,” or the “big dreams,” that we believe will make us happy and that we strive for.
My clients have experienced these results: Fall in love, get a writeup in Inc. magazine, get an impossible to get mortgage and buy that Dream House, lose three pants sizes, buy a Subaru, build a foundation for a business, stock a client list, move to a dream city, start a business, take a wild vacation, run a half-marathon, quit that job, get a new look, grow the bangs out, get a nanny, begin taking apprentices, get asked to speak at national conferences.
Yep, all this stuff has happened to my clients.
But, that’s not the juice. We only think it’s going to be the juice.
As they read their list of 100 things patterns emerge. One of my clients—who started the year working nine full time jobs—had a list of things she quit. Her problem at the beginning of the year was that she didn’t have enough time, because she was filling every second of every day doing crap she didn’t have to be doing because she could ask for help. So she quit. And quit. And quit. And quit. And it was a life-changing accomplishment for an overachieving Type A oldest daughter.
Another client had trouble focusing because she too was juggling a thousand balls. Fractured focus equals fractured results. By the end of the year she had chosen to let some of her many, many projects go in favor of pursuing her true Soul’s Purpose as a healer.
But, still, that’s not the juice. It’s yummy, but it’s only the froth.
There’s always one or two things on the list that make their voices crack and bring tears to my eyes. It’s the one thing. It’s the thing that we get to in the first three or four sessions that’s really bring them discontent and pain.
I’m doing this alone, no one supports me.
I’m not a success.
I’m afraid to tell people who I really am.
Oh, and the pain of these cherished, though untrue, beliefs which is buried deep in their hearts is palpable.
But then when we’re writing out the 100 things …
Their voice cracks, my eyes tear up and I get a lump in my throat.
I am supported. There is so much support around me, from my family, friends, you, the Universe, God.
I have a new definition of success. I feel successful.
I came out as who I really am.
That’s the juice. Because Inc. magazine is cool and the dream house really will create a loving nest for your family, and the Subaru is kick ass, and the new business will be a meaningful way to make money.
But, when you change the thing that keeps gnawing at you, that keeps you perpetually feeling “not enough,” the thing the Ego has been using to keep you playing small—that’s permanent change, DNA deep.