#1, to Veronica. We attended her baby shower, and I don’t mean that in a “we graced her with our presence sort of way,” but I do think showing up for others’ events is a contribution. You end up getting so much back, making you question why you’re ever resistant to going anywhere, but it’s actually hard to show up for stuff. Now, for me, since doing the work (and continuing to do the work), I am WAY better at showing up. I used to be truly awful at it; RSVPing to people’s major events (weddings, baby showers, birthdays) and then not showing up — because I was hungover, because I had a date, because I was tired, etc., etc. Anyway, it felt good to show up, and we had a great time.
I also got a “get well” card for Jimmy’s mom, and while I was looking for it, a lady came up to me and asked me in Spanish if I spoke Spanish and if I could help her find a birthday card for her sister. I told her I spoke only a little, but enough to help her out. Together we looked through the various cards and finally found some for sisters that were, fortuitously, in Spanish. She was very appreciative, and I got yet another sign from the Universe that I should finish learning Spanish (in the last two months or so, a number of people have approached me assuming I know Spanish and can help them with some issue).
AND FINALLY, an old man dropped taped together pieces of paper (I can’t imagine what they were) all over the floor when he was trying to get on the subway. I stopped and helped him chase them down and pick them up.
#2, to Jimmy. I bought him a card that was all about how lucky I am to have him, and how amazing he’s been in these last two weeks with so many stresses bearing down on him. I also sent him a video our Flight Club buddy (and AdvancedEd alum) Tonia had posted that was really inspiring and magical. He watched it on his break at work, and agreed it was very inspiring.
Which brings me to another point that I’ve been meaning to write about — my major contribution to Jimmy from here on out is to SHOVE him into the headspace that I somehow arrived at (with regard to writing).
This is the headspace: I am done with self-doubt (again, before you’re all like, “yeah… when pigs fly,” I mean only with respect to writing–though admittedly there should be no reason why I shouldn’t be done with it in all spheres and in all respects for the same reasons I’m about to talk about).
The epiphany is that self-doubt does NOTHING for me. Nothing! It only causes me PAIN (quite a lot of it, and of the debilitating sort). I mean, this seems obvious, right? But yet, I kept choosing it — again, and again, and again. So, I arrived here because of many, many things — some of them I’m aware of, some of them I’m sure I’m not, but here are some of the things I’m aware of:
-Tony Robbins. That m*ther-f*cker. Love him or hate him, that guy is ON to something. He’s actually rich and famous for a reason. I hated him at first because I thought he was just some douchey loudmouth who was spewing generic self-help crap that anyone could think up, but, no, he’s done his homework. He knows what he’s talking about. Anyway, his philosophy, while intricate and complex, comes down to this: our lives are run by pleasure and pain. We pursue what causes us pleasure, we avoid what causes us pain (it’s that simple). BUT–with our choices we can alter (and thus re-wire) what causes us pleasure and pain. With regard to self-doubt, all I really had to do to re-wire myself was FULLY experience ALL of the pain every time self-doubt defeated me. That means not protecting myself and fully taking in that I missed X or Y opportunity not because of work, or time, or Jimmy, or anyone — but because of ME, and MY CHOICE to give into self-doubt. I have been practicing feeling that type of pain in all of its contours every time it arises.
-Crappy writers. This one is rooted in judgment, yes, but it’s been pretty useful. There are many amazing published writers out there — and then there are published writers that have you scratching your head. They just aren’t that good. From my perspective, they don’t have the mastery I have, or the imagination, or the creativity. Yet, they’re published and I’m not. Why? Because I keep giving into self-doubt and fail to put anything out there (meanwhile, they’re confident, and they just went for it). Now, that’s not to say that if I put stuff out there, I’ll suddenly be catapulted to being a published, acclaimed writer–I’ve got a long road ahead of me. But, they’re where they are (and I’m where I am) because at some point, they boldly started that journey, while I didn’t. I am 100% sure this is the ONLY thing different between me and many, many published writers. Once I started to think about that, hard, and take in the stupidity of that (on my part), and the pain of it, self-doubt started to make less and less sense.
-The “Eat Pray Love” woman, and her book “Big Magic.” Well, first, I actually consider her a crappy writer (lol). But, putting aside her writing, the concepts in her book (i.e., her thinking) were actually dead on. And now I get them clear as day. She essentially SAID outright the conclusion I have now come to: self-doubt is utterly useless when it comes to writing. It does NOTHING for writers. It doesn’t protect us in any way, shape or form. It ONLY holds us back.
-Connected to the above, an understanding that a lack of self-doubt does not mean arrogance or overconfidence. It doesn’t. Now, you still need humility. When I start putting stuff out there, and it gets rejected, I get to humble my ego and take a look at my feedback and my results and go back to the drawing board. If I submit a screenplay and it starts getting someplace but tons of people are insisting I change major story lines or major characters, I will need to actually listen or risk never getting anywhere. But, that’s humility. That is NOT self-doubt. There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between the two, and I think I’ve been conflating them (not consciously, but, unconsciously).
-Urgency. It’s been SO LONG already! I have a LIFETIME of signs that I am a writer. From my first grade teacher to my current boss and co-workers, not a month has gone by without the Universe SCREAMING to me: YOU ARE A WRITER. So how long am I going to wait? 32 years and counting.
Anyway, back to Jimmy. He told me the other night that someone from Flight Club had sent him a message offering to be his coach. This guy is young, and our impression of him is he is probably a few thousand hours away from mastery when it comes to coaching.
Jimmy, in contrast, is not. He started working on himself when he was just 25 years old, in a major, over-haul sort of way. A 25-year old man surrounded by drinkers who had just lost his father walked into an AA meeting and kicked off what would turn into 25 years of practicing sobriety and all of the tenets of AA, including being in service to others. Also, the twelve steps of AA are highly similar to the transformational work, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they in fact inspired our curriculum. Then he did the workshops, and stayed with them for the next 10+ years, volunteering to staff constantly, including working with Kathy on a pilot program in California a few years ago. He’s otherwise been a drug counselor for over 15 years, which is again implementing similar principles and similar approaches (with some variation that actually enhances what he can offer as a coach). He’s got 10,000 hours and more, and I would assert also just a natural knack for it.
But this young guy with very little coaching experience had sent Jimmy a message asking to have a conversation to see if he could support him as his coach (Jimmy had posted on the Flight Club forum that he wanted mindset help, but he was directing that message to Iman, Afrin and Gary). Jimmy had a reaction. He told me he realized it was just ego, and he needed to check himself.
I said, you know, I’m not sure about that. On some level, you’re right. This kid doesn’t have your mastery around coaching, and yet he’s aggressively reaching out to people as if he does. Just last month he told us he had closed $10,000 in sales. Why would he have that, while Jimmy has been up and down with closing sales?
One difference — he was relentlessly putting himself out there, while Jimmy has been inconsistent, in part due to life events, but, it is what it is.
Jimmy doesn’t doubt himself at all as a coach. I don’t doubt myself as a writer. Yet, when we get to the point of jumping off the diving board and putting ourselves out there — we balk. Why?
It has to be linked to self-doubt of some kind, right? I’m afraid of losing people’s approval. I’m afraid of embarrassing myself, of looking bad. I’m afraid of annoying people, making them think or feel that I’m “too much,” and the ever popular: “who does he/she think he/she is!” I actually do NOT fear that they’re going to say: “OMG… Kyla is a shitty writer.” If they DID, I would, frankly, not be affected by it because I just don’t agree. I think Jimmy would have a similar reaction if a student of his sent him a nasty message saying what a crap coach he is. I actually AM confident in myself as writer — he actually IS confident in himself as a coach — when we get rejected, we don’t make up: “I suck as a writer/I suck as a coach.” It’s something else.
So Jimmy does not doubt himself as a coach, but, he doubts himself in SOME way that stops him when it comes time to assert to someone the value he can give to them.
And, he has external validation of himself as a coach for days. It’s not just me who thinks that — let’s talk about the messages, texts and phone calls he gets on a weekly basis from past students, reaching out to him and thanking him for some development in their lives because HE was the difference. He is a human wake-up call, a turning point, that moment when you stop and say, with finality, NO MORE.
If you want comfort and validation, go to your friends. If you want to relentlessly rehash your childhood and find the source for every behavior you have, go to therapy.
If you want to change your life, you go to Jimmy. That’s it.
If we could do couples counseling with Jimmy, we WOULD, believe you me. We can’t, because, he’s one of us! Since Jimmy is out, our next best choice is Belanie — and we can’t use her because she’s TOO EXPENSIVE. What IS ‘too expensive’? It’s $1,500 a month! But I can’t say we aren’t going to work with her — we just can’t right now. We know she’s worth it, as she knows she’s worth it. That’s what emanates from her — certainty. No self-doubt. And what I’m saying is, we only wanted to go to her because we can’t use Jimmy.
So, in my view, he has no reason to have doubt about ANYTHING. Including his prices! Talk about a struggle — just last week, Iman laid into him, because all of his prices are STILL too low. That is evidence he still is choosing self-doubt.
So, I’ve found my way out of self-doubt. And no, it wasn’t by figuring out what’s “underneath it all.” It’s a complex mixture of things I’m sure, I have not pinpointed it yet. But, who cares? That’s why Tony Robbins is a bit of a genius. In the end, really, who cares about what the underpinnings are? All that matters is that your choices going forward CHANGE. I am NOT choosing self-doubt anymore because I have finally fully connected to the excruciating PAIN it causes me — that’s all I need to know. I reached my turning point. It’s DONE (at least with regard to writing; I’ll get there with the other stuff).
I am going to get Jimmy to be DONE too. If I got there, he can get there, too, and it’s TIME for him to get there. The value he gives people is, honestly, priceless. He should just own that, 100%, not just in the training room, or on a coaching call, but, in every sales conversation, always, all the time. NO self-doubt.
So, as I said in my stats, I’ve drawn my line in the sand — only maybe it’s in concrete (something more permanent). NO more self-doubt (not that I’ve expunged it from my brain, but, it’s a choice whether to give in, and I ain’t choosin’ it no mo’). I’m all in with writing, and I’m just going to GO for it. And I will SHOVE Jimmy along with me with all I’ve got.
So my contribution to him yesterday was the card. Going forward, though, all contributions will be geared toward one thing: convincing him to give up choosing self-doubt.