S1.Ep34: “I am half in and half out on my dream”

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Debbie is a life coach who’s been in business for over two years. She has clients who keep renewing with her and lots of evidence that her business is working, and yet, she knows she’s not 100% committed to her business.

Debbie called The Life Coach Hotline because, in her attempt to keep herself from feeling disappointed and frustrated, she’s fast-tracking those feelings right now. She thinks stalling her growth and staying unattached will prevent her from feeling terrible if her business were to potentially fail, and I’m offering her an important reframe that will have her showing up to her business completely differently.

Tune in this week as I coach Debbie on her fear of being 100% committed to her coaching business and the reasons she’s giving herself an out. She’s sharing what she imagines being all-in on her business will be like, and I’m inviting her to redefine what success and failure mean so she can give her business her all. 

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • What Debbie is telling herself about her coaching business.
  • How being unattached to a specific result can be freeing and empowering.
  • The fears Debbie is experiencing about being 100% all-in on her coaching business.
  • Why it feels safer for her to believe it’s okay if her business doesn’t work out.
  • The mindset shift I’m offering Debbie.

Featured on the Show


Click to Read Episode Transcript

Lindsey: Hi, welcome to The Life Coach Hotline. This is Lindsey Mango, your life coach. How can I help you?

Debbie: My name is Debbie and I would like some coaching on I feel like I’m stalling myself.

Lindsey: Okay.

Debbie: So I’m a life coach as well too, I’ve been in business for two years.

Lindsey: All right.

Debbie: I have evidence that it’s working. I have four clients.

Lindsey: Congratulations.

Debbie: Thank you. And those four clients, well three of them have been with me well over a year, so I’m doing something right. They just keep renewing, so that’s all good. But I feel like I’m not committing 100% to the business because I’m giving myself an out and saying, well, if it doesn’t scale, that’s okay. I feel like I’m blocking myself and I don’t know how to unblock myself.

Lindsey: Love it. Okay, so let me ask you this. Why is it okay if it doesn’t work out?

Debbie: Is it okay if it doesn’t work out?

Lindsey: Or like, why are you telling yourself that?

Debbie: Because, well, my brain says, “Well, nobody’s going to care, right?” Maybe four people in my world, but other than that I tell myself, like, it’s not a big deal. Like it’ll just dissolve and the world is never going to know.

Lindsey: Okay. So this is so fascinating because really quick, the reason why I wanted to ask this is because it doesn’t, like it can be a very freeing and empowering feeling to be like, it’s okay if this doesn’t work. It can put you in a very unattached place. Meaning it actually can make you more powerful in your commitment because if you were to say something like, because I know that I’m worthy and amazing no matter what, and all of these things, like, and I really want this. Very different than nobody’s going to care and it’s not a big deal.

Debbie: Yes.

Lindsey: I want you to think about it, like when you tell yourself or when you think nobody’s going to care and it’s not that big of a deal, how do you feel?

Debbie: It feels really shitty. It feels really shitty and I’m telling myself that. It’s like tricking, like my brain is trying to trick it and says, well, if you don’t do the work and it doesn’t scale, then you’re still going to be okay. Versus you’re just going to go in and learn and grow and just be fully in it. So I just, I’m like, it’s protecting myself. Like I’m trying to protect myself from possibly fear of failure or looking silly or going, well, that didn’t work very well because I’ve been in this space for two and a half years now.

Lindsey: Yeah. How does it feel to think like you’re going to care and many people are going to care who could have the opportunity to work with you?

Debbie: That actually feels really good. I just have problems with my own brain believing, that’s all. That’s not it, but it feels really good and I know I have evidence that it is working. I just need to trust myself and know that this is really what I want to do and stop giving myself an out because I spent a lot more time in the out zone than I do in the in zone.

Lindsey: Yeah. What fear comes up if you imagine being 100% committed to this?

Debbie: That it doesn’t scale. That it doesn’t grow.

Lindsey: Okay. And then what happens?

Debbie: Then I just stay with my four amazing clients I have now and be thrilled that I have four amazing clients because I’m further along than other people are in their beginning of their journeys.

Lindsey: Okay, but it means something more to your brain than that.

Debbie: Ask the question again, Lindsey. What was the question?

Lindsey: I said, what happens if you go all in on it, you’re like 100% committed and it doesn’t scale and you don’t grow?

Debbie: I’m going to be frustrated and disappointed with myself because I’ve done so much work in this space and I’ve gotten the certificates. Like I’ve done all the work because I know I’m a good coach and I wanted to up my abilities and my skills and I have done all that. So I’d be really frustrated with myself and letting myself down.

Lindsey: Okay. And how do you feel now when you’re kind of out?

Debbie: Sometimes it feels safe to be in the out because then I don’t have to be in my business and trying to grow it. I can just kind of watch it from the side. Like I can just watch it instead of being right in it. And when I’m not sure what to do, then my brain goes to, well, we’ll just be on the outside looking into it because that’ll be easier.

Lindsey: Easier than what?

Debbie: Easier than being in the business and being confused on what to do next.

Lindsey: Mm-hmm, and easier than being disappointed and frustrated?

Debbie: Yeah. I have that safety net, right? I have a safety net. I’m allowing myself that safety net. I have something to catch me if it doesn’t build.

Lindsey: Yeah. But what happens over the rest of your lifetime if you stay on the out and you choose not to do this?

Debbie: Then everything I gave up five years ago and said, oh, this isn’t what I want to do. This would be for not. It would just, it would mean nothing to me. And that would be, I mean, I left a freaking corporate job so I could do something like this. And I have the ability and the time and all that to do it, so I would be upset.

Lindsey: Would you potentially be frustrated and disappointed?

Debbie: Oh absolutely, yes. Yes, I’d be very disappointed with myself.

Lindsey: Okay.

Debbie: Because I just didn’t commit to it. It was me, it wasn’t anything else. It’s me and my thoughts are my obstacle.

Lindsey: Okay. So I want to show you what’s happening is your brain is afraid to commit, like go all the way in because it might feel disappointed and frustrated.

Debbie: Yes.

Lindsey: But what you end up feeling is disappointed and frustrated.

Debbie: True.

Lindsey: How does it feel to see that?

Debbie: In either case, it looks kind of silly because I’m just, I’m setting myself up in disappointment and frustration in either scenario, right?

Lindsey: But only one of those scenarios has the option for you to not feel that way.

Debbie: Correct. Yeah, it’s 50-50, right? If I continue on and I’m seeing all the evidence and I hear people saying like, I love coaching with you and it’s been so great. I have all that. So if I just stay in that energy, 50-50, it will be that my business scales. And if it possibly doesn’t, then I’d just be disappointed and frustrated. But if I just stay where I’m at now with the out, 100% I’m going to be disappointed and frustrated.

Lindsey: Which one would you rather at the end of it all, like going after it, giving it your all and ending up not quite getting the result that you want or staying here and feeling disappointed and frustrated?

Debbie: Giving it my all and trusting myself that it’s going to be all that I need to do. It’s just giving it my all. Because I created this out of I don’t even know what, you know?

Lindsey: Yeah.

Debbie: Like lost in the woods on a good day and I created this. These are by referrals.

Lindsey: That’s amazing.

Debbie: This is just telling people I’m a coach and I can help you. And people have taken me up on that offer.

Lindsey: Yeah. So how does it feel to see that in terms of your commitment? Like either way, like one way I feel disappointed and frustrated. The other way, I spend my whole life working for something that really matters to me and I potentially feel frustrated and disappointed.

Debbie: It feels much better. It sits better with me knowing that this really matters to me and I’m going to give it my all. And I can be successful, I just don’t have to always be concerned that I’m not going to be successful. I’m just going to that place.

Lindsey: That’s the other piece I was going to ask about was like, what keeps you from thinking over a long enough timeline, like of course you’re going to figure it out? Like it would be impossible for it to not happen.

Debbie: Right. Yes. Right. And I have figured it out, I just need to just choose a different thought and hold onto that thought for a while. Instead of just – It’s just so easy for our brains to go to the, well, we’ll just give up and just ride the roller coaster and that’s all.

So it’s just telling myself that I want to do this, that I can be successful. I have been successful. And that’s been successful with half a toe in the water kind of scenario.

Lindsey: Well, the other thing I also want to offer you is what if you didn’t – Like this might sound kind of abstract, but what if you didn’t make it about the success or the failure of it at all?

Debbie: That’s very interesting. That’s what I’m doing, it’s like I’m defining what success and failure looks like. And maybe if I don’t look at it that way, then it’s a whole different story. I’m out there doing something that I love. And that is not failure, doing something that you actually love.

Lindsey: Yes. Like a thought I have about myself actually is that, I mean, of course, I have a human brain too, but I’m often like, okay, so the choices are to wake up every day and be like, nothing more is possible. Just got to live life this way. Like before when I had a job, like go to my job or whatever and live life that way. Or the other path is to believe anything is possible.

And obviously there’s a lot of room in between here, but believe anything is possible. Go after my dreams, fight for them, grow and keep creating bigger goals and do all these things and have the potential of failure many times all along the way. Like I’m pretty certain that I’ll get to the end of my life and I’ll probably have a goal that I didn’t hit, so like and fail. But that’s the experience I get to have for the rest of my life, versus waking up every day and going like, nothing’s more possible. This is it. I might fail. It might be bad, blah, blah, blah. It’s like, that is a win.

Debbie: Yes, that is a win. And it feels so much better believing anything is possible and not defining it. I love that you said not defining it by success or failure, because that’s how I’ve been defining it. I could look at it differently. Then it’s not like the business is going to fold, it’s defined by something else.

Lindsey: It’s defined by the fact that you get to wake up every day and do something that you care about and problem-solve and get creative and keep believing in the possibilities. That life sounds way more fun, even if you never get there than the other option.

Debbie: True. It does. It does. It feels exciting. Like, okay. You know, everything’s not on the line when you’re just trying to figure out how you find your next client or something. It’s just this is just another step. And if this step doesn’t work, then I can just take a different path. That feels so much better than saying I’m not going to be successful. So therefore, why bother even trying? I like that.

I like that. I just never thought about it as, don’t look at it as success or failure. Look at it in belief and just go towards that thought every day.

Lindsey: And it’s like looking at it as the process is the success.

Debbie: That is really good. The fact that, like we said, you get to wake up every day and do something you care about and work at something and get creative and find ways to help people and impact people, whether they sign as clients or not. Like that’s a success, period.

Debbie: Yes, that is very true. Yes, that is good.

Lindsey: The fact that also, like you said, you left your corporate job that was like sucking your soul away, I’m guessing.

Debbie: Yes.

Lindsey: Like that is a success. Like disappointment would be impossible.

Debbie: Yeah. No, that does resonate so much better. So much better because I’m defining success every day. And I just need, I can look at it that way, I’m defining success every day. It doesn’t have to be this whole entity of something.

Lindsey: Yes.

Debbie: Yeah, that makes me feel better.

Lindsey: Does your commitment feel different?

Debbie: Yeah, it does because it’s more exciting because I’m thinking that I can find success. Every day I can find a win in my business or I can create a win in my business. And if I look at it that way, then of course I’m going to keep stacking those wins. And failure is not, like failure just kind of drops off the radar screen for a little bit.

Lindsey: Yeah, it’s like you’ll have goals, you might have a by definition “failure,” but it will feel way different.

Debbie: Yes. Yes, it will. I was banking everything on you just have to succeed in whatever my definition of that is or fail in whatever my definition of that is. But if I just look at the small things every day and build it, that is success.

Lindsey: Yes. And here’s what’s wild about the human brain is we think it’s, and I’m sure you know this as a coach too, but we think it’s helpful to make ourselves feel crappy. We’re like, oh, that will motivate us if I tell myself I’m failing and it’s not good enough and all of that. But what ends up happening is you either quit or you feel like crap the whole time you’re doing it.

Debbie: Yeah, and therefore you do nothing. Like see, oh, I’m absolutely going to fail.

Lindsey: So it’s like the better you can make yourself feel about what you’re achieving and what you’re doing, the more you’re going to be inspired and excited to keep doing it, which inevitably will get you there.

Debbie: Yeah. And it feels better saying I’m going to inspire myself instead of just giving myself the out and just saying, well, this is a fail. But I can inspire myself and that feels much more positive.

Lindsey: Yes, I love that.

Debbie: Yeah, it’s the shifting. Yeah, just remove success and failure out of my vocabulary. I just need to remove that right now. And then just worry about the little wins every day and how those will stack up. And ultimately it will be successful.

Lindsey: Yeah, I think it’s really, like it’s not necessarily removing it completely. It’s just redefining it.

Debbie: Okay.

Lindsey: I’ll give you a quick little story before I let you go. I had hosted my mastermind, like at brand elevation day. And one of the girls actually, we were talking about this, she was talking about surfing. This was actually her analogy, so I can’t take credit. Her name is Carmen, she’s amazing. And she was saying, you know, I just realized it’s like surfing – I’ve never surfed, but I can only imagine that it’s really tough.

Like you paddle your ass off and then you might, she’s like, you might catch one wave or two great waves the whole time, especially when you’re learning. And we were talking about how it’s like if the whole experience of surfing is based on that, like you went for two hours or one hour and you got one wave, you would feel like crap at the end of that.

You’d be like, oh, like that was a terrible session. That didn’t feel good. I only got one wave, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? If you’re only counting your success on that, rather than the experience of it, like I’m out there, I’m doing something I love. I get to be in the ocean. I’m riding the waves. And then like, holy crap, I got up on this amazing wave. It changes the entire dynamic.

You’re likely going to quit surfing if you’re like, the only reason you’re doing it is to get up on the wave and then the rest of the time, it’s a miserable experience for you.

Debbie: That is a very good analogy, actually. It’s a very good analogy. Yeah. Yeah, it’s what you just said, it’s just inspiring myself and redefining what success and failure is and showing myself every day that I am creating success in my business. I have success in my business. And even when things kind of fall apart, that’s okay because I learn from that. And that doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. That’s just part of the experience of being a coach and a business person.

Lindsey: Yes, I love it. Thank you so much for calling in, Debbie.

Debbie: You’re welcome.

Lindsey: I’m excited to hear how it goes.

Debbie: All right, thank you.

Lindsey: You’re welcome, bye.

Debbie: Bye.

If you want to call in to The Life Coach Hotline, go to https://lindseymango coaching.com/lifecoachhotline. Talk to you soon. Bye.

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