Today, I wanted to address a group member Question: “I am interested in trying to figure out what my strengths are and believing the value they offer; how to use that going forward; How to hone in on what is unique to me?”
To my mind, it's two things:
Pay attention to what brings you pleasure.
Honor and follow it.
It is that simple and yet that difficult, Because we have received a lifetime of conditioning that tells us what brings us pleasure is e wrong, shameful or in contradiction to what would please someone else, and therefore, selfish.
We’ve been trained to prioritize that which is outside of us. So, we seek approval, permission and validation from experts and authorities, because that’s what keeps them in power And in control.
(Incidentally, this applies to how we work but it also applies to how we love.)
So how do we start getting in touch with what we like? What if we don’t know what we like? And that is important. Because knowing what you like is akin to knowing you and what you are.
At first, I think you have to stop asking this question as it pertains to the loaded aspects of your life. Love and money usually being the two biggest ones.
Because the more you perseverate on it, the more momentum you get tied up in it, and then you start questioning of yourself even more, and wondering if you’re right or wrong.
So you ask your family and friends, start paying experts to give you their advice, and then you just end up being even more confused and it’s a big old tangled mess, because you tell yourself you should follow someone else’s advice and you get even further and further away from who you are and what feels good and right to you.
Because the thing is, there is an element to you, your “inner being” or your “essence of self”, that knows something no one else does. And it’s going to speak in a language that only you understand.
For example. I just bought a new software program for my passive income funnels. Which are essentially a series of emails and landing pages that guide people through my online platform, introduces them to my courses and helps them choose what to buy.
Now this software program is kind of cool because it allows you to map out those sequences and to automate them in a way that is very powerful and organized.
So I was talking to the specialist and she’s walking me through these templates that are obviously for someone who doesn’t have the level of experience that I do.
And I could tell she was following a script. So I basically told her we didn’t need the script and we could throw out the templates because I’ve already been doing something that worked for me and I just wanted to transfer it into the system and build upon it.
Then there was this pause on the other line, and she responded with, “but that’s not how people in the industry do it.“
I had a moment where I questioned myself. And I said “OK well I’ll consider that and we can come back to it later.”
And I really started thinking maybe my sequence was wrong. Maybe this wasn’t what I should be doing.
But the numbers were telling me that it was right. I had been implementing new strategies that were actually performing well, despite being contrary to what the industry standard was.
After I got off the phone with her, I started digging into the program myself and learning it much more intimately. I decided to set up my funnels the way that I wanted to.
And I committed that on the next call, I would walk in with a much stronger sense of authority. I would have a bulleted list of three things I wanted to accomplish, and I simply needed her to show me how to turn on the faucet. I had already built the structures and the piping, she just needed to show me how to turn the water on.
I resolved to myself that I did not need her, or the industry standard to tell me that what I already knew was working for me, was “the right thing to do”.
If I wasted my time following that logic, nothing that would ever get created and I would basically be a plastic bag in the wind subject to the whims of whichever direction my conditions around me decided to toss me.
Besides, why couldn’t I be someone to change the industry standard?
The sequence of an online entrepreneurs funnel, to my mind is like an artists unique style.
Maybe these new strategies would work for a while and then they would fail. And that’s fine I would come up with a new one. But it would be mine, and it would work for that reason because I have been figuring it out for myself, and following the guidance of my inner being. It would be unique, and it would stand out.
Now, to bring it down to a more basic level. In the world of art therapy, teasing out what is yours and what is someone else’s can be addressed very simply through the choices that you make. Do you like red or blue crayons? A straight or squiggled line?
Abstraction or realism? Do you like to plan your image out ahead of time or do you like to just spontaneously go out the canvas?
Each of these decisions as a metaphor for how you approach every aspect of your life, business included. It’s also a reflection of what you uniquely bring to the table. And if you can practice it quite literally in the realms of creative activities, it will translate to the concrete world of business. The right side of your brain communicates to the left side of your brain, and before you know it, without even realizing it, you start to have inspired ideas in areas that before you felt stumped by.
Want to learn more?
Are you a therapist, coach or healer looking to scale an abundant practice, online?
Here are 5 questions to determine your next steps: http://bit.ly/FBReady2Scale
Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist
Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner