I had lunch with a friend today who is also an entrepreneur. It’s so valuable to me to connect with liked minded people who are also facing the same challenges on how to navigate through their business and their life.
I shared with him that I had watched a video recently of someone on Facebook who was exploring some quite deep emotional work with her tribe. She got asked a question she couldn’t answer. It was very clear she was out of her depth.
It was a curious observation for me. I know what it’s like to feel out of your depth. Haven’t we all? We can place so much pressure on ourselves to know all the answers and come up with the solutions, especially when we are wanting to help people.
However, if we are not careful this dynamic can slide us straight into imposter syndrome, also known as feeling like a fraud. Who are we to show up and give people our advice? It can naw at our deepest feelings of inadequacy.
This is where we need to be discerning and to be fair, we can only do the best we can in any given moment. However, I think it’s wise to endeavour to offer guidelines, especially when doing spiritual or emotional work.
Please note this is written with the intention of helping people who are new in their business in the area of personal development.
Acknowledge it, when you are out of your depth.
By acknowledging to people when you are out of your depth you’ll preserve your self respect and integrity. Simply saying, “I don’t know but I’ll endeavour to find out” is perfectly fine. However, I’ve noticed people are more comfortable doing this with analytical facts and figures but we place more pressure on ourselves to have all the answers when it comes to an emotional issue. It’s curious that somehow we should inherently KNOW all the answers when it comes to complex emotional problems. No pressure there!
Let’s do ourselves a favour and be authentic. Say when you don’t know. People will trust you more and respect you for being honest.
Know your limits.
One time in a session with a client, I got triggered. A situation that had happened to her had also happened to me. I felt extremely emotionally overwhelmed when she started to speak about it. I was aware of my limits though so I gave her the option to not continue with the session. I literally said to her ‘I’m getting triggered by what you’re talking about and I want you to be aware of that. I want to tell you so I can give you the option to discontinue as I’m not sure of my ability to hold space for your feelings right now.” It was fine and we continued but I was aware of the need to speak to it. By giving her the choice I was being honest and staying in integrity and letting her know that I’m also human.
This takes an ability to witness ourselves as we relate to others and the willingness to communicate at a very conscious level. I needed to do my best to help her to comprehend what was happening for me and how it was impacting my ability to assist her. I believe that fact that I gave her the choice was enough as it shifted the energy for both of us.
Do your best.
The majority of people who are in the empowerment, wellness or the health industries genuinely want to help people. We’re all doing the best we can to share the information, wisdom and experience we have. When we show up with loving intentions we can do amazing work. Don Miguel Ruiz speaks to this in his book “The Four Agreements”. He tells us our best will vary depending on our energy levels, our level of health and our levels of stress. When we show up with a strong intention to create positive change amazing things can occur. As he says, always do your best, that’s all anyone can ask.
As a major caveat though….
Get proper training.
I often see people wondering into spaces where angels fear to tread. If you’re out of your depth it may be circumstantial or it maybe because you actually need to learn what to do, especially when it comes to humans and their emotions. If you do a course or program then immerse yourself in it. Show up and be an amazing student. Ask lots of questions. Absorb it all, especially if it’s your intention to teach it to others. Practice your craft and become proficient.
Interestingly enough I see this most where people are afraid to go deep. They don’t want to offend people or they have an overriding need to be liked. You don’t need your clients approval; you need to facilitate them to get results. Avoid doing your work for validation as that’s a classic ego trap and it will eventually turn against you. I speak from experience! How do we avoid this? By being conscious and checking in with ourselves on a regular basis.
You can only facilitate others to the level you have been facilitated yourself. If you are prepared to go deep into the depths of your own soul then you can guide others there as well. If not, then you’re not going to create the change you seek.
At the end of the day nothing beats your own experience when it comes to assisting others to overcome their challenges. Healers are often born from crushing life experiences. They rise and transform themselves to be able to be in service to others.
So be aware as you step into leadership.
It’s nerve wracking and amazing and daunting and exhilarating. It also comes with a huge set of responsibilities which are often not upheld by any authority. WE have to be the authority so we need to be constantly checking our own moral compass in relation to how we are showing up with our sacred clients.
It’s not just for them but also for us so we can create a deeply fulfilling and purposeful business.