Self-love involves accepting ourselves as we are right now. Especially the parts of us that feel unacceptable, like flaws. It’s easy to look at our idols or mentors and think, “Wow, she’s got it all together. I wish I could be like that.” But this kind of thinking does everyone a disservice. First of all, your mentor is human with flaws just like us. She has doubts and fears just like we do. The difference is, she’s learned to take action despite those doubts and fears. One of the biggest flaws I’ve had to accept was fear of failure.
Fear of failure has been part of my life for so long that I didn’t even realize I had it! Looking back, I realized I missed out on so many fun things because I was afraid of making a mistake or looking stupid. It fostered the limiting belief that I couldn’t do a lot of things like be successful, financially independent, or fix a sink on my own. My mantra was, “I don’t know how, so I can’t.” I made up all kinds of reasons why I couldn’t do things. This was straight up fear speaking. It was a story I was telling myself and it was true for me.
When I first thought about becoming a health coach, I knew the most successful coaches owned their own businesses. The words that came out of my mouth were, “but I don’t see myself doing something like that.” I truly believed I was incapable of running my own business. It was my story asserting itself. At this point, I had already done some inner work and was starting to question my beliefs. I knew these were fear-based thoughts and I was limiting myself with my story. This wasn’t the truth, it was a negative thought process that had to stop. So I stopped it by changing my story to one that was more empowering.
I did it by doing instead of thinking. Nothing is ever as scary as I think it’s going to be. Shivering on the diving board looking down at the water is much scarier than actually jumping! The longer you stand there the more likely it is that you’ll turn around and climb back down the ladder. I learned that facing fear leads to fulfillment. It feels so great to actually jump off the diving board! I realized that because I came up with that story to begin with I had the power to overcome the fear behind it and continue down that path to fulfillment.
I ultimately declared my intention to start my own health coaching business and set a tentative launch date. I didn’t let the fact that I had no idea of what I was doing hold me back. What I learned from facing my fear and starting my own business is that many business owners don’t know what they’re doing when they first start off. They come up with a plan, try it out, and find ways to redirect as they figure out what does work. The only way to fail is by not trying or quitting altogether. All of these other “failures” are merely stepping stones on the way to success.
Failure is a necessary part of growth!
What happened with my story? Well, I did launch my website on the date I said I would on my own terms, and I’m running a health coaching business on it. The fact that I didn’t know how to build a website, write SEO, market on social media, or navigate PayPal didn’t stop me from getting out there. There are still things I don’t know how to do. There are even things I don’t know that I don’t know but I’m resourceful and figure it out as I go along.
Is it easy for me to fail? Absolutely not. So I practice self-love. I have a non-negotiable gratitude practice that I do every morning as well as a celebration mental exercise that I do at night. This is how I remind myself of what I’m thankful for, what I’ve learned, and all of the great things I’ve accomplished that day. When I feel overwhelmed or low on energy, I slow down and practice self-love. I ask myself what really needs to be done right now and identify what can wait. I often get caught up in details when the big picture is doing just fine. So I give myself the opportunity to feel good about the things I’m grateful for and celebrate my wins. This helps to keep me grounded and remember that trying isn’t failing no matter how things turn out.
This post was written by wellness coach, Dona Winger. She supports women to take control of their wellness from the inside out. She empowers them to reach their wellness goals by taking an approach of self-love and self-acceptance on their journey of health and wellness. Stop by her site to see if she’s a good fit to support you in your wellness journey as well as to receive your complimentary Wellness Cheatsheet.
Thank you so much Dona, for opening up and allowing me to share this with my community. This is something so many women can relate to and it’s so important that we not only hear about other women’s stories but have the space to share the struggles we face. Thank you for reading! Feel free to share what part of Dona’s post spoke to you most. I’ll be sure to make sure she sees your comment.