Barbara Alfors Coaching and Consulting

Be in choice, be aligned, know your path, know your genius.

Author: Barbara Alfors

Stories

This is me, in a tree.

I’m taking a business development class right now, and one of the assignments I recently had was to think about three authentic stories to tell about yourself when you introduce yourself, so that people can quickly get to know you. 
I haven’t completed the assignment yet – I’m not sure what stories I would like to tell! (Although tree climbing is a top choice.) From my own perspective it’s sometimes hard to see what others might find interesting. 

Thinking about stories also got me thinking about the old stories we hold on to that aren’t actually true. Things like “nobody wants to hear my story” or “I have to know all the answers” that aren’t true and aren’t helpful.

The neuroscience behind these kinds of beliefs is fascinating, and boils down to a couple of things. One is the idea that your brain wants to keep you safe, so it makes up all kinds of justifications for why you shouldn’t try new things because you might fail. Another is stories we made up as kids to navigate whatever might have been going on around us, and while those stories may have been useful to get through childhood they are rarely helpful once we’re adults.

What stories do you tell yourself that aren’t true? And what are your authentic stories that help people know you better?

Doing Hard Things

Stormy Skies Aren't Scary, Right?

Stormy skies aren’t always scary, right?

 

I’ve been having trouble with procrastination lately.   I’m known as a highly responsible, never-let-anyone-down kind of person.  But I have a harder time keeping commitments to myself.

I was beating myself up about it, which of course is never helpful but then I realized – this is hard stuff!  It might not seem like it, because it’s all pretty ordinary – call people to let them know about my new business, work on my website – but these things represent a major shift for me.  I’ve realized that my usual approach to life wasn’t going to work for me anymore, and that knowledge created panic!

What if I show up (as my true self) and nobody likes me?

What if I put all this work into a new endeavor and I fail?

Well, my logical mind has rational answers for these questions, but the part of me who lives with those fears is never quite convinced.  What we all want is to be appreciated for who we are.  And that can be scary for a lot of us.

Pushing through this fear and showing up anyway is the only way to start shifting things into alignment.  And it’s okay if everyone doesn’t like you; the ones who will connect with you the deepest won’t even find you until you put yourself out there.

And failure (deep breaths) is okay.  This is a hard one for me.  I’ve been fortunate – or perhaps unfortunate? – to not have faced a lot of challenges in my life, so the idea that it’s okay to screw up is one that I’m still learning to appreciate.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

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