Breakdown or Breakthrough?

Is 2020 going to be the year that broke you, or is it going to be the year you broke through?



It’s kind of a trick question because, I believe, before every breakthrough is a breakdown. So if you’re in the middle of a breakdown, that’s good news. A breakthrough may be around the corner.


It’s a choice, even if it doesn't feel like one. When we’re in the middle of a breakdown, we feel like we don’t have any choices. All we can see are walls blocking what we want and what we think we need.


What we think we need. I often confuse what I want with what I need. Sometimes the simple act of distinguishing what we want from what we need is freeing.


I need food, water, shelter and sleep. Oh, and clothes. Those are important. I need enough money to ensure I have those things. In order to stay sane, I also need connection to other humans which includes family, exercise and habits that keep me sober.


But that’s about it.


Now, there are many, many other things I like to have because they make life easier, more enjoyable and more convenient, like my dog or my car. But thanks to Covid-19, I need my car a lot less than I used to.


My ego, on the other hand, wants a whole lotta other stuff it thinks it needs to prove my worth to myself and to you. This is where I get myself into trouble: Believing my ego.


My ego wants me to quit coaching. Like every day. On the surface, it seems like not being self-employed would be safer. Working for someone else doesn't require so much self-motivation or self-promotion. MY ego wants to ensure people like me and that I do everything right so as not to piss people off. It keeps me stewing in a cesspool of questions and indecision so I don't do anything.


I believe the portal to growth is through confronting our egos. And that’s where the growth and learning is. Living in the discomfort of the ego's chatter, without giving in to it. Hanging on to old ideas is my ego's attempt at keeping me safe (and small).


As the punches of 2020 continuing to pummel me and the rest of us, I realized I can give up and wait for 2020 to be over and continue to allow 2020 to happen TO me. Or I can decide what I want to learn from it and see where that takes me. No guarantees that one choice is better than the other, except that I feel a lot more empowered by the second.


What is 2020 to you? The Great Pause? The Reckoning? The Apocalypse? Or you know, just a regular old Shit Show? What is the lesson it's offering you?


I want 2020 to be the year I confronted self-doubt and learned how to turn it OFF. I know it's going to creep in, but if I could turn down the volume or turn it off? Game changer.


Do you know what a victory that would be? Imagine life with less self-doubt.


For me, self-doubt slows down everything I do, every important (and many unimportant) decisions I make create a volcano of questions that serve as a fantastic stalling technique. It’s my ego’s way of protecting me. I have to wade through dozens of decisions before I finally glue the first piece of glass in a mosaic, send out an email, choose a workshop topic and agenda, or pick up the phone to call someone. Every time I need to decide something, my ego tries to stop me. It’s the nature of the ego to keep us safe.


Commitment to something introduces the possibility of not living up to the commitment. My ego would prefer to just not commit, then I can never be wrong, fail or disappoint myself or others.


My life isn’t very interesting when I live like that.


What if I didn't spend my energy listening to all the questions and falling down all the rabbit holes? What could I create then?


"A lot of bad mosaics, bad emails and bad marketing ideas" is my ego's response.


LOL. Gotta start somewhere.

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Portland, OR

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