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When you are working for someone else, most projects will be set against specific outcomes and a timeline for completion. Those rules change when the project is you building your own business, or adjusting your eating habits and health regimens, or even writing and finishing a book.
As you dig deeper into your personal projects or career goals, you learn new things, grow and change. You are not who you were when you started working on this new idea or venture. It’s important to get curious about that and raise your awareness of it so that you can adjust your brain’s expectations accordingly.
In her book, Soul Sourced Entrepreneur, Christine Kane speaks very eloquently to the evolution of an idea, and she suggests that the process is way more important than the outcome. ‘Becoming is the New Getting’ is #4 of Christine’s eight guidelines for the soul track in her new ops manual.
“In the old school model,” she writes, “we sprint as fast as possible, with all our determination and might to seize Point B. We achieve things, we grab things. We wrestle things to the ground.” This, Kane describes as the “gimme” method, where we try to get things – people, clients, money, etc. She adds, “The energy of ‘getting’ is sad. It’s isolating. It leaves you wired up and wiry.”
Reading this chapter woke me up. I realized even I had been caught in this type of thinking. Some of my promotional emails suggest that you “go from goal setting to goal getting!” Here’s what I learned… the process is so much more magical than the goal, and the goal is far wider than just one singular thing. The goal is self-awareness and expansion and along with that we will make money and collaborate with new clients.
But why are we here really?
Well my answer is that we are here to learn to love... Love better and deeper... Accept ourselves and others... Share and expand, all in service to life. That doesn’t mean you are going to give it away all the time, or that you won’t learn those necessary steps to run your business or write that book.
What it does mean though is that you learn to listen better to the calling of your inner dream. You’ll learn better how to hire the right talent at the right time. You’ll come to understand that you have a gift and that it is unique and beautiful, AND you can learn to package it up, and offer it to others with a meaningful marketing and sales strategy that aligns with you.
You have accessibility to everything you need to know, and to know the things you don’t know so you can hire people to help you fulfill your purpose and turn your dream into reality. Here are a few simple ways to adjust what you are doing to align with your growth and maturity.
Tapping an Internal Focus Group
This process is useful when you are wondering about the content for upcoming presentations or courses. Start by sitting at your desk with your laptop open. Then, using your imagination, mockup an internal focus group. Their job is to fill in the gaps about what you’ve read online or heard in interviews about your clients, class participants or your product. Then, keyboard in front of you, open a new page and ask your imaginary focus group to give you a few bullet points. Type them out and assume more answers will come when needed.
When you see a glass and you want to pick it up, your brain who is dealing with a two-dimensional optic eye, will fill in the gap between what the eye sees and where the glass is. Let your Creative Genius fill your gaps to provide you with the raw materials you need to ensure your presentation, course, or call hits the mark.
Sometimes you can gain insight with simple yes/no answers by using yourself as a pendulum. Yes, you read that correctly. Your body can be used as a pendulum to test what is good for you. Here’s a simple way to do it. First, close your eyes and say the words yes, yes, yes. Then see how your body responds. Often it will lean forward for yes and backwards for no. Once you know what “yes” feels like, then say the words, no, no, no. Get clear on what no feels like in your body. Now let’s put it to the test on something simple – like food.
If you want to know if a food is good for you, hold that food in your hand, or the product you are about to buy, and press it against your body - your stomach. Now, close your eyes and ask, “Is this something that will be good for me?” Stand still and feel which way your body wants to lean. Leaning forward means yes, leaning backwards means no. See which way your body leans with this food or product.
If you have never done this before, test it a couple of times until you feel certain of the answer. I often start the whole process by saying, “My name is Patti,” to sync up my body with a yes response. Then I say, “My name is Bob” and wait for the “no” response. Test this kind of yes/no testing for yourself. It will turn up the volume on your subconscious.
Other Entry Points to Creative Genius You
How do you turn up the volume on your creative genius and turn down your ego. The ego’s job is to boost your self-esteem, so you need it, let’s be clear. You just don’t want it to drive the car to the point of making you right and others wrong. It wants to make you feel like you are better than everyone else in the world. “That other guy is great, but you’re the best!”
The Creative Genius is the quieter part of you that speaks to you in the moments when you’re in a calm and alpha state. As I’ve mentioned before, accessing that alpha state can be easily done while square breathing, and meditating, or while running, cycling, or swimming. You can do this during any activity where your body is concentrating on maintaining a pace. You can bring it on with a shower or while writing or drawing a picture.
The Creative Genius lives in the “flow state.” There are no limits in flow. You are beyond the subconscious mind and in a state of altered awareness brought on by the focus and intensity of your attention.
Recently I caught this horrendous cold and it was so bad I had to actually stay in bed for ten days while I recovered. When I wasn’t sleeping, I read fiction, daydreamed, and relaxed. My type A personality wanted me to jump up and work, but every time I tried, I was overcome with pure exhaustion.
One afternoon, I felt a little better. My brain urged me to get up with a warning, “Wow, you are way behind! You better get some work done!” In the three-hour time span that followed, I got more done on major projects than I had in the previous weeks leading up to my illness. I wrote a couple of talks I had been putting off, I drew the visuals to go with them, and I mapped my own future for the next year. Then, just for fun, I rearranged my office to make it more relaxing and to make reading materials more accessible. When I looked at the clock, I couldn’t believe how many things I had gotten done in such a short period of time.
What had happened? It was as if all that time lying in bed allowed me to simmer on different ideas. I didn’t have any defense against them, so my Creative Genius had free rein with my imagination team. My openness allowed the new ideas to pour in.
What will it take for you to make more room for possibilities and infinite outcomes in your world?
What are you being asked to do in this moment?
In his book Look at More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth and Change, Andy Stefanovich writes, “The small shift to focus on the details will heighten your ability to concentrate.” Write the problem you want to solve on a 3x5 card and direct your genius to help you solve it.
One final game for this week…
Playing the “Yes, and...” game is a great way to trick yourself out of old routines and behaviors. You probably remember this if you’ve ever taken an improv class. The actors in the “Yes, and...” game must incorporate whatever is given to them by saying “Yes, and…” followed by something new that expands upon the given object or phrase.
In a recent client engagement, I found myself getting more and more upset as the client picked apart my images. I continued to jump through hoop after hoop in an attempt to please them. I watched as hour upon unpaid hour ticked away. It wasn't just the unpaid hours I was putting in, it was the headspace that it took up.
I would wake up in the middle of the night and lie there thinking about how mad I was feeling. Then one day I realized that I was making the situation worse with the amount of attention I was putting on it. I’d been so resistant to the client, that my resistance had become the problem. I decided to secretly play the “yes, and” game with them and myself. I accepted the situation and decided no matter what they gave me I would just say yes and keep moving.
This shift was dramatic, mostly because it forced me to let go. The client told me that the illustration was too vibrant, and I said, “I can fix that (Yes, and...).” “This object needs to be moved further to the left,” they said. “Easy peasy,” I said. It took all of five minutes in Photoshop to shift it over. “Yes and, do you like it better here?” I asked. They did! Suddenly the project moved forward with ease.
“Oh yah, yah,” I can hear you scoff on the other end of this one-way dialogue, “Resolution to issues isn’t always that easy!” you want to say.
“Yes, and... don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself” is my reply
Upping your Creative Genius is about having the willingness to approach what’s vexing you with an attitude of play and mischief. Clearly there’s a whole population of people out there dedicated to taking themselves super seriously. Why follow the flock? Flex your creative muscles by challenging your crabbiness and leaping over it using any technique possible.
Sometimes when my wife Julie was completely bugged, I’d suggest that we use the magic eraser to erase a bad conversation and start again. She’d be telling me something and I’d respond to her and make her mad before she even got the whole story out. This would push her buttons and steam would start coming out of her ears. To fix the situation before it got bad, I would say, “Hey that didn’t go so well, can I use the magic eraser and try it again?” I’d pretend to erase the air in front of us, then sit down again and start the conversation from the beginning. That always seemed to produce better results! Try it with your clients, partner or child.
This week look at how you have grown and changed since COVID has come upon us. In what areas did you grow, and what new habits have you chosen to embrace as a result? Then try a few new ways to access your Creative Genius to get any additional answers you need to keep things moving forward.
Remember, it’s a process - this development of idea, business, self, and health. Find new ways to embrace and appreciate the process for what it is showing you about yourself.
Big love and see you next week,