"Personal growth is about progress, not perfection." - Hal Elrod
After weeks of planning and executing initiatives around my business, I have entered a new realization phase, that I would like to share with you. The thought process had kept me so busy the whole day, that, if I wasn´t aware and applied mindfulness, I would have soon felt lonely, frustrated, and defeated.
What was the trigger event? My business partner and I have launched a free Zoom webinar on "Tet Wellbeing 2021" for our Vietnamese folks before the upcoming Chinese New Year. Our mission is to launch a global movement from Vietnamese for Vietnamese to make conversations around our mental, emotional, and physical health part of life. Both my partner and I have experienced low mood and difficult times, facing cultural challenges given that in Vietnam, it is not common to share our mental struggles with each other. The consequences are obvious - not only can this increase loneliness and hopelessness, but also the culture is missing a support community to help and learn from each other.
While our objective was to address the whole world - we marketed our offer to more than 7,000 Vietnamese folks on LinkedIn - only three people have registered to our free webinar so far. Now, there can be many reasons, such as my lack of marketing and promotion skills or our invite shared on short notice or that our market assumption was wrong. Whatever the reason for the low number of registrations was, I felt both grateful for the three registrants, but also defeated about the lack of the majority`s interest.
Without noticing, I realized this has led me question, out of my awareness, my purpose and whether what I do affects people as I wish to. Whether I was too naive or optimistic, whether it is only me who believes in personal development for everyone, and whether maybe everyone is fine and doesn`t need any support in growing their potential and living in this fearful world. While I am writing this, I know this is not true - I do believe in my vision, that the world has to change for the better, esp. if we don`t want to go further down the road (with separation, fear, hatred, judgments, suspicion, disconnections, unhappiness, stress, and so on). I also know that we shouldn`t be hooked, neither from praise, nor criticism (great article by Tara Mohr here), and that actually any feedback can help us improve and make our e.g. messaging and positioning better and more targeted. I also know that being entrepreneurial invites a varity of experiences, to learn and grow. Yet, there was a moment I questioned and doubted myself and my vision.
It wasn`t when I reached out to my coach to share how I was feeling, that I realized my learnings (sometimes writing down or sharing your thought process with someone else (who doesn`t judge and mostly listens) can not only help release our emotions, but also help us realize things). I remembered my coach telling me about The Body Coach, who is Joe Wicks and known for his fitness coaching. My coach told me that Wicks would, very early in his career, stand on the street and share flyers for his free courses, but only a few would be interested and grab a flyer. Wicks would do so for a long time, until he is now an established figure in the fitness world with 4mn Instagram followers and an Amazon bestseller book.
This example does not only demonstrate persistence and patience, but also that the right people were following his work - I myself have never heard of him! While my (often idealistic) vision is to address the whole world, I know (from the great Catapult Portfolio Career course) that, from a business point of view, you need to find a "sweet spot", the first group of people who believe in what you believe (hello Simon Sinek!). And the rest will follow, or not. As long as the right people who are open and willing to change the world with me, are on board, I know they will have a great impact in their own worlds, families, friends, workplaces, too. Yes, it may take time to change the whole world, esp. in a sustainable and deep way, so I can also just enjoy the journey, rather than be too fixated by the destination and outcome.
And this is what I have also learned - that today`s world is so focused on our external achievements, that we forget to also acknowledge and celebrate our internal achievements, that may not be so visible by others or even ourselves. Yes, maybe only three people have registered for our first webinar offer for Vietnamese people, but my partner and I can very much celebrate our intention, our efforts to offer a safe space for Vietnamese people to share their struggles with each other, to lift the cutural veil on mental health, our aligned partnership, presentation materials put together, new Instagram acount, our courage to share this with 7,000 Vietnamese people, our progress instead of perfection. We will not only learn from this experience immensely, but also, as my friend used to say - if we only change one person`s life, then it was more than worth it and more than we could have hoped for. Then we have done everything we could and wanted. Then it was perfect, for this person, and for us.
This was a great learning experience - to put aside the big ego, wanting all 7k people to register for the webinar, and connect with our deeper self and purpose, knowing we are progressing and helping those three people who are interested and need our offer.
Are you also celebrating your "internal" achievements? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...
Reflection: How can I connect with my purpose every day?
Intention: I am noticing, without judging, my expectations of the big ego, and shift back to my higher purpose, celebrating every of my achievements.