So there’s this thing that sometimes happen to us creative, driven people… It goes something like this:
Step one: We dream up a big project.
Step two: We put our plan into action. We pour our time, energy, money, love, sweat, blood, and tears into it. We work on it for months, if not years. We work insanely hard and make something that we are crazy proud of. Something that is so quintessentially ours.
Step three: When the time comes to share this huge thing, we do the big reveal… and promptly proceed to freak the f*©k out.
This, my friends, is called a vulnerability hangover. And I’m having one right now. Big time.
How Your Voice Works is the biggest thing I’ve ever created. Now that it’s complete and in the world, I am suddenly feeling all sorts of fear and vulnerability that I wasn’t giving myself the chance to consider or experience while I was busy creating it. For one, there’s the fear of failure. That goes something like this:
“No one is going to like this. No one is going to enroll. I’m going to have done all this work for no reason…”
Perhaps more insidiously, though, there’s the fear of success:
“What if this really catches on? What if my life changes because I’m able to reach and help a lot of people with this online course? Am I ready for that change?? Change is so scary!! Aggghhh!!!”
The easiest thing to do in the face of all this fear is to hide. Which, I’ll admit, is what I’ve mostly been doing for part last two weeks. However I’m trying not to feel ashamed or guilty about that, because I’ve been hiding by choice.
When I felt the huge wave of vulnerability rush over me after sending my “It’s here!” email two weeks ago, I thought: “Okay Elissa, you’ve been racing to make this happen for 6 months. You can stop running now. Have a rest.” I gave myself permission to have my vulnerability hangover, because the hangover is part of the process.
So often though, we don’t give ourselves permission to do it. We live in a world where the ideal is to create, to do, to make shit happen, and where fatigue and paralysis are considered bad. But here’s the thing: Resting is an action. Yielding, letting ourselves feel our feelings, listening when our body tells us it’s tired… it’s SO important. Sure we don’t want to wallow, but when we’re being called upon to rest, we have the responsibility to take the action of resting. Not doing so only robs us of our energy and vitality, which in turn will eventually rob the world of our talents.
We must take care of ourselves. This ideal our society has of working until we’ve got no energy left… it’s not sustainable. I demand a revolution around this, and I’m starting with me. Which is not easy. Believe me, convincing myself that it’s okay to rest right now – heck that it’s even okay to have some FUN – is so insanely difficult for me. I’ve grown up in a paradigm where work = good and rest = lazy. The problem is, I just don’t believe that that’s true. I won’t put energy into that value system anymore. I want to transform it.
So I’m going to take it easy and spend some more time resting, recalibrating, and letting myself settle. I’m going to surrender until I get some clear signs from the universe and my nervous system that it’s the right time to move back into ambition/drive mode. Chances are I’ll be up and running in a week anyway. Often when we just give ourselves permission to get the rest we need, our energy reappears quickly and fills us back up.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in having a look at my new online course How Your Voice Works, it is fully online and open for enrollment here. I would be honored to have you as one of the first students in the course, and it would be easy and FUN for me to answer any questions you have and chat with you about your experience as I (gently, easily) continue improving the course during this soft-launch phase.
All right. Let’s all go rest like an adorable baby otter.