Wake up to the Gap

I recently attended an event put on by Vrinda Normand, a well-known marketing mentor who runs a very successful training company for conscious entrepreneurs and change agents. I arrived with excitement, hope and some trepidation.  What was I doing here really, I wondered? Did I expect to get illuminated by some magic formula that would guarantee to take my business to the next level?

make-the-jump copyThe Power of the Gap

Three days later, I left the event with more excitement, hope, and trepidation—and a new understanding of something Vrinda calls the “gap.”

To really face where we are in our business with eyes wide open is often a difficult thing—well it has been for me a very challenging thing. If I lose a contract (especially when I under price my services,  something I used to do a lot) or miss an opportunity—my habit was to minimize it, explain it away. Anything to avoid feeling  the frustration and disappointment. I know I’m not alone in this. 

Denying the Gap

What Vrinda’s event did for me was expose the gap I’d been denying, the painful difference between where I was and where I wanted to be. Finally I allowed myself to connect full force to the raw emotions. I felt the huge frustration that made me literally scream. I got angry.

Then something woke up inside me. Desire—and energy. I saw that I needed to make a change and I was ready to do it. I got charged up and excited. And I saw that many others around me were having a similar experience.  I wasn’t alone.

So-called Spiritual Attitudes

In Santa Cruz, California where I live, certain so-called “spiritual” attitudes are fashionable. Among my friends and acquaintances, I often hear statements like this when people are discussing their goals, particularly their business goals. (I have also made them—but no more!)

“It’s all about the journey.”

“I’m honoring my process right now.”

“I need to get out of my way and let it happen.”

“What matters is where I am in this moment.”

Then there’s the strange response:

“If it’s meant to happen, it will happen. Just allow it to show up.”

I have to admit these statements make me feel good. They soothe and lull. Like guided meditations with sounds of waterfalls, statements like these can create a hypnotic bubble. But are they true?

boxes on doorstepWait until Success Shows up

Success is going to show up—like on your doorstep? Seriously?

No major accomplishment I ever achieved just showed up. For instance, a few weeks ago, a box of fifty advanced copies of my novel arrived on my doorstep.  They showed up because I spent four years writing it—perfecting my craft, draft after draft, with tears of frustration and rage and joy, giving up, going back, taking classes, getting endless critiques. And when I finally found an agent, it took her another four years to sell the manuscript. Because of her persistence (Thank you, April Eberhardt!) and belief in the book, she kept submitting it until she got a yes.

A lot of that journey was not enjoyable and some if it was ecstatic, beyond what I could have ever imagined.

So, yes, I am on a journey. But the journey has a destination, a destination I care passionately about and am committed to. That’s the reason for the journey in the first place. The Golden Result, another great Vrinda term.

The Impact of the Gap

So here’s the big realization I want to share, the powerful principle that’s now guiding my business.

Success—truly serving my clients—means being courageous and loving enough to unmask the Gap between where they are and where they want to be.  And to challenge them to make the leap. It means leading them directly into that often painful experience.  Because that’s where the transformation is!

That’s really hard for me. (My new coach says it will get easier.) What I am used to doing, what I am comfortable doing, is protecting my client (and myself) from that pain. To be reassuring and extra nice when I feel it threatening to emerge. The last thing I want to do is to make anybody uncomfortable. Up until now, it’s been a total taboo for me. Even back in my Silicon Valley days, I struggled with this bugaboo. But I’m out of denial now and I plan to stay that way.

Happily, there’s another side to the gap. As difficult as it is to face from my side of it, it’s incredibly inspiring to witness others who have gone before me and made the leap!  I’m right behind you. ~~

P.S.  Go to www.sallywolfe.com to learn more  about my novel, Consolations.
I would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Please share!

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