For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
Last night, in the middle of a café, a new healer friend I met asked if he could provide me with a treatment.
Right there. In the middle of the space. In front of everyone.
He was nervous. He’d never done anything like that before in public. And he didn’t have any of his tools. But he had identified a parasitic worm in my digestive tract that had been causing problems for the last 10 years and wanted to see if he could clear it.
Because the Unique Genius Experiment has me saying yes to things outside of my comfort zone—especially things related to feeling Free this week—I immediately said yes.
There was only a 50% chance we’d be interrupted or kicked out of the café.
So I ran up to cashier to tell her what was going on. She ran to get us paper and a pen (in this case, receipt paper). The pen doubled as a hammer when coupled with a phone.
And away we went. Before the confused eyes of many coffee sippers.
It was a moment that I can’t say with certainty I would have said yes to even a few years ago. And I definitely know I wouldn’t have been in a situation where it would have arisen even a few months ago.
But I said yes. And there we were.
I’ve been thinking a lot about opportunities lately. About how some things have just landed in my lap. And others I’ve worked so hard for and begged for, and nothing ever happened.
For a long time, I felt angry and resentful about all kinds of things—like not attracting clients who really got my work, or not attracting in friends who wanted to have deep, spiritual conversations, not even being noticed for some of my natural gifts.
After a lifetime of feeling “too much” and “not enough,” it felt like I’d never find a container of people who would get me. I felt victimized all the time. Like I’d never be fully seen or appreciated or understood for who I am.
And, so, like many visionaries before me, I started to internalize the shame.
“Maybe I have blocks to being seen.” Or “maybe I have self-worth issues.”
I imagined the day when the perfect people would randomly, magically find my website, sign up for a program, and tell all of their friends. Or the day when I’d be sitting alone at a café and the most interesting new friends who wanted to support me in all the ways I needed would come up and talk to me.
What I really wanted was to be saved. And I believed that, magically, all the things I wanted would just find me. And, if they didn’t, it meant that I was broken or wrong.
Only, if you ever said that to me, I’d be triggered. How dare you? I was working so hard. I was busting my ass. And no one was seeing it. No one was noticing me.
I both wanted to project the shame and internalize it at the same time. Blame the world and blame myself. But not do much differently.
And then I looked back upon my life. Upon the greatest opportunities of my life.
I didn’t get my dream job and, instead, took a job in an IT department of PR firm, which was totally outside of my comfort zone. By the end of six months, I was friends with some of the top professionals from around the world.
A few months later, I applied to a trip to live in rural Italy without speaking Italian and with people I’d never met. And, on that trip, I accepted a job in San Francisco without any place to live.
In San Francisco, I worked in hardcore healthcare reform and biotech. And I was stretched way beyond my comfort zone every day. And I didn’t know one person in the city, so I’d sit at bars or cafés and talked to strangers until I made friends.
A few months later, I was offered partnership to start a new PR firm with that same team. I worked on everything from billionaire philanthropy to a presidential campaign to healthcare reform initiatives.
A few years later, I got really sick and went outside of my comfort zone to every alternative therapy under the sun to heal myself. I signed up for herbalism school and nutrition school. I took acting classes.
And a few months after that, I started my own business. Where a book deal landed in my lap within three months after writing for a number of national publications.
But, as I look back over all of that, those opportunities didn’t just pop out of thin air. Whether consciously or not, I put myself in positions where I could be receptive. Where opportunities could find me. Usually ones way outside of my comfort zone.
The truth is I wouldn’t have had this random healing in the middle of a café had I not made a commitment to do something outside of my comfort zone, led by my genius, every day this year. I wouldn’t have met this incredible healer. I wouldn’t have had the courage to say yes to his wacky suggestion.
And I wouldn’t have even landed here writing this blog had I not taken that IT job way back when and just been around amazing people who did work that I wanted to do. I didn’t even do the right kind of work. But it put me in the way for opportunities to find me.
But what you don’t see is all of the nervousness and awkwardness when I go to a new group meetup each day. Or all of the groups that are total duds, and I walk away feeling like I wasted my time. Or the anxiety I felt trying to live in a place where I didn’t speak the language and few spoke English. Or the loneliness I felt living alone in a new city.
What you don’t see are the many, many times in my life when things didn’t work out—like when I struggled to find amazing clients. Times when I was so obsessive about how they had to come to me. Or what it had to look like. And where I both shamed myself for being broken and projected my anger out on all the people who didn’t get me.
As amazing as I am, I don’t imagine there are many people who are going to show up at my doorstep and just want to be best friends. But if I go to one group a day for 30 days, there’s bound to be one person who gets me there.
And we visionaries need to find our containers. We need to find our people. The ones who are rarely hanging out in the containers where we’re already “too much” or “not enough.”
Every time I’ve ever had success in my life, I was doing something outside of my comfort zone and willing to hold on, even past the point of discomfort. Continuing to go to that café and say hi to strangers, even when people thought I was weird. Or writing for publications even when I got limited feedback. Or trying my Italian even when no one could understand me.
Trying new containers and stretching ourselves until we finally find a fit. And knowing that it doesn’t mean we’re wrong if it doesn’t work out yet. It just means it’s not quite a fit.
But the most common thing I’ve experienced is trying to do the same thing over and over again, feeling exhausted, and screaming that I’m a failure and people don’t get me.
Rather than going outside of my comfort zone to that new container and trying it on for size.
Because who knows where it will take you? You might even end up in a café with a team of people helping to give you a healing.
And that openness is the space where genius is discovered.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Why can’t you attract in the opportunities you want?
— Do you ever get frustrated that you’re not getting the things you want? Do you ever feel like there must be something wrong with you and/or people just don’t seem to be able to get you?
— Do you secretly wish you’d magically receive the money/job/clients/friends/etc. that you’ve been seeking? That they’d just magically come to your door? Are you working really, really hard and feeling exhausted—swearing you’ve done everything you can, and it’s just not fair?
— What if genius is always discovered in the containers that are outside of your comfort zone? What if you simply have to stretch yourself and keep pursuing your genius, even when you feel uncomfortable? What if you simply need to place yourself in the pathway where new opportunities can find you?