When Life’s Got You At Minus-45

When Life’s Got You At Minus-45

The accountability group I’m leading right now is amazing. It includes entrepreneurs, remote workers, business owners, and parents. We’re about halfway through the 10-week program, and our last call was a huge breakthrough. In my experience, sometime during the program, some part of someone’s life will seem to blow up. Maybe it’s a relationship that goes sideways, a business decision that seems like a mistake, or a twist of fate. It’s pretty predictable.When we get outside the box of what we “normally do” and take action outside our comfort zone, something’s bound to come up. This becomes the catalyst for people to share what’s really going on, where they really get stopped, and what they’re really struggling with.

This week when I asked each of the members to rate their week on a 1 to 10 scale, one of the members rated their week at a “minus-45.”

Now as you might guess, that raised a few eyebrows. The call got very quiet. It seemed we all took a deep breath (or maybe it was just me). A pregnant pause, where the future seemed to hang in the balance. See we’ve all been there. And in an instant, we were all there with him. We each remembered that time when we felt like the world was on the verge of collapsing around us from the sheer weight it laid on our shoulders. It was a visceral feeling.

As he shared his story, I could see all the rest of the team lean into the call, and settle themselves. They were all suddenly completely present on the call for him to share his story.

It takes extraordinary courage to show up and share what’s really true RIGHT NOW for you. You’ve laid yourself bare on the altar of judgment. It’s so much easier to say “everything’s great!” when our eyes are saying “nothing-to-see-over-here-please-move-along.” And the subtext for me is “If you ask me one vulnerable question, I will break down in tears.”

There’s no greater courage and no better time to say what’s so for you than when you’re at a minus-45. And it couldn’t be more difficult.

Each of these participants voiced support, understanding and shared that they too had felt like they’d had minus-45 weeks before. They leaned in fully with their support and “I’ve been there” shares and to remind him that he had us to lean on.

The ensuing days have been a stream of posts in the private Facebook group of support, offering up resources, expertise, and just a whole a lot of positive thoughts. And there’s something new. There’s sense of connection now between us that we didn’t know was missing before. And it came from hearing about how bad a week can go.

There are gifts for us all in this situation. It’s a gift to offer to contribute your experience, expertise and insight to someone who is struggling. We all know how good it feels when we’re able to help a friend who is struggling through something that we recognize and have been through before. And there is relief at being able to share your struggle, to unload it in a safe place so you don’t have to carry it all alone.

You don’t have to shoulder your burden all alone. There are many of us who have been there and are happy to lend an ear, shoulder a load with you and remind you how amazing you are.

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