Updated: Jul 11
In the 7 years of being a stay at home parent I had 9 business ideas. Some extremely viable, with little to no market leader in them, niche, with loads of potential. I understood how I could approach each one. How to make it profitable, how the marketing would be. I had a mini business plan in my head for each one.
How many of those business ideas became successful?
Because I never started them.
When I felt called to support women in their self-healing I began to imagine what that would look like. What my ‘voice’ would be. The type of woman interested in it (me pre-Morocco) stressed out anxious and needing to change their life but not knowing how. My original idea was to organise circles and programs and actually have other women lead them.
Then lockdown happened. I did lots of learning, lots of self-healing. I found friends coming to me asking how to handle certain situations. Asking for advice on how to move on from certain behaviour patterns. As time went by my confidence in being a facilitator increased. I felt I could do it. Friends who were putting into practice what I was suggesting were finding results. Not just from my suggestions but also inspired by the fact they saw my change, and felt that they could do that too.
Then as this was happening I came across a course a friend was studying. It called to me. But it took me 2 months to decide to do it. I eventually signed up to train to be a Sex, Love & Relationship Coach. It took me so long to decide to sign up because I thought, what if I don’t want to do it when I graduate? What after all that time I decide not to be a Sex, Love & Relationship Coach? What if no one wants that? It’s so niche. I bit the bullet and decided to do it giving myself a ‘get out clause’ that, I will be more in touch with my own sexuality which will be a bonus for me (and my partner) and I’ll learn the skills to coaching. So I will have something to bring into my future work, just maybe not that.
After a few weeks in from the course I knew that I needed to bring this to more women and I was convinced that the female collective would benefit greatly from it. If I’m honest. Also the male collective, as we heal, so do those around us become inspired to do so.
So once we sold our house and became somewhat ‘settled’, I decided to get started. So I spent A LOT of time, planning, contacting people about logos, websites, asking questions about bank accounts, insurances, etc. Now anyone who runs a business will think, this makes sense. This lady is smart for ensuring she has a good start. I realised what I was actually doing was procrastinating.
Procrastinating putting myself out there.
Procrastinating telling my story.
Procrastinating finding my voice.
Procrastinating starting the community.
I realised this while messaging a friend about what to do about waiting for the person to design my logo to become available, as I had wanted to start sooner than the graphic designer was available. I decided to go for it. I decided to ‘publish’ the Facebook page and Instagram account I had set up a year before. I had created a Facebook group months before but not yet had the courage to invite people to. I decided to send the invitations to those who I thought it would resonate with most.
I saw the notifications come in of people accepting the invitation. Not just that, but people were inviting their friends to join too. I had to lie down on the bed.
My heart was pounding. I had little shakes. I had to put the phone away and turn off notifications as I was feeling a little dizzy. Part of my internal reaction was excitement, anticipation of a new start. Part of it was also fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of being seen.
Fear of being judged.
Fear of being successful.
Fear of being independent.
Fear of letting people down.
Fear that no one will join.
Fear of stepping out and really becoming empowered.
Fear of eyes watching me waiting for me to fail.
Fear of eyes watching me hoping I will ‘fix them’.
So I stayed there. On the bed. Feeling the fear and accepting it. Letting the fear wash over me.
This was my nervous system reacting. I got up and gave myself a good shake. I then took my phone and started to reply.
A month on we’re about to hit the 100 people mark. What’s most satisfying is not the quantity of people in the group, but those who are there are interested, committed to growing and really dedicated to make a change in their own lives. Which in turn inspires me.
I have through this journey realised that I have spent much of my life trying not to be too much. My potential 'greatness' might mean less friends. Having too much money is crude. There was always going to be someone better than me. Someone who knows more. Someone who is more eloquent. Someone more gifted.
I would self-sabotage by avoiding opportunities available to me by making excuses of ‘I don’t have time, I want to dedicate myself to X’. I would start something and ‘it wouldn’t work out’. When I started to talk a look, what was really happening inside of me was I was unconsciously preventing myself from succeeding. I started to become aware of all of this. Self-sabotage and procrastination are two sides of the same coin.
So I kept myself small. I kept myself insignificant, because my nervous system felt safe that way. The stories that I was telling myself were keeping me in a situation which was predictable. Our bodies are made for survival. I explained something similar to my son this week as he started school (he has been home educated so this is a really big thing for him). He had a sore tummy and I explained what nervous was, I invited him to say out loud how he felt about going to school for the first time, what his worries might be. After voicing them out loud he started to feel better. I told him that our bodies were designed to be wary of new things as that would protect us from potential danger, from being eaten or getting harmed. So how he felt was normal. And it is for you too.
In a post earlier this week I talked about integration and peeling back the layers. This part of me, the procrastinating, self-sabotage I uncovered in December. I was exploring ‘wealth consciousness’. We were invited to explore our family’s attitudes to money. How our family spoke about money. Who we chose to spend time with and how they talked about money. This post isn’t necessarily about making money, it can be wanting to volunteer for a charity but never pushing yourself to do it, or do a course but not signing up for it. The money aspect is just an example. That we listen to other people’s ideas of what our identity is. Where we fit in the world. How we’re supposed to be. Rather than connecting to our authentic self, which knows our true worth. The exercises and exploration I did back in December I’m only fully integrating now. I’m only just putting into practice now what I’ve learnt. This process is only just becoming part of my nervous system and I am actively observing what the ego has to say - and just listening to it, not becoming it.
Making a new commitment of any sort is difficult. That’s why self-care is such a big thing that I invite you to think about regularly. Because if you can find the time to show yourself love for your own self-care, you are teaching your nervous system to get used to new things and you are telling your ego that actually, new things are OK. That you will survive.
The main things I see when confronting self-sabotage and procrastination is fear which is linked to the nervous system and ego stories.
So what I would invite you to do is…
Feel the fear.
Learn to get in the body to listen to it and learn to regulate it.
Observe your ego but don’t let it determine your future by becoming your thoughts
And do that thing anyway… you can always course correct.
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at email@example.com.