What’s a Rite of Passage, you ask? It’s an event that marks an important stage is someone’s life. It’s an initiation into a new way of being. Some examples are birth, death, marriage, divorce, puberty, coming out as gay, or the first day of Kindergarten just to name a few. When you complete a rite of passage, you’ll never be the same as you once were.
Go back and think of some of your firsts. Your first day of school. Your first time riding a bike. Your first dive off the diving board. Your first period. Your first plane flight without your parent. Your first job interview. Your first child. The first death in your family. Your first kiss. Your first love. Your first hearbreak.
All of these “firsts” require an element of letting go in order to welcome the new. In every rite of passage, something has to die in order for something new to grow in its place. You have to let go of the old. In puberty, we let go of little girl and welcome the woman. When we get married we let go of being single and welcome partnership and commitment.
In these passages, resistance absolutely shows up. It’s scary to grow and it’s scary to let go! Many emotions accompany a rite of passage and it’s absolutely normal to resist. Like I’ve said so many times, when we step into the light our shadows will show up whether we want them to or not. With expansion comes contraction. The secret is watching the contractions and not going down the rabbit holes of fear and self-doubt.
What does this have to do with you? When a woman starts her own business, that rite of passage can be incredibly painful and difficult to be with. Everyone’s process is different, so I’ll share what this rite of passage brought up for me.
Trip down memory lane….
My rite of passage into becoming a coach started the week before I hosted my first workshop. I couldn’t sleep! I was so worried about making a fool of myself in front of friends that I considered canceling it all together. I was scared to charge for it so I made the 9 hour workshop a donation of $20!!
“What will they think of me? What if they don’t come? What if I choke? What if they hate it?!”
I was terrified. Fast forward to the day of the workshop. We finally sat down for our first sharing circle, and BOOM! I dropped into 100% presence and love. It wasn’t about me anymore. Because I showed up in the face of resistance, a leader was born out of the ash.
At this workshop I got my first client, and realized that Life Coaching could actually be my career but I was terrified to tell anyone! I was too caught up in my own story concerned about people thinking I was phony, cheesy, or annoying. I was more concerned with what people thought of me than my own contribution to the world. In order to grow, I had to let go of this limited thinking. The age of that story was probably 12 years old! As a business woman I needed to honor these fearful thoughts of my 12 year old and then leave her feelings behind. My conviction had to run the show, not my fear.
Fast forward to quitting my teaching job and declaring myself as a Life Coach. There were SO many growing pains which made this rite of passage so powerful. Fear, after fear, after fear. Fear of how I’d look in photo shoots. Fear of not making enough money. Fear of telling my friends and extended family about this new hippy career I’ve created for myself. Fear of posting my first blog post. Fear of not being perfect.
Fear ruled EVERYTHING!
They say that your deepest wounds carry your most treasured gifts. Since I got to know these fears SO well, I decided to write an eBook about them. I let fear ignite me instead of stop me. Fear was my torch, not my destruction. Fear to Fire was the first “opt in” I’ve ever created for my business and it was a roaring success. I trusted the fear, let it teach me, and then I used its teachings to support my community.
Now here I am, still experiencing the growing pains of having a business, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every uplevel is invitation to grow.
Let me ask you:
What wounds do you need to heal in order to bring your business to life?
What obstacles are showing up for you that you need to move through or transform?
What do you need to let go of? What could grow as a result?
The sooner you find your answers the better. The real, wild, and most powerful YOU is on the other side of this rite of passage. I’m excited to meet her!
P.S. Interested in bringing your dream business to life? I work with new women coaches or holistic entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses but don’t know where or how to start. Emerge is my signature program that will teach you how to package your expertise, charge your worth, find your ideal client, grow your list, and SO MUCH MORE! I treat this process as your personal rite of passage into becoming a woman entrepreneur. Check out Emerge here: http://chrissybradysmith.com/emerge/