[Republished from Amy’s contribution to Bob Proctor’s Insight of the Day: Friday Story.]
Recently some Proctor Gallagher friends visited my zip-line canopy tour business, Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, for some fun.
Their visit was more than fun though; it was also a great reminder of a few things. Showing friends my business and answering their questions reminded me of just how much I had done and am capable of doing. Seeing it through their eyes was refreshing and motivating, especially as I am now venturing into new endeavors.
How funny that I frequently coach people to remember their accomplishments (celebrate them, write them down, read the list often) but had obviously forgotten to do it myself! I also learned last week that telling someone else or even showing another person what I have done is by far the best way to rewrite the unconscious voices that somehow override my accomplishments and highlight my mistakes. The affirmative reaction of my friends created a positive glow but was not as important as my belief in me. Speaking it out loud to someone actually made it more real.
As I felt the affect of sharing my accomplishments I was reminded of another time when speaking about something out loud has a powerful effect. Over the years, I have trained for and facilitated adult and teen grief groups as a free service. One topic that arises as soon as trust is formed in the group is how speaking about their loss out loud makes it more real and brings up significant emotion. Every single person, in every group I have coached, has said they remember the first time they spoke of their loss out loud. Telling their story is both difficult and cathartic, once they are willing.
In reverse, I think we can use that same human nature in our favor by speaking to another person about our accomplishments and receiving the internal positive emotional charge created by speaking it out loud. The positive emotions I enjoyed while sharing my existing business surely helped lodge belief in myself deeper into my subconscious, shifting old paradigms. Bob Proctor regularly speaks about the need to bring emotions to whatever we want to plant in our subconscious and this was a great way to do it.
The day of their visit, one in our group was hesitant to zip-line from platform to platform high up in our cypress trees, which prompted me to tell about our beginning year. We were the first zip-line tour in the Continental United States, there was no one else to look to for how to build it, no industry history to point to when convincing a company to insure us, and no example for prospective employees to relate to about the job they were interviewing for. I developed a website and advertising campaigns about something that did not yet exist, as my partner and contractors built our course.
When I began advertising and taking reservations, every phone call took 10 to 30 minutes to describe to people what they would be doing, that it would be fun, and was being built soundly!
For months I had been persuading people to insure us, work for us and sign up to come experience our zip-lines by the time we were ready to train employees. We brought in experts from the high ropes industry to train everyone on risk-management and procedures using rock-climbing equipment. On our first day of training I, too, was getting trained with the nine eager college students or recent graduates. None of us had yet been on the course, except the people building it.
After learning about the gear and equipment we went to the top of a building, the launching site for our first zip-line into the course. I could barely hear what the instructor was saying as my mind began to question my sanity. “I have too much to do to spend the next five days doing this training” my mind cajoled. When this voice did not have me running back downstairs the voice upped the drama, saying “I have four children. I have no business doing this.”
I had been talking to people for months about how much fun this would be and now I was ready to bail! It was a business do-or-die moment. How could I keep talking to people about how great this was if I didn’t do it? How would I ever be able to manage these employees if I did not go out on this wire? I knew in that moment I would have to make a choice and my choice would affect everything going forward.
I called out to the instructor, “I’ll go first!” I stepped up on the wobbly tree stump platform and hooked my gear onto the wire. I took a deep breath as I waited for the signal and then stepped off. I was flying over our creek ravine. Within 10 feet the wind was in my face and I had a smile from ear to ear. By the time I landed at the first platform nestled in an ancient cypress tree, I realized this was one of the top things I had ever done!
Isn’t that a lot like life and every new business? We talk a great deal about what we are going to do. We might even make all sorts of plans and preparations. We often are selling something we have not yet completed. But when it finally comes time to put ourselves on the wire, we face that ultimate decision. Will our dream manifest, or wither? And if we take the leap of faith and jump, we are almost always rewarded with the childlike joy I felt that day the first time I zipped across that wire!
As I start a few new businesses, I am so grateful and happy for the reminders I received by my friends coming to play!
Their visit was truly a gift.
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