What to do when you feel like giving up on your big dream

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Did you know I used to be a birth doula?

Part of birth doula’s job is to help moms come up with pain management strategies. With one particular mom, we decided to use visuals in the room to help her ride out her painful labor contractions.

The goal was to remind her to breathe and relax during each contraction so her cervix could open up fully and the baby could pass through.

Our natural tendency when we’re uncomfortable is to tense up our muscles. But doing this slows down the birth and can lead to marathon 4-day labor session. Not fun!

You may not know this, but the average diameter of sunflower disc is 10 centimeters. This is the same size of a dilated cervix. So we decided to put a picture of a sunflower field in her bedroom (where she was giving birth) so she could remember that each (painful) contraction was bringing her closer to meeting her new baby in the flesh.

The reason I’m telling you about my experience as a doula, is because it ties in so much with the work I do now. 

And why I created my Flowductivity packages.

As a doula, I helped moms deal with discomfort—especially first time moms who had never attempted anything so big before. I helped them remember to relax so they wouldn’t slow down the birth process.

This is similar my work as a coach. I remind my clients to stop resisting reality and stay open to the possibilities around them.

This is where most people get stuck. When things aren’t going according the plan we dreamed up, we assume that something is wrong.  We think what we want is wrong. Or that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us that will prevent us from ever having what we want.

When you’re working toward a big goal there are so many unknowns that will pop up. Having support in place to remind you to (breathe) and stay open makes giving birth to your dreams less painful.

So let’s go back to sunflowers.

When I helped this woman during childbirth, the sunflower reminded her about why the pain she was feeling was worth it. It reminded her that her body was preparing to bring her precious baby into the world.

While she was mid-labor, there were moments when birthing seemed impossible. But the sunflowers reminded her that we’re absolutely made for this. With each contraction she had the choice to either focus on how painful it was OR how each contraction brought her closer to her baby.

It’s the same with our big dreams. It may seem insurmountable from where you stand in this moment to get to where you want to go because of all the obstacles and pain. But you're made for this, too.

So what’s your version of a sunflower?

Here are some 3 tips that will make the path to your dream a much smoother ride:

  1. Imagine that failure is impossible. What would you dream of being, doing or having? Write out what that looks like in real life: how would you feel the morning after your accomplish your big dream? what would you do to celebrate? who would you call to tell first?
  2. Find a story of someone or something that proves to you that this vision is possible. (Right now remembering that Toni Morrison didn’t publish her first novel till she was 41, is keeping my writing dreams alive. Her “late” start didn’t stop her from winning a Pulitzer Prize!)
  3. Then finally use an image or symbol to represent this story to remind you of what’s possible. (Here's mine.)

Then let me know in the comments, what’s your sunflower?

P.S. If you're interested in learning how to set up your life so you can do your best work, sign up for free 30-minute ENERGY BOOST session with me. You'll walk away with one action you can use right away to help you get more of your real work done with less stress. Sign up here!