11 Aug The Uncertain Art of Starting Something New
Starting anything new is scary.
It’s uncertain. And at the best of times, it’s horribly messy. For the last 12 months, I’ve become all too accustomed to the chaos that comes with stepping outside of my comfort zone, and trying to create something completely from scratch. In this particular instance, it’s penning my first ever book — A process I’m still completely immersed in.
Interestingly, the genesis of my book really first sprang out of a necessity.
As an emotional intelligence consultant & strategist, I was, and still am, constantly hosting different types of trainings for my clients. And what I needed at the time was a guide that would streamline all the exercises, teachings, and methodologies I run at my trainings into a simplified process.
Without consciously intending to, what I ended up creating would later become the framework of my book.
I soon began to travel further and more frequently for a multitude of speaking events, and it is during this time that the content of the book really started to take shape.
But fascinatingly, the biggest moments of insight would occur off-stage and at the most unlikely situations.
An off-the-cuff interview.
A casual conversation.
A dialogue over lunch.
Since my travels introduced me to vastly different cultures and sensitivities, I began to develop an insatiable curiosity for the different perspectives we all have globally, within our own microspheres.
And it was through these personal stories that I began connecting the dots between what would form the core essence of my book — The merging of social psychology, brain science, and the formidable capacity of our own human potential.
So now I had the pieces to the puzzle.
It was just a matter of putting it all together.
Immersing myself into the writing process was, and still is, a deeply gratifying experience.
But it wasn’t without its challenges.
There were moments in the process of creation where the phrase, “when it rains, it pours”, hit a little too close to home.
One of those moments happened just a few days ago, as I was preparing for a big transition in my life.
Between moving out of my old place in Oakland, and getting my passport renewed, it was still business as usual with a string of meetings lined up for the day.
It all started at a car rental place where I was greeted with the bad news that my reservation was unfortunately lost in the ether. And just for good measure, I was also told they happen to be completely out of cars.
But there was a small glimmer of hope as the sweet Berkeley grad behind the counter told me that they may have something for me. I just had to wait another 20 minutes or so.
I couldn’t have been more relieved after I was told they had a car for me, and before long, he was quietly “processing” everything as I passed him my ID.
But my relief was short-lived.
“Ma’am… I’m so sorry. But I won’t be able to do this. I could lose my job.”
It turned out my ID had expired, and all that “processing” came to a grinding halt.
“You’ll need to go to the DMV to get a new license.”
After a quick check for the requirements I needed for a new license in California (my now expired license was issued in Illinois), it became pretty clear that I wouldn’t be driving any time soon.
I just surrendered my passport to get it renewed.
I didn’t have my birth certificate.
And I didn’t have a valid ID (at least one that wasn’t expired).
As frustrating as this was, I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation. But just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I get a message from my book editing team with the “real” bad news.
The book wasn’t going to be ready in time. We’re going to have delay everything to September.
It was really one of those moments where it felt like the whole Universe was conspiring against me. I’m sure you’ve had these moments as well.
As I sat in my Lyft driver’s car, haphazardly texting on my phone trying to “sort things out”, the driver turned to me and said…
“That sun is beaming over the bridge. Know, that it’s one glorious day on this long road.”
Sure enough, it was a gorgeous day out. I was just so caught up with everything I didn’t even take the time to look up.
So I put my phone down. Took a deep breath. And did something I hadn’t done in a while.
Slow down, check-in with myself, and enjoy the present moment.
You see, it’s so easy to get caught up with the “busyness” of life, and even easier to buy into the idea that we just don’t have enough time to get everything done.
But if you don’t take an occasional breather, you’ll inevitably find that you’ve lost sight of your bigger “mission” because you’re being drown under the daily minutiae you think is important.
Many powerful learnings have come up throughout this incredible journey of creation that I have really taken to heart.
If you’ve been planning on something new, here are a few lessons I’ve discovered in my own experience that I hope will help you.
1) Be ok with messiness — Venturing into something you’ve never done before will always be a bit of a messy affair. Sometimes even the most well made plan can go astray.
2) Trust your teammates — Don’t be afraid to delegate. Many people fall into the trap of the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” syndrome. But if you have a team, you’re better off leveraging from their experitise and skills.
3) Enjoy the process — If you keep telling yourself that what you’re doing is a chore, it’s going to feel like one. Embrace the process and the challenge that comes with creating brand new. Because it is during those moments of adversity that you’ll more than likely find your greatest insights.
4) Practice self-compassion — Love yourself. Especially when you felt like you came up short of a particular goal.
So, for those of you who are eagerly awaiting the book- we are super excited to let you know that you can PRE-ORDER the bundle of the emotional grit guidebook (your personal guide that summarizes our full day retreats, summits and workshops!) + Emotional GRIT: 8 steps to mastering your emotions, transform your thoughts & change your world.
Our actual BOOK LAUNCH is now going to be pushed to September.