Life is hard. How many times have we heard that statement? You have a bad day at work and want to complain to someone, and you hear, “What do you expect? Life is hard.” You have a fight with your spouse and your best friend’s sage advice is: “Marriage is hard work.”
Yes, I understand that life can throw you some curve balls and I also understand that it’s not all puppies and rainbows. That’s why it can be tough to wrap your mind around iPEC principle #20: Doing is work, being is effortless. But what this principle pretty much boils down to is this: while life can take some effort and you’re going to have challenges, it should not all seem like an uphill battle. If you are truly living your passion in an authentic way, much of life should be effortless. Why? Because instead of constantly doing, you are letting yourself simply be.
I know that most of you probably still aren’t on the same train as me. You’re thinking, “Well, what is the difference between doing and being?” You know why we think that way? Because our society has convinced us that if we are not constantly DOING, we have no value. If we’re not striving to climb that corporate ladder, fighting to get our kid into the right preschool, scrubbing the floors to make sure they shine 24/7, or running our butts off to chair one more fundraiser, we just aren’t living life right.
And when it comes down to it, that really sucks. Why do we have it stuck in our head that we’re not good people unless we’re killing ourselves to please others or to live up to that ideal image of a wife, boss, brother, etc. etc. that we have in our heads? And more importantly, how do we change it?
When you find your passion, that little voice in your head telling you that you’re not doing enough starts to fade. When you live authentically according to your own values, you can start to relax a little. You start putting in effort only where it truly matters. In fact, you might even find yourself doing even more, but it sure seems like a lot less work. In fact, it comes pretty effortlessly.
Let me give you a personal example from my own life of doing vs being: Before I started working with leaders on clearing away their inner interference, I was a learning strategy consultant working with large Fortune 500 corporations. Imagine yourself as a 29-year-old GIRL going into board rooms at Coca-Cola and Bank of America to meet with VPs and Executives and having to be the person with all of the answers on how to make their program successful and profitable. It was nerve-wracking to say the least!
After a couple of months of taking in as much product information as I could, studying techniques on how to get executives to listen to you (ha!), and trying to memorize all of the most successful project plans and the actions contained within them, I was exhausted. I was not feeling very successful and thinking about quitting that job because I figured I just wasn’t cut out for it. I was DOING so much and still not being very successful! You’ve probably experienced this a time or two yourself. I didn’t want to quit (or get fired), so I knew I needed another way. What I decided to do was to stop telling them what they needed to do (DOING the role of consultant) and instead start asking them what they wanted out of this and what they thought needed to be done (BEING in the role of the consultant). The results were amazing! I had far less work to do, was having more fun, my sales reps were getting great feedback and we were closing more deals.
When we focus too much on all of the doing we think we need to do, we get tunnel vison and worn out. When we can take a step back and allow things to come to us without us having to chase them, we can be much happier.
If you think this is a tough concept to grasp, you are not alone. In fact, in my notes, I have this principle starred because it’s been one of the hardest for me to put into practice. But I can guarantee you, when you’re being, you’ll know it. And it’s an AWESOME feeling!
This wraps up my series on iPEC principles, but I encourage you to look further into the concepts. Each of them has added to my life and the lives of my clients in incredibly meaningful ways, and I know you’ll benefit from incorporating them as well. If you’d like to chat about the principles I’ve covered in my posts or the other principles I did not have a chance to get to, please reach out. I would love to talk with you!
Trish Cody has over 18 years of experience consulting with some of the world’s top Fortune 500 Companies. Today, as an ICF and iPEC Certified Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, clearly see how they are showing up in their behaviors and impacting their success, and to shift their thinking to naturally attract positivity and success. For more information, visit www.TrishCody.com.