Stop Racing Against Yourself & Lead by Example

Lately, I’ve found myself feeling like I was in a race with myself.

Pisces season had me feeling the bottom of the emotional pits a little too much and now that we’re entering Aries season, I am glad the energy is shifting towards assertive action.

Yet, as someone who’s been around the entrepreneurial block before, this “race” feels different.

In the past, I’ve felt like I was in a race with people I didn’t know like competitors, peers, frenemies and even people who aren’t anywhere near the race track. Now I feel like I’m in a race against myself and while it feels better to shed the comparison crap, I’m still in a race where no one can possibly win.

So how do I break the pattern, let go of making this journey a race and give in the pace and momentum that is all my own?

The entrepreneurial journey can be a never ending marathon with many shifts and road blocks. Learning to get out of your own way is part of those teachable moments that make for fun interviews AFTER the fact.

However, when you are in the trenches and don’t see the light, there are a few things you can do to help let go of the self-inflicted competition.

These are some of the invaluable lessons which have not only made me a better entrepreneur, but have helped me towards becoming a better person, coach and guide for others on their entrepreneurial journey.

1. Surrender

Letting go of what you think you know in favor for what you need to learn was the HARDEST pill to swallow. To be quite honest, I would have never learned this lesson had it not been for therapy. It first started with life coaching, which I lovingly call “therapy lite” and it was perfect for me, at the time.

I didn’t want to see a therapist because I thought I could fix it all on my own. I’m a strategist, after all, and by nature we’re rockstars at putting the puzzle together. That’s great for when we’re tackling riddles but as a human being I was anything BUT a riddle.

And on that cool day in Los Angeles back in 2013, I realized that life coaching was just a gateway drug to therapy.

2. Grieve

The mourning process of forgiving your past is cathartic, and it’s a life long process. Committing to this phase was instrumental in exorcising some of my demons. There’s who we are, who we were and who we are going to be. In order to appreciate who I am I had to forgive who I used to be so that I could mourn a history that was not ideal.

Resentment gets you a one-way ticket to misery and even though this is an ongoing process, sometimes we have to treat our past with the same kind of care and respect as we treat our yet-to-be-determined future. Learn how to shed yourself of what no longer serves you because the baggage you carry will keep you from realizing your true potential.

3. Honor

This goes beyond honoring your time, gifts and purpose. It took me over 35 years to learn that I needed to honor my voice, and for the past few years that’s exactly what I’ve done. Snarky, unapologetic and often inappropriate, my voice is the one thing that no one can replicate or take away. Honoring your voice gives you the permission to be the most authentic version of YOU. If it means burning bridges then maybe those bridges were not meant for you to take.

I’ve found this to be one of the most challenging lessons for entrepreneurs. There’s the constant fear of offending someone or being misunderstood. Constant self-censoring to accommodate others means you’re giving your power away, little by little.

Part of building an unapologetic brand is owning who you are. Every time you give in to other peoples expectations of who or what you should be you give away power. You give away equity in yourself and when you give away too much you lose ownership.

Don’t allow others to determine who you should be or what you should do because their perception is biased. They speak on their own behalf so that you can fit in the box that makes them comfortable which has nothing to do with your own mental health, emotional wellness or spiritual peace.

4. Lead

I was not practicing what I preached and I felt like a fraud. Once I started walking the walk and talking the talk, it became synergistic for me to offer advice on truths rather than theory. I couldn’t tell my clients to be consistent with their content when I was slacking off on my blog. I couldn’t recommend a website trend if I wasn’t doing the same for my own site.

Leading by example positions you as someone who knows their 'ish with confidence & authority. Click To Tweet

Being an entrepreneur is more than just a title. It comes with responsibilities. You need a healthy dose of narcissism to do what we do. As a Pisces I can be a small fish swimming around the ocean or I can choose to a great white shark who commands respects. With the exception of Nemo, stories are rarely told about random fishes.

I’ve come to learn to celebrate the victories that were way too often disguised as losses. This is a journey, not a race. As a reformed Type A personality, unraveling what we think we know gives us the freedom we need to embrace a new reality, one that’s rooted in honesty.

The entrepreneurial journey defines you in so many different ways. You walk away with this badge of honor that gives your life, at that time, meaning and purpose.

Even if your business is not successful, your brand is what permeates through and that’s what people truly remember.

Vicky Ayala

My name is Vicky & I am a brand strategist & visual storyteller. By day, I work with multi-passionate entrepreneurs to organize their creative genius into a memorable brand experience with engaging design, authentic storytelling and strategic online marketing. When I'm not conjuring brand magic, you can find me musing about the entrepreneurial journey which includes everything from finding the perfect chai latte to plotting my domestic move to Miami.

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