Independence Day

Freedom

It’s the 4th of July – Happy Birthday, America! Like many holidays here in the US, this is a layered one, and means a lot of different things to different people, particularly in the larger conversation of America’s origin story. At its most literal level, however, it’s a celebration of America’s independence, and it falls when we’re getting right into the swing of summer. It also always gets me musing on the idea of independence and freedom generally, and what that means to me. Of course, I love the feeling of freedom, it’s a core value for me, heck, freedom with all its challenges is why I chose and continue to choose entrepreneurship!

I  could go on and on about the reasons why entrepreneurship is right for me, but the freedom to work on my own terms, and to be of service to others in that work is chief among them. It’s a privilege to partner with my clients and help them unlock their own paths forward and take confident action in that direction. The coach in me will of course take any opportunity to reflect on this–the 4th of July included–and I can’t help but also get to thinking about the ways in which I see my clients staying just inches away from being free from blocks. Especially the self-imposed ones.

A key barrier: Nagging self-doubt fueled by the incessant inner critic.  This internal narrative can keep us totally locked up and stuck, leaving us feeling disempowered and like we can never shake it or change. This is a trap. So this 4th, I encourage you to YES, celebrate the day, and also to take a few moments to consider where you might be able to create more space and more freedom. “Sounds good,” you say, “but where do I begin?”

Start small, as always. Commit to the simple act of paying attention to how often your negative inner soundtrack is cutting you down and filling you with doubt. Notice when it happens. Is there a trigger?  Some constant you can pick out?  What about the actual negative message? Does it start by calling you a mean name? Putting you down? Saying there’s no way you could do or achieve something?

Taking this voice out of autopilot simply by raising your awareness to it is the first step to putting your negative inner critic in its place. I know, like most action towards change, it’s simple, not easy! But awareness is always the first step in making change, and in this case, it’s the first step towards releasing yourself from its power and freeing you up.

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