If you read through some of my previous blog posts, it can sound like I really have my act together, but the truth is that I am usually stumbling through.
There are times when …
- I don’t feel qualified to run my own business.
- I don’t know if I can write something helpful or meaningful for you.
- I don’t treat people I love the way they deserve.
- I eat things that don’t agree with me.
- I skip working out or meditating.
While perfection has never been my goal, I’m not even close. I’m usually taking one step forward, two steps back and stumble through until I figure something out. I stumble more when I’m not honest with myself, when I try to force something to work, and when I approach things in a way that is not congruent with my values.
Someone recently asked me how I knew how to write an ebook and sell it on Amazon or how I knew how to start a blog and understand social media. I told them that I had no idea how to do any of it. I asked for help, tried and failed, tried again, and then with a little bit of stumbling, I found the answers that worked best for me.
If you ever feel like you are stumbling through too, I hope this will help.
My formula for stumbling through with grace.
- Be Curious. If you approach something new with genuine curiosity, questions will trump struggle and you will be more open to problem solving.
- Find the simple. There is always more than one answer and the right one doesn’t have to be the biggest or the most complicated. Sometimes we think we have to earn our success through toil and turmoil, but if you can get there on a more enjoyable road, do it.
- Smile and breathe. Everything is going to be ok. Even though you can’t see the finish line and might not even know where it is, a light heart, big smile, and deep breath can be a good reminder that you are taking things to seriously. Your work is important, but it doesn’t have to be heavy.
- Make mistakes. You are going to fail. You are going to make a dumb mistake. You are going to look back and think you should have known better, and you are going to survive all of it and be better because of it.
- Enjoy the view. Don’t wait until the end to enjoy the view. Look around as you are stumbling through. The end result might be where you have your sights set, but the people you meet on the way and the lessons that present themselves are too important to overlook.
- Ask for help. We are all in this together and even if our work and lifestyles are polar opposites, we are more alike than you think. Ask questions and learn from other people. Work with people who are willing to stumble through with you. My greatest teachers are always learning. They are always willing to admit that they don’t have it all figured out, but equally willing to stumble through until they do.
Anyone who tells you they have the answers to everything is lying. If we want to discover new, creative solutions we need fewer experts and more graceful stumblers.
Maybe we are all stumbling through life. The future is uncertain. We learn as we go, and do the best we can. Let’s put our expert/guru caps aside and stumble through gracefully together.