As I mentioned in earlier blogs this month, I attended -- for the second time -- the UpLevel Your Business (ULYB) Live 2014 conference in Atlanta. Approximately 300 other women and men joined me for this training in mindset and strategy for entrepreneurs in heart-centered businesses. #UYB2014
The First Session of Day 1
The conference opened with what I would call buy-in and some basic mindset training. Last year, as we walked into the conference, we all got large buttons reading: "I'M IN!" I still have mine from a year ago.
Over the next three days, we would say "I'M IN" in unison when Christine Kane invited us to make the declaration, almost (as she reminded us) as an incantation. This incantation or mantra started the buy-in.
It contains several components:
- I'm fully engaged.
- I'm here.
- I'm willing to exit my comfort zone.
- I take imperfect action.
- I'm worth investing in!
- This is monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, minute-ly work.
I'll talk about the first three components today and the remaining ones tomorrow.
I'm fully engaged.
Being engaged connotes deep interest in something or involvement in an activity at a deeper level. For those of us in the ULYB process, it touches on several levels of engagement.
For me, it has involved greater self-awareness, learning more about barriers to growth, managing my fear, focusing on the future, developing skills in technology and web-based marketing, committing to learning the lessons delivered regularly by Christine and her staff, doing the homework, scheduling my coaching sessions, and belonging to a community of entrepreneurs who openly discussed their own challenges, set-backs, progress, and triumphs.
Many times over the last two years, my own engagement reminded me of my law students who make a similar commitment to be "in."
Factually, this part of the incantation simply recognized that we had come to Atlanta to be part of a very special event. People came from France and other countries and from many parts of the U.S. I drove from Grundy, about a 7 hour drive, mostly so I had an excuse to drive what I call the "Appalachian Autobahn" yet again to join my Gold friends and colleagues.
On another level, this part of the declaration recognizes the commitment to seek something new. Seek growth. Seek opportunity.
It could also take on a Buddhist connotation. No matter where I am, I am still with myself, struggling with all my emotions, limitations of mind, and constraints on my perceptions and ability to dream big.
I'm willing to exit my comfort zone!
This part of the incantation may have resonated more loudly for other members of our group. Their fears are different from mine. Their personalities may cause them to cling to things that have little stickiness for me.
I am accustomed to jumping off the edge and expecting not a net, but wings to appear. Again, I am reminded of our brave students graduating into a still depressed market for law grads. Surely, I can find as much courage to build the future I envision.
Some of my colleagues struggled with being seen. Some feared public speaking. Or, writing for an audience. Or, expressing their opinions in a public forum. Others feared being so self-reliant. Some feared asking for what they wanted or for what their services were worth. Or, having a conversation with their husbands about investing in this program. Or, taking time away from family to work on their own priorities. They struggled with feeling strong, worthy, competent, and loved.
For all of us, these shared fears built empathy and support. And then, courage and strength.
So, more tomorrow.