Being Brynn, dreams and nightmares

Many of my CEO coaching clients are sinking into the "someday" story. Don't let this happen to you.

Have you ever asked yourself “Am I the person that I want to be right now?”

That’s a daily question I’ll be exploring for myself in the future. I intend to reflect on this question often, throughout my day. It will help me stay focused on what matters to me.

The inquiry has roots in Buddhism. It shakes me out of the lull known as insanity—doing the same things I have always done, and expecting different results.

My coach and friend, Marshall Goldsmith, launched our recent 100 Coaches annual gathering with this question. He

labels it “everything you need to know about mindfulness in one sentence.”

One way of “being” that I care about? Being healthy and strong (with a side of sass).
I get a big dose of inspiration from Charlotte Brynn.

Charlotte Swim Tech CEO Coaching
world class marathon swimmer with Kiwi roots, Charlotte has helped me dramatically improve my swim stroke and open water technique. (she’s the swimmer in the pink cap and beaming smile, reclining in the photo).

Last Wednesday, August 17,  Charlotte attempted to swim the English Channel.

After 11+ hours of rough weather, choppy waters and seasickness, she and her captain agreed to terminate the crossing.

This marks her fourth attempt in nearly a decade.

I admire Charlotte immensely for making multiple attempts. Finishing is not the point. It’s the fact that she gave it her all. She didn’t wait for perfect conditions.
Perfect conditions are illusory.

Do you know how easy it is to say “I’m too busy?” or “I’ll be ready/happy/fulfilled when…” or “I need more money/training/time?”

Well, you won’t hear those words emanating from Charlotte.
She trains; she plans; she hires the best crew; she GOES.

Whenever a friend or a prospective new client tells me the story of “I’m not ready; I need more money/time/kids off to college/blah blah,” I send them Charlotte energy.

I’m not the only advisor who hears these delay tactics. My friend Dorie Clark does, too. She also fell prey to the “I’m too busy” mindset. She shared her own story in a TEDx talk that went viral. The TED organizers recently featured her talk here because it resonated with many of us.

Usually, our dream to chase the elusive someday appears as a monologue, and it sounds like this:

I’m  very busy. I’m in the throes of (a new job/reorg/great resignation/digital transformation) at work. I have wanted to start (writing a book/taking a course/finding a CMO peer group/plant-based diet) for many months.

When I finish this huge (whatever), I will sit back, take a few weeks, rest, and plan how I can start (the new and exciting whatever).

By then, things will slow down. I can get (certified/funding/support/the right groceries/send my child off to college). Then I will be ready. I can start.

Here’s the truth.

The dream that begins with “Someday when…” isn’t a dream.
It’s a nightmare.

Someday will never happen. The world will keep spinning. We will be thrown into new global, national and regional whack-a-mole moments. New economic swings. New interest rate hikes. New customer demands.

They will not pause to usher in your someday.

As I learned during the 100 Coaches Conference this past weekend, the most successful leaders, CEOs, and authors struggle, too.

We all experience fits and starts when it’s time to set and achieve what we care most about–whether it’s daily stretching, asking a CMO colleague for help, reading to our children, or personally praising one of our remote team mates. Marshall Goldsmith told us that the average dropout time for the daily goal setting and questions happens after two weeks. Here’s the irony: YOU get to write your own daily question! Nobody is telling you what to ask, or who to be. Furthermore, the groups Marshall facilitates and coaches are high achievers!

CEO Coaching event Eddie Turner and Jennifer McCollum enjoy our selfie at 100 Coaches Conference. Photo credit: Kenzie Leigh Photography

When you catch yourself consistently waiting for someday, take my advice: Hire a coach or a trusted colleague.

Good coaches and trusted friends can serve up a can of badass. They can help you build an accountability system and daily check in questions.

Find activities that you can drop, delay or delegate to make energetic space for this new goal or daily habit. For example, Marshall schedules 5 minute daily check-ins to review his questions with his coach. The results are not always pretty. But he’s persistent and willing, at this time, to make the investment required to make a positive difference on certain topics that matter to him.

Are you?

Life is waiting for you to reach the other shore. I’ll see you there.

What stories are you telling yourself these days–dreams, or nightmares? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a note. I might just share your story (anonymously) in our next Mindful Marketer Livestream, September 2. You’ll receive the 1-click registration link in our upcoming newsletter. We also notify you when you follow me on LinkedIn.

Copyright 2022, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

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