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Are You Sure You’re Not Making a Mistake?

This is the question you will hear when you are about to disrupt yourself, says Whitney Johnson, so be forewarned. It will most likely come from well-wishers who are disguised as naysayers. And it will likely rattle your cage. But that’s a good thing, apparently, according to Ms. Johnson’s theory of disruption, because “if it feels scary and lonely, you’re probably on the right track.”

Truth be told, this question of “making a mistake” makes my lip curl in disdain because it suggests lunacy and invites retraction, rather than considering  you are consciously responding to “something” that has merit, substance and is worthy of your time, energy and attention.

As a coach, I live for those moments when I hear a client say, “I have this crazy idea…” or “I just know I need to make a change…” You know why? Because these statements are distinct harbingers of change. They signal that someone is preparing themselves for a disruption. And in my eyes, disruption often translates to an increase in health, prosperity and definitely fulfillment.

Are you sure you’re not making a mistake?” How do you respond to a question that has both a “yes” and a “no” answer? Yes, I am sure that this THING that is pushing me, pulling me, or knocking me upside the head is real and worthy of exploration. No, I have no idea where I’m going with this or what I’ll do as a result. So that question sucks. And sometimes it even silences.

Here’s what I do know: responding to that urge to disrupt takes an enormous amount of courage, a whole lot of fortitude and boatload of moxie to stay the course. But you know this. We all do. It’s that very piece of knowledge that keeps us from saying yes, from taking the leap, from believing. At SheSpeaks, and evening of women’s storytelling I hold two times a year, speaker Karen Wyman likened the experience of responding to that urge as “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.” in that the noise of the free fall is deafening until the parachute opens.

So if you’re feeling that urge and hearing that question, rest assured you are not alone. You’re simply preparing to disrupt yourself.

You’re not crazy. No mistake about it.

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