Saturday, November 17, 2007

A lesson in trust

It was a crazy day, today.  I was preparing to give a workshop tonight, and at the last minute cancellations started pouring in -- even from people who usually never miss a workshop, and from a person I was really hoping would join us for this one.

And I started to get down on myself just a little bit, feeling like nobody wanted to listen, and wondering what kind of failure I was, when...

I just stopped it.

And I said to myself, okay, you know what, if nobody shows up, I'll just reschedule it.  No need to take scheduling conflicts personally.  I'll trust in myself and what I do, and just go with it.

And I am so glad I did.  Because what happened with the people who did show up was so important, that it was worth changing my plans for.  The workshop I gave was almost nothing like the workshop I had planned, but for the people who did come, it was far better and much closer to where their lives were right now.

One member was calling in via international long distance from an oil platform on the ocean, which tells you just how important it was to him.  The other was a newer member, struggling with various guilts and social anxieties.

And before the call was over, both had a new lease on life, and a new perspective on themselves.  As for me, I learned something new about why some people have more difficulty than others with the methods I teach -- and what I can do about it in the future.

Beyond that, I was reminded of the significance of what I do.  In the day-to-day work of writing and recording and planning workshops and marketing, marketing, marketing, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that what I do for people is something sacred.

Because as I told those two members tonight, the pain that they have been through -- the pain that I have been through -- has meaning.

And that meaning is the learning that I gain from it, that allows me to help other people get out of the same pain, more easily and more quickly.

Because I don't want anyone else to have to suffer like I did, or the ways these men did.

And I could barely hold back the tears when I said it, because it was so very important to me.

So thanks, guys.  I really needed that.

Oh, and I almost forgot...  I learned one other thing.

I learned that, as long as I'm focused on what my clients really need, I'm ten times the speaker I am when I just "try to give a good workshop".  Because when I'm focused on them, I don't have any choice but to trust myself.

And there's probably some sort of deep self-help lesson in all of that, but for this time, I'll leave it up to you to figure it out.

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