When Your Work No Longer Resonates

September 29, 2016

When Your Work No Longer Resonates

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of pulling down years of content from my website. Which is hard, because I know that content has helped thousands of people over all the years it’s sat on my blog. I know this because many sweet souls write in to tell me exactly how a blog post or video training has helped them in their life or relationships. And yet I want to pull it all down, simply because that older work no longer resonates anymore… for me.

There’s a funny thing that happens as we move forward in our lives and work: we change, we shift, we grow.

Go figure.

Life happens. Loss happens. Love comes along and wakes us up. Things force us into transformation. We’re asked to take a path we never planned to walk. We learn new things. We lose pieces of ourselves that never quite fit. We let go of hands that weren’t meant to hold ours for as long as they did.

We change… and suddenly, we begin to cringe when someone excitedly shares that they read X or watched Y. We feel imposter syndrome in a new and challenging way, because we’re staring at work and words and ways of being that were honest and true in the moment, but no longer fit.

It’s a little weird, I’m not going to lie.

All I know is that as I evolve, I see that my work is more and more about integration between the light and dark. It’s about bringing two sides of me that are real and true and completely opposite into one space with a powerful new message.

This new work is all about meeting people where they’re at, deep in the muck of whatever life threw their way, and creating the space and safety for them to emerge as the person they’re here to be, doing work that lights their soul on fire. It’s about raw truth and transparency, and that my life is no longer just for me. It’s about service in way that scares me more than anything ever has.

It’s new.
It’s some of the old.
It’s different.
It’s some of the same.

And suddenly the words of the sweet little soul that started this business over four years ago feel empty and invalidating, despite being written and shared with a deep love and understanding. They feel incomplete and hollow, despite being filled with all the truths she knew about life and love and loss in the moment the words tumbled out. They feel rigid and overly polished, despite flowing freely and with a lot of openness at the time they came to be.

The words and the lessons feel foreign and void, because there’s so much more I’ve learned. So much more I want to say about all the things I’ve already said. There are new perspectives and ways of approaching topics. Ways of communicating that meet people where they’re at. Deep in the muck.

Case in point: I love my Awesome Life Tips.

I read them myself every morning (because they are divinely inspired and are as much for me as they are for you) and still hold a big vision for their role. But recently as I had a conversation about how my work and I are evolving, I pointed to my book and admitted with truth and hesitancy, “I love my tips, and they are real and true and needed… but in the depths of my grief this past winter, they would have done nothing for me.

The blogs that sit on my site in archives of years past would have done nothing for me. The videos that release when you subscribe would have done nothing for me. All I would have heard were words. Pretty, shiny, happy words that had no ability to tap in and touch my broken heart. To resonate inside the parts that hurt in order to help me find my footing and begin to heal.

Does that mean I don’t think they’re good and valuable? Not at all. I poured all I had to give into everything I’ve created… they’ve helped many people from around the world start making big shifts and changes in their lives, in the places they’re the most unhappy. But I evolved. I shifted. I grew. And my work and how I want to show up evolved and shifted and grew with me.

Life gave me an advanced skills class with a grief that took the wind straight from my body and rocked the ground beneath my feet. As soon as I felt like I’d “mastered” what I knew and how I taught it, life kicked me into the next level and forced me to grow even more. That growth has changed who I am, and if you’ve followed me for long, you know it’s changed how I write and work.

And that’s okay.
It’s perfect.
It’s as it should be.

It’s something I couldn’t see for many months, because the blur of my grief and the uncertainty of the new terrain was disorienting. We talk about outgrowing people and things… but there’s something to be said about outgrowing yourself.

Your work. Your ways of being and showing up. Shedding the old and make space for the new. Because if ever I find myself the same as I was six months or a year prior, I will know I’ve gotten too comfortable. I’ll know I’ve chosen safety and security and certainty over growth. I never want to stop choosing growth.

Growth is hard. It hurts like hell and sometimes it feels like you might not survive it. Sometimes it fees like you might actually die before you see the other side. It’s scary, yes… but it’s the point. It’s the only way to build a life and business and relationships that bring you joy at your core. It’s the only way to become who you’re here to be, to leave the mark you’re here to leave.

And while I haven’t made the decision to pull anything down just yet… my point is that it’s okay to outgrow yourself. It’s okay to look back at who you were with love, acknowledging the truth of what that person had to share and how they showed up, and have it not resonate even a little bit.

It’s okay.
It’s perfect.
It’s as it should be.

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