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Sep 03, 2020 | Your Business

The Client Who Duped Me

I still remember the client who has been my greatest teacher.

It was a couple years ago, right around the holiday season when many of us (myself included) are looking at the new year, the new ceilings we want to break through in business, the new floors we need to reach in order to do so, and the new experiences we want to cultivate in our lives.

This particular woman was a seasoned professional and just beginning the journey of going into business for herself. At the time, I had a particular soft spot for clients in this position, having recently made this transition for myself. Very well connected with the fear and constant analysis paralysis of whether or not to make the leap into self-employment, I had a lot of compassion for her.

Her demeanor was gentle, her confidence played peekaboo, her empathy and sensitivity self-evident, and the degree to which she shared her accomplishments and owned her results–zilch.

Now, I have spoken with countless entrepreneurs in her position, heck I had once been there myself, so I thought I knew her.

Little did I know how wrong I was.

This woman was an undercover rockstar. A rockstar who didn’t yet realize that her unique voice and personality were well on her way to earning her, her first million.

And, she fooled me too on that first call. I was completely and utterly duped.

That day, I suggested she not hire me, at least not yet. I wasn’t yet present to her potential (both of us weren’t) and I don’t work with clients who aren’t willing to fully commit to themselves. As a coach, I can’t commit to my clients more than they are willing to commit to themselves. My vocation is very much one of energetic alignment, and I just wasn’t feeling it.

So, I made the decision for her.

But, we stayed in touch and stayed connected.

She reached out from time to time, sharing updates, asking for book recommendations, or just staying in touch as so many of us heart-centered entrepreneurs are naturally gifted at doing.

But the quality of her shares changed–she started to open up little by little about what she had created and the results she had achieved. As she felt more comfortable with me (and likely with herself), she became more self-revealing…

And it hit me… I had been duped by the very same defense mechanism that had been my greatest one to personally overcome.

I was dealing with a rockstar disguised as a fly who had been shooed away her whole life.

I was dealing with a woman who didn’t own her greatness.

I was dealing with a woman who spent her entire life trying to f*ing fit in and please other people.

I was dealing with a woman who had enrolled those around her in relating to her as her smallness rather than her greatness.

I was dealing with a woman who had enrolled those around her in expecting little from her.

I was dealing with a woman who didn’t see how utterly magical she was.

And I didn’t either, at first.

There’s a yogic maxim that says it best, “If you’re doing something for me without including me, you’re doing something to me.”

I thought I was being kind that day, but in reality I was committing one of the coaching faux-pas I dislike most, I was caretaking her.

I learned a great lesson that day from this brilliant, kind-hearted, impact-driven, sensitive AF badass passionpreneur.

Do not underestimate those undercover rockstars.

Many of us walk through life buying into those small stories about ourselves (and others).

Many of us relate to what we ardently dream about as impossible for ourselves (yet possible for others).

Many of us settle for what we think we can get or what we think we deserve rather than what we truly want (and simply have been unwilling to commit to).

Do not underestimate the undercover rockstars.

The ones who are sensitive AF and deeply impacted by the emotion and feeling of our world.

The ones who set the bar so high for themselves that they never realize they’re flying high above everyone else.

The ones who care so deeply about the world and positively contributing, that they struggle to see their massive impact and the immediate trust and rapport they garner in whatever environments they enter.

Do not underestimate the undercover rockstar that is you.

You are powerful beyond measure.

Your sensitivity is your strength.

Your work ethic is your reputation.

Your empathy creates your community.

Your care is your superpower.

Your commitment is your freedom.

And your potential is limitless.

Back to my undercover rockstar client, I learned an invaluable lesson that day when I committed to never again believing in the small stories we ALL tell ourselves and the small stories we ALL try to enroll others in, so that we never have to pursue our greatest, scariest, most FULL-filling dreams. The ones we often fear even saying out loud for fear of having them come true.

But imagine if they DID come true, imagine where you’d fly?


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Catherine is a Master Certified Coach and bestselling author of Belonging: Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy.

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Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

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