As a kid, I used to wrestle with some pretty serious either/or’s. Did I love the mountains more or was it the beach? Did I think it was more important to set a good example for my sisters or to feel normal / have fun like the other kids? Did I -- when setting the table and deciding who got the nicer plate (since nothing matched) -- love my father or my mother more, as indicated by said-plate? If they got divorced, which one would I live with? Who would I pick?
Always: either/or. One or the other.
I get this pattern when I think back on my childhood. I so get it. That either/or helped me, helps us when we’re younger, distill complicated situations and the oh-so-many choices we face.
But one of the things we learn as we grow up, is how often seeming opposites can co-exist. This is something I really learned to my bones when my sister was dying and I was pinging between loving her so much and also god damn it, she was so irritating, between feeling so, so grateful to my brother-in-law for his care of her and also god damn it, he was such a jerk. Both of those things were true. Simultaneously.
Holding those two things at the same time: that’s the complicated work of adulting.
But that either/or habit that serves us as kids can take up residence deep in us, echoed by the messages we continue to get in our culture. That either/or can trap us. Like this:
You can be either nerdy or popular.
You can be either sexy or smart.
You can either be creative or good at numbers.
What if all that either/or is a big fat lie?
To borrow my coach Jason Goldberg’s expression, this either/or’ing? This really is an SFM, a Simple Fundamental Misunderstanding. None of it is true. We get to be LOTS of things, at the same time. Not just one. And once we know that, we can do differently, we can do more & better.
You can be an amazing photographer, a kick-ass designer, a top-notch coach, whatever thing is Your Thing AND you can also have a grip on your numbers.
You can be 100% in love with your idea, this thing you’re bringing to market, that you’re making from nothing, AND you can also contain in that vast brain of yours, as well, the equations that let you know if it’s working, for real.
You can be a self-starter entrepreneurial wiz AND you can also get help.
You can build a business on your passion AND you can turn a profit. One does not preclude the other. I’m not saying it’s without effort, but it absolutely isn’t one or the other. All or nothing. Either or.
It’s both. It’s AND.
AND is bigger. AND is harder. But wow, AND is so much deeper, richer, more satisfying.
If I can help you bust through your limiting SFM, let me know. I’m all ears.
In the spirit of AND, this numbers-based business coach is delighted to be unveiling my own creative work! TODAY, October 3rd, The Head & Heart Tarot, a project I’ve been working on for a year with my partner, Johanna, goes live on Indiegogo. The Head & Heart Tarot is for lovers of the tarot, as well as the tarot-curious, those who’ve wondered about this tool but not yet explored it, and for anyone looking for a tool to access their own deep wisdom, to figure things out, to ask and answer some question of consequence.To watch our campaign video, learn more about this project, support this work, please check out https://igg.me/at/hhtarot. Thank you!