teresa sabatine

ts coaching & consulting

Curing the I’m Not Doing Enough Disease

Can me imagine for a moment going all in on the thing that we want? 

I spent the last few weeks working with groups of women around their relationship with work. What does it mean to work? What does that look like to us, and why are we so obsessed with making sure we are working?

And more importantly, why are we constantly telling ourselves that we just aren’t doing enough

This concept was something I pulled out of a hat of patterns I’ve witnessed after years of being inside the minds of heart-centered entrepreneurial women. I thought, is this the subject we need to explore more deeply? 

And apparently it was, because even my most successful entrepreneurs and clients who have been with me for years growing their businesses were blown away by the realizations they had around what it means to work. 

I play a game with women who come to me for coaching for the first time. I ask them, “What would you do if you could wave a magic wand? What would you be doing? How would you spend your time?”

Hands down none of their visions of what they would do if magic was available to them have to do with working. 

Most of them dream of days in nature, spending time with themselves journaling and reflecting, drinking delicious coffee, connecting with their people more deeply, creating with their hands, moving their bodies, resting. 

And when I have them open their eyes again and pull them back to reality they say to me, “But that isn’t possible, what else you got?”. 

Then for months we work on creating that vision inside of their minds. What does it look like to feel the way you felt when you waved the magic wand? What would it mean to do things that give you that feeling? 

And eventually months down the road, these women are more free. They are working less, they are in thriving relationships, they are even sometimes, walking the beach somewhere counting their blessings and living out their magic wand reality. 

Some of them can never find it in themselves to let go of Plan B and go all in on their magical vision. Those clients don’t stay very long, they revert back to their old patterns, seeking validation for their old way of suffering in the people who participate in the same suffering and encourage that suffering. 

We call this a cycle. One that is reinforced by society where overworking and stress are celebrated and compensated. 

Look at her, she does it all. 

And my heart breaks. It’s one of the reasons I have extended my time with clients. It takes at least a year at this point to unravel the disgusting conditioning that we are here to suffer and that is that and there is no other way.

I have been thinking a lot lately about why it is that we hold ourselves back from the magic wand scenario.  What are the patterns, conditional elements, societal rules that keep us consistently living in our Plan B? 

Plan B to me is the plan that comes along when you’ve decided that if you cannot have what you truly want, you will settle for this Plan B and it will be good enough. 

Good enough. 

I get it, good enough is just that, it is good enough. I think there is something daunting about this utopia vision–the one where we could have everything we’ve wanted.

Because dreaming like that..well that is dangerous my clients tell me. What if I can’t fulfill this vision? 

But what if you can? 

And what if on the way to attempting to fulfill your wildest dreams, you have a good time?

A good time. That’s not for us. That’s for other people.

A good time is for someone who doesn’t take life seriously enough. 

And if you take life seriously enough then you can be successful.

And if you worry enough about that success, you can have it. 

And if you can be successful then people will love you.

And if people love and admire you well that’s the whole ball game.

A good mamma doesn’t play….she takes care of things. She’s reliable. She’s organized. Her house is perfect. The food is prepared ahead of time.

A good employee doesn’t let up ever, they exceed their quarterly goals because the bonus is what matters. Don’t drop the ball because your whole livelihood is at stake, without this job you have no house, without this job you have no health insurance, without this job you have no fancy vacation, without this job you die. 

But what if the job is what is killing you? 

A good dad provides. As long as he is providing he does not need to be available. As long as he is bringing in the money and taking care of the fundamental needs of the family, he does not need to be present for that family. Being present may interfere with the providing. 

A good CEO sets the example of hard work because their people need to know that hard work is what gets results…and if the CEO is pulling all of these hours then we must pull these hours too and our health? Well that’s for later. That’s not a company problem. 

What are we holding onto for dear life as we “plan B” our way to stress, disease, and mental illness?  

Plan B. I don’t know ya’ll. Plan B to me seems to be what you do when someone has told you that having what you want is selfish.

That feeling good is selfish.

That meeting your own fundamental needs is selfish.

When my clients start to step into their visions and see that focusing on Plan A completely and wholeheartedly gets them Plan A…they start to feel guilty and the fear increases 10X.

What if I can’t keep up this good feeling?

What if something bad happens and I lose it all?

What if people don’t like me when I am taking care of my own needs?

What if I step out of this cycle of overfunctioning and my partner no longer loves me? 

If I say no..will they invite me next time?

But what if you can feel good?

What if you never lose it?

What if people are inspired by your ability to meet your own needs?

What if you step out of the cycle and someone else realizes they can step out too?

What if you say no and they realize they can say no too? 

I lived in Plan B for a long time. 

I will feel better when I get to…

I will stop working like this when I reach…

I will start that business when…

Life is just hard…toughen up…

Plan B. 

Plan B destroyed Plan A. It made it impossible to pursue. It made it seem distant and too difficult. It made it seem impossible.

Feeling good feels like a luxury in Plan B. 

And everyone who is living out their Plan B encouraged me to have that Plan B. 

What will you do if it doesn’t work?

What will you do if you don’t get..xzy?

What will you do when (insert horrible thing happens)?

And finally, when I decided that failing at Plan A was more enjoyable than succeeding in Plan B I would answer their questions really directly and simply. 

I don’t know. I don’t have a plan for that. Because I don’t need one. 

It is the first quarter of a new year, and I have already accomplished 50% of my goals for the year. 

That’s what going all in on Plan A gets you. Plan A results. Plan A feelings. 

A magic wand kind of life. 

So, what’s your Plan A?

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