These Are NOT MY Shoes

Growing as an Entrepreneur

A couple weeks ago, I went up to Massachusetts to Kripalu to a workshop in Internal Family Systems, a transformational technique I use with myself and with my private clients.

IMG_0002 When I came out the sacred chanting event in the evening of my 3rd day at Kripalu, my shoes were not where I left them, on the floor.  (All the classes and events at groovy Kripalu are shoes off.)

I looked on the shoe rack, and there was a pair of Echos, just like mine.

So, a little skeptical of how they got on the rack when I’d left them on the floor, I took them down and put them on.

Walking back to my room, I witnessed an internal conversation.  One part of me said, “These are not your shoes.  They’re a little too big.  The colors are a little too bright.  They’re stiffer than your shoes.  These are NOT your shoes.”

Another part of me responded, “Yes, these are your shoes.  They fit fine.  You just don’t remember exactly what your shoes look like, feel like.  Relax.  These ARE your shoes.”

Back in my room, I told both sides of my shoe story to my roommate.

Then it hit me . . .

“Holy Shit!  I have LITERALLY stepped into a metaphor of what’s going on for me in my business”.

I feel uncomfortable in this new role of an expert.

Uncomfortable with all the positive feedback I’m getting from clients and colleagues and my own coach.

Uncomfortable earning so much more money than I have before.

Next morning, I’d forgotten all about the damn metaphor business.  As I walked to breakfast, to my Internal Family Systems class, I became absolutely sure I was not wearing my shoes.

At first, my strategy was to spot my shoe swapper by staring at women’s feet.  I quickly realized that it’s unpleasant to look down all the time and unlikely to succeed.

After dinner, I was absolutely determined to find MY SHOES.  

I decided to tour the building, looking at the shoes outside every door.

I started at the iRest meditation class, with around 60 pairs of shoes on the floor and in the rack.

There, in the rack was a very familiar pair of Echoes.  

MY ECHOES, in fact.

Comparing them to the Echoes I’d been wearing for 24 hours, I confirmed.  Yep mine were slightly smaller.  Older and less colorful.  More comfy and broken in.

Relieved and feeling a bit self-righteous, I wrote a note to the women whose shoes I’d been wearing, put mine back on, and headed back to my room.

It wasn’t until 3 days later, back at home in Tucson, telling the story to my housemate, that I realized something:

I didn’t like the way I’d finished my metaphor.  I’d happily gone back to my small shoes.  Trading up for a newer, slightly larger pair had been uncomfortable.  I was choosing to stay small.

Then it hit me:

I’ve got to get a NEW pair of shoes!

At first, I thought I’d get a new pair of Echoes – a half size larger.

But I decided I wanted to get something entirely new for me.

A shoe I wouldn’t normally choose.

Something a six figure business owner would be proud to wear, comfortable in.

So here I am in my new shoes.



I’d love to hear how this story hits you . . . if you’ve had any growing pains metaphors show up in your life.  Leave a comment – we’d love to hear from you (or your shoes).

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About the Author

Natalie Hill is a Transformational Coach for women entrepreneurs. She loves empowering women to bust through their blocks so they can be who they were born to be. Contact Natalie at Google+

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