Scarcity, prosperity, and vulnerability

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Entrepreneurship, Life+Work

When Nancy Lyons gave her talk at Camp COCO last weekend, she asked us questions that helped us understand the beliefs from which we operated—in this case, out of scarcity or out of prosperity. I’m summarizing, but she said something like:

“Raise your hand if you believe that you are enough, that you have enough, and that there will always be enough for you.”


“Raise your hand if you tend to worry about future security, and that there might not always be enough opportunity/resources for you.”

I raised my hand for both. They’re both true. And I’m realizing that I have a weird relationship with money. I’m simultaneously confident and bold, and terrified and cautious. It’s probably a healthy balance. Some (most) days, I feel fortunate to have respectful clients who pay on time, and for not having had to do much formal business development (yet). Other days, I feel like an absolute imposter. I think, “who am I to be billing at this rate?” and “there must be someone more qualified” and “people dream for decades about being working for themselves—who am I to have this opportunity?” And, I think, “there are people—lots of people—who don’t have nearly the access and opportunity I have, and I need to think about how to use my privilege to support them and their work.”

This morning, I paid off my student loans. My accountant (shameless plug for the awesome team at Financial Navigation Group) told me that taking a large (for me) distribution from my business would be okay with my tax situation this year. So I did it, and I paid it, and it felt wonderful and also bizarre and undeserved.

If you would’ve told me that I’d be able to…

  • Pay off my student loans
  • Pay off my car
  • Easily find and use health insurance
  • Re-side my garage
  • Keep up with mortgage payments
  • Hire a 1/2 time contractor to work with me
  • Go on vacation(s)

…in the first two years of my business, I’d have told you that you were full of it. Because who am I to deserve any of this? The answer is that I’m me, and I’m enough, and I deserve this, and it’s important to vocalize that (sometimes literally).

In no particular order, here six themes—affirmations—that I firmly believe, and that I try to remember when I start spiraling into imposter syndrome-dom. Maybe they’ll help you avoid or pull out of the spiral, too.

  1. I deserve to be properly compensated for my contributions.
  2. I have the right to choose how to structure my days, and my life.
  3. I deserve respect, and the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Taking time off does not mean I am less of a hard worker.
  5. I have enough, and I am enough.
  6. Everything will work out.

Do you have other affirmations you use to keep yourself from descending into self-doubt? Hit me.

Thanks for reading.