In theatre, since early Greek and Roman times centuries ago, there has been a device known as the “Deux Ex Machina”.
“Deus ex machina” is Latin for “god from the machine” or “god of the machine.” It’s a person or thing that appears suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insolvable conundrum that the characters are going through.
In real life, there is no Deus ex Machina.
You may be thinking, “Of course not.”
But I have to say, throughout my life I’ve repeatedly acted as if some solution that “they say” is the “right thing to do” is going to take all the challenges away and catapult my life or my business to the next level of awesomeness.
Can you relate?
I started off the year with a bang. With clarity. I made a then powerful choice to pay someone to be the solution, the missing link … the deus ex machina. I expected them to take all of the things I didn’t want to do off my plate, freeing me up to only do the things I wanted to do.
… and then it all went wrong.
In many ways, it feels like it’s been months since I was in any kind of rhythm.
So now, I’m halfway through the year and I have to take a step back and start all over again. Recalibrate. Readjust.
It would be easy at this point to beat myself up. For once, I’m not going to do that … I’m focusing instead on what I’ve learned.
- No “Deus ex Machina” from outside of me is going to “save” or “solve” things.
I’ve already said a lot about this one. Let me add that I hope this is the last time I’ll have to learn this. I hope that I’ll catch myself before I’m seduced by the “this is going to fix everything” thoughts. Which brings me to …
- Much of the time, nothing needs to be “fixed”.
Businesses (like relationships) need to be nurtured regularly in order to grow. That doesn’t mean that they’re flawed. For much of my life, I’ve had a tendency to focus on what isn’t working or hasn’t happened (yet). When I do this, I go blind to everything that is working.
I spent a year honoring the “Yes, and … “ theme. I made myself see, acknowledge, and celebrate what was working (the “Yes!”) while also working toward what might be even better (the “and … “). I’ve been practicing this again during the humbling ups and downs of the last few months. It’s powerful. It’s how I’ve managed to learn key, useful things that will (when nurtured) take things to a new level of awesomeness.
- All or nothing doesn’t work for me when it comes to delegating.
It doesn’t work for my clients either, and it’s been humbling to catch myself repeating the pattern. I’m a very independent person. I was an executive assistant for years. I’ve been single for most of my life. I’m very, very good at crossing things off of a to-do list. I know I can’t do everything myself. And, I can’t just throw my hands up in the air and dump it all on someone else with no communication either.
What I’ve learned from my humbling experience this year is that I need and am ready for someone to own parts of this business. And, I’m still the CEO. I’ve learned it’s time and it’s right for me to surrender, to give someone else creative freedom and ownership. And, communication is key – because the business is at the stage that everything we do impacts each other. I’m ready for this to be a creative, collaborative time working together.
Believe it or not, this has all ended up in a win-win-win situation. The “Deus Ex Machina” and I parted ways amicably and she’s off to a better, more empowering life. I’m working with my super genius, tech guru, wise in all the ways I’m not, good friend. I am still doing some of the executive assistant type administrative things that, in an ideal world, I will not be doing someday. And this is the right place to be for all of us … for now.
Where are you subconsciously expecting a “deus ex machina” to save you?
Where are you beating yourself up?
What do you see when you take a step back and reflect?
Comment on the blog or email me and let me know your struggles and your aha’s. I’d love to hear from you.
With passion & love,