I’ve been hearing from birth professionals who are struggling with finding clients and getting hired. These women are very actively marketing themselves. They’re putting themselves out there, making contacts, getting interviews, following up, but they’re just not gaining the clients, or they’re not attracting the kind of clients they want – namely, clients willing to pay what they're asking for. In almost all of these stories lies a similar, underlying message – I’m not good enough.
“I don’t have enough experience.”
“I’m brand new.”
“There are so many established doulas/cbes in my community.”
“I don’t have ________ skills. Maybe I should become a ________.”
“The only way people will hire me is if I give them a discount.”
As I’ve listened and read these stories, I’ve noticed my heart clench up and I want to jump up and down and start screaming. Why? Because I really see who you are.
I see the desire in your heart to help women and families.
I feel the passion you have for this work.
I know the strong belief you have in the power of knowledge and support that will help women have better birth experiences.
Hear the gears in your head moving, trying to figure out the “perfect” things to do or say so someone will hire you.
See the gremlins standing behind you, hearing them tell you all the reasons why what you’re doing isn’t working or won’t ever work.
Feel the desperation as you attempt to think and work harder to find success.
Why this hits so close to home is that I’ve been there. I’ve had times when I’ve felt I’ve done all the right things, and it wasn't leading to new clients. I’ve had moments when I believed that I had to think and do something different, add more skills or try a new spin on something in order to be successful. So I worked harder and thought harder and worked some more. I'm here to tell you that it's not only ineffective… it sucks out your vital energy, affects your physical and mental health, and spills over into other areas of your life.
If you’re connecting with what I’ve described above, this is what can help you:
Know that you are good enough.
Right now, I want you take a break and get some self-care in.
If you are thinking, “Well, I need to keep working because I have no clients and no money and _________ and _________ and ________…”
STOP. This isn't helpful.
Now, do an activity you really enjoy. Something creative, something that lets you lose track of time. Get your kids involved too.
Laugh and be silly. Call a friend and have a girls' night out.
Pack a picnic. Get outside. Just add water. Watch the squirrels run and play, and see how the birds peck in the grass.
No computer, no tv, no books. Tune into YOU.
Get some bodywork done. Get a pedicure. Go ahead and indulge and treat yourself to something sinfully sweet. Or make yourself a really healthy meal that truly nourishes you.
Give yourself permission to fully relax.
Rinse and repeat for the next few days. I want you to dive into some well-deserved, indulgent, decadent self-care.
You'll know you're ready to get back to work when your inner guidance kicks in. How do you know when it has? When ideas start popping up, when you feel inspired to contact someone, or add some text to your website. You'll recognize your inner guidance when the voice you hear in your head is calm, wise, comforting.
I am a fan of Esther Hicks and Abraham, and I drew the following from their set of “Ask and it is Given” Cards, which I feel is so appropriate for this piece:
"I Must Be Selfish Enough to Align with Well-Being"
If you are not selfish enough to deliberately align with the Energy of your Source, you have nothing to give anyway. Some worry that if they take too much of the pie, others will be left with nothing; while, in reality, the pie expands in proportion to the vibrational requests of all of you.
To know and stand in your value, you must, without exception, be gentle with the thoughts you think about yourself. Your circle of influence begins with your passion and desire and has nothing to do with what others around you are doing.
There are no failures, just lessons to learn from. When you nurture yourself you open doorways of understanding and give your inner wisdom a chance to shine through.