Enrolling others in your vision is what helps it to grow. Enrolling another person is a conversation about what’s possible, not about what’s wrong, or what happened in the past, or what could happen wrong in the future. It’s literally a conversation from one Inner Voice to another about passion, possibility, and expansion.
When we want to do something that is totally out there and we need some help or support to do so, this is the kind of conversation we need to have – especially with our spouse. I’ve tried it both ways, and the “asking permission conversation” vs the “enrolling in possibility conversation” are radically different, and get different results.
Most women, and I’ll speak to women here because men do it too, but up until more recently, men have traditionally been the breadwinners so the wife has been dependent on her husband financially. And if she has an idea to start a business or make an investment in her business, most of us ladies will go to our husbands in the “can I have some money for….?” space. Yuck. I’m sure if you’ve done it, you know how disempowering it is, for both of you.
Instead of coming from this place of lack, because while you may not have the money part yet, you have an idea, and you have energy, and you have some inkling of belief that can grow and grow, you are not coming to the table empty-handed. You are coming with a vision, and many people would pay good money to have a vision that they can hang their dreams on.
This is the energy with which you approach your spouse. With enthusiasm, with determination, with belief. What if you don’t have that? Get connected to your Inner Voice. If this is really what you are feeling called to do, you will know it in your bones. If you have had negative conversations with your spouse in the past and it hasn’t gone well, just know this: when you enroll your spouse in your vision, and you share how you’d like them to be a contribution to it, or how they are a part of it in your mind (not telling them they will have jobs to do, without asking if they really want it, but instead showing that you have taken them and their contribution into careful consideration), then you can have an enrolling conversation.
Your spouse may not believe you. He may not be supportive of you. He may say “no”. No matter, what is important is that you did not make yourself small or belittle your vision just because he can’t see it with you. Our spouse is often our hardest sale, as well as our staunchest supporter.
This is not about manipulation. It is about first getting clear what you are needing and asking for. It’s about knowing when is the best time to have this conversation, and not try to squeeze in a half-assed conversation between soccer and gymnastics practice and trading kids at drop off times!
It’s not about hiding certain details or hiding yourself and your dreams and desires. This is not the time to play small. I have had many conversations with my husband over the last 12+ years. Some were enrolling, many of them were not. The enrolling ones went well. The others, not so much. Clarity, while you may or may not have it, is helpful, but not essential. Why? Because you may not have all the details, you just have a clear knowing that this is what you are meant to do. Then all it takes is courage and conviction, both of which come from the Inner Voice.
If you are ready to have a conversation with your spouse (or partner) and share your vision, it’s likely that you have already enrolled yourself in the idea, but just in case – check to make sure. Really get clear on your intentions and the energy of the decision you are making. Is it coming from fear, or from love? Love feels lighter, fear feels heavier. After I say that though, I know there are times when we can make a decision from fear because it feels lighter to back off our dreams, our ego often freaks out if it knows it’s going to be challenged. Before you have a conversation with your partner, spouse or any other person you need to enroll in your vision, spend a little time getting clear with a process I learned from Darla LeDoux:
- Am I saying yes to this because I want to go towards it (love)
- Or yes because it takes me away from something I’m afraid of (fear, and often fear of losing something)
- Am I saying no because I’m afraid of what I’ll lose or sacrifice (fear)
- Or no because it’s not the right thing for me to do (love)
List all the reasons to say yes or no in each of those questions relative to the decision you’re making, and which ever one has the most pull for you, you’ll know that’s your answer. If it’s a yes, trust it, take action and go enroll someone in the vision from that place.