Why feeling vulnerable is great for your business

VulnerabilityThis is the current picture I have pinned up on my wardrobe door:

It’s there to remind me that when I’m feeling vulnerable, (which, let’s face it, often means anxiety, worry, wobbliness, exposed, naked, afraid, uncertain, unsafe and so on) actually this is where my strength is.

And who better to talk about this than Dr Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly. Below is a wonderful TED talk she gave about vulnerability. It’s really worth a watch. (And the book is pretty good too!)

How to easily have an ‘I did it!’ moment

I did it!

Yes!

I did it!

You know how very satisfying it is to accomplish something you’ve felt nervous about, or worried in some way. But then you did it anyway?  That’s what I did just recently.

I was staying alone in the family holiday hut I told you about last week in the South West of Scotland. I’ve never been there alone in winter. In fact, I’ve only been there alone once before, and that was for one night before I met up with various members of Philip’s family to scatter his ashes on the beach.

htNow you might not think that spending a night alone is a big deal, whether winter or summer. But our hut is just that – a beach hut, rather a characterful one with various old-fashioned ‘mod cons’, but nevertheless charmingly basic.

This means the water’s turned off in winter because it might freeze otherwise; there’s no electricity other than that supplied by a solar panel for the lights; the tiny fridge and shower and hot water are supplied by gas bottles. And all these needed to be turned on too.  Again, not a big deal you might think.

But a very big deal if your husband has always done these kinds of things, or you’ve done them together. A big deal if it’s in the middle of winter and freezing cold (it was -1 when I arrived).

But here’s the thing.  I was scared, and I did it all anyway.

I lit the woodburning stove first, always a good idea to be warm. 🙂

I saw the waterheater was leaking, because a tap hadn’t been screwed in. I screwed it tight and mopped up.

I followed instructions to turn on the water at the stopcock and couldn’t get it to work. I temporarily gave up and followed instructions to turn on the gas bottles instead, lit a gas ring on the cooker, and hurray!  Gas was working.

Next the fridge – I’d actually done this before and knew it could be difficult. But –  and I could hardly believe it – it lit first time!

Electricity was easy – switch on the main switch. Try the lights – yes!  So all I had to do now was get the water on, and light the water heater.  I rang my brother in law but he was about to go into a cinema to watch Harry Potter and I didn’t really understand what he said. I tried again. No success though, still just a trickle.

Someone walked by on the beach.

‘Hi there, could you help me a moment please?’

‘Sure,’ and he walked up into our garden.

‘I just need you to twiddle with the stopcock while I look at what the water’s doing, it’s just so much easier with two. I’ve been running backwards and forwards the whole time’. He twiddled the T-bar, and I turned on the tap. Water gushed out.

‘How on earth did you do that?’

‘It only needed the smallest of moves, that’s all’.

‘That’s brilliant, I must have been doing it too much and going out of alignment again. Would you like a cup of coffee?’

‘Love to but would you mind if I just get my wife? We’ve always wanted to see inside this cottage!’

And so I spent a cheerful half hour over coffee with a couple who come here regularly and will probably end up renting the hut. Even though they have a caravan at the nearby caravan site, it’s not right on the beach and doesn’t have the spectacular views our hut has.

There’s one last bit to this story. Mice had been visiting over the winter, I could see evidence. I really dislike mice inside houses. Would I manage to sleep the night through without being disturbed by them?  Perhaps earplugs would work, then if they did visit, I wouldn’t hear them.

7am the next morning. I did it!

I slept really well, no evidence of mice amazingly enough, and woke feeling so very proud of myself for just getting on and doing it!

So the moral of this story is: don’t let the thought of something difficult, or challenging, or nerve-wracking put you off taking action. Do it anyway, trust that you’ll find a way to cope. Look forward to your own ‘I did it!’ moment, and the repercussions of that.

And I have some questions for you: is there something you want to do that you’ve put off doing because of nerves, fear, anxiety, guilt?  Or any other reason?

What are the elements that have contributed to you not taking action?

What small steps need to happen for you to achieve what you want?

It could be taking the next step forward in your business, it could be daring to experience something you’ve never done before, it could even be hiring a coach!  Whatever it is, I invite you to take the next step you’ve identified right now.

And if you want some help with that, then please do apply for one of just 5 spots I have available this month for complimentary Wild Wisdom sessions, where you will be able to identify:

  • what is holding you back from where you want to be,
  • what you need to do about it
  • the next big and small steps that will take your forward
  • encouragement to take action!

Click here for the link to my online scheduler

These spots are open to anyone, whether you have a business or not, and they tend to go fast, so please claim your place now!

FOMO – the disease that creeps up on you unawares…

Anxiously fiddling with my ring, I looked at my watch.

‘What do you think they’re doing?’ I asked my friend.  We’d both been in a conference session and had left mid-way, having got a bit bored.

‘I don’t know. But I do know we are suffering from FOMO,’ she replied, with a giggle.

‘FOMO?  What’s that?’

‘Fear Of Missing Out!’ and she laughed. So did I. It’s so pervasive, this particular disease.

I’m sure you’ll know what I mean. How often have you sat through something thinking you ‘ought’ to be there, that it’ll ‘get better soon’, or that you just wish you were somewhere different?

IMG_0319Or maybe there’s several options open re a decision; or more than one invitation made to you.  The mind goes back and forth re what to do, if anything, and frets away at what you might be missing out on.

‘If you don’t do X then you’ll be behind everyone else’ it warns.

‘I can’t do everything, so how on earth do I know what will be best for me?’  What a dilemma!

‘I might miss the one crucial piece of information – the missing secret to life!   That would be so awful’.

And on and on it goes.  This is FOMO in action.

It can take different forms too, such as a tapping foot, an air of distraction, a nervous tummy.  All of them are symptoms that you have contracted FOMO and need to take an antidote, and quickly.

So what is the antidote, and where do you find it?

It’s called Triple A, and it’s always with you, though sometimes apparently in hiding.  There’s 3 parts to the Triple A antidote:

  1. Awareness (that you’ve got FOMO in the first place – this is essential)
  2. Acceptance (having been aware, you don’t try to push FOMO away, ignore it or even be judgmental – you simply notice it’s presence )
  3. Aaaaahhhhh (you breathe deeply, and have a little giggle at yourself)

Each of this pieces is crucial (and the giggle perhaps the most!)

Awareness, because without knowing you’ve caught the disease, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Acceptance, because anything other means you are still caught in the tentacles of FOMO, one of the components of which is self-critical thoughts.

And Aaaahhhh, because without the giggle and the conscious breath, you are in grave danger of a fourth ‘A’, which is …

Analysing it!

Spiritual seekers in particular beware of this – it’s so easy to get caught out at the acceptance part of the Triple A and move into Analysis without realizing it.  When in fact the only action at this stage is to apply the Aaaahhh, and STOP doing it!

Just stop.

Steer your mind away from what you think you will be missing out on, and simply trust that where you are, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling is perfectly fine, just as it is.

And this is the state that emerging from FOMO gives you – a chance to put into practice the choice to stay on the path of anxiety, worry and fear – or to switch directions and veer onto the path of giggles, self-love and freedom.

So watch out – FOMO comes in many disguises, it’s prevalent amongst society today, and it keeps you stuck!  Make sure you have plenty of the antidote handy for when an attack comes along.

Love Jane

PS I’m going to give you a chance to watch FOMO in action!  The Radical Income Welcome Toolkit is an amazing bag of tools to help you welcome more income into your life. Check it out here and see if you get FOMO or not. And if you do, apply the antidote, and then make a decision from a place of freedom as to whether or not you’re interested in getting the Toolkit. Yes, this IS a radical method of selling, but then that’s what Wild Wisdom is all about.

What’s the secret that could be keeping you stuck?

You know, I love it when people are willing to talk and share about things you are not ‘supposed’ to talk about; I love it when others are willing to be honest and vulnerable. It helps us all then to take down the masks, and stop being ashamed of who we are.  And if there’s one thing that Wild Wisdom is about, it’s about allowing your own wild wisdom to shine out, and be more of who you are, not less!

FringeDown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this last weekend, there was a theme in two of the shows I attended . The first was ‘Over It: Death, Anorexia and Other Funny Things’. Given my interest in death lately, and my own experience of the kind of very black humour that can be so hilarious, you might have expected me to see that show. But you might not have known that I’d be interested in anorexia – not because I am or was anorexic, but because I was bulimic in my twenties.

So I know how very courageous it was to be doing a show about this subject, because one of the features of these kinds of illnesses is the shame, and the desire to keep it all hidden and secret.

And sadly, despite the fact that death happens to all of us, and to all our friends and family members, there appears to be a kind of shame attached to it too. As if the longer you live the more successful you have been!  Weird.  But for whatever reason, it’s not talked about enough, not free of embarrassment, not a normal dinner party conversation topic.

So when a young man was doing a stand-up comedy routine about when he was anorexic, closely followed by a slightly older woman doing the same about how death had touched her life, I really wanted to know how it would be.

It was wonderful. Very, very funny. Touching, poignant, and educational to boot.  All hail to these guys, they are doing a wonderful job.  I don’t want to say more about them because it will take away the surprise, but you can read more about them here.

The other show was more famous (had to pay to see that one!) Fascinating Aida are known mostly for their hilarious ‘Cheap Flights’ song. A 3-woman harmony group of Dillie, Adele and Liza, who write their own very amusing lyrics, they’ve been going quite a long time. They’re usually singing about the sorts of things we all recognize but people don’t often mention, and their songs on this set covered ageing, sex, the politicizing of the Brownies (what? yes, really!) and the reason I’m mentioning them here – gender change.

Together, two of them had been writing a song for over ten years, and now the timing was right to introduce us to it. Extremely funny as it was, it brought tears to my eyes too, it being the tale of how Adele had been a girl born into a boy’s body, the agony of that and the eventual relief when she was able to live properly as a woman.

Such courage!  Such guts, gumption and gracefulness from her and her two fellow singers, and from the Over It duo.

So here’s my question to you. Have you a secret that you want to share? Something you’re maybe a tad embarrassed about, or wish wasn’t part of your life?

Because it’s these kinds of things that hold you back. Not just in your work or business, but in life itself. It’s time to stop pretending, because if you want to move forward you have got to put down that piece of luggage that is proving a dead weight.

OK, I’ll share first. Even though I’m not bulimic now, I still sometimes binge eat. I realized this was a problem when a few months after my husband died, I found myself having 4 (largish) chocolate bars, one after another. It was dinner time, I could justify it to myself as a ‘meal’, albeit an unusual one, but really I was just kidding myself. And before you think, ah well, she had a good reason there, I’ve done this on and off without good reasons too!

Not great.  But there you go, that’s what’s now out in the open.  Not proud of it, but in sharing it takes away any shame, guilt, the thought of ‘doing something wrong’. It’s not a very loving act, but feeling bad about that on top is an extra layer definitely not needed.

So come join me – is there anything you’d like to share that could be holding you back? Any piece of luggage you would like to put down by bringing it out into the open?  Please join me and others in the comments box below and let’s begin to raise the lid on keeping secrets that keep us stuck!

‘Money Comes From Wherever It Is’: Silly – But Is It Really?

On the surface this quote from Ramana Maharshi, the famous India sage, appears to be trite, but let’s look a little deeper.

Can you open your mind to the idea that money can come to you from anywhere?  The obvious answer to this is a resounding yes, but in fact, that’s not necessarily the case, and here’s a point to illustrate it.

A client was fretting that she’d not taken the actions necessary to set up enough opportunities and that her income was going to be down that month as a consequence.  I asked her: ‘What about money coming in from unexpected places?’

She then began her next sentence with that all too common phrase, ‘Yes, but…’ and I knew I was going to be hearing a deflecting of this idea, regardless of the way she put it. Her particular ‘Yes, but…’ was:

‘I need to focus on my business income because it’s not sustainable otherwise. Yes, money might come in unexpectedly from another source, but I can’t rely on that. So it doesn’t count’.

Do you hear that? ‘It doesn’t count’.  Really?  If you want to be friends with money, to have more coming in, does it really matter where it comes from? Continue reading