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Do the Work

Risk the vulnerability hangover. You will survive it.

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Okay.

Hi.

We’ve all been there. We shared from the depths of our souls. Our fears. Our worries. Our hopes. Our dreams.

In the sharing, we were effusive, euphoric, unbridled, and even - dare I say it? - emotional. Because, I mean, it felt so good in that moment.

Walking around with your guard up all the time is exhausting.

So letting your guard down and letting loose felt so… right.
Both reckless and safe at the same time.
So… intoxicating.
So you shared one more thing.

 

And then you felt the surge of heat in your cheeks. The room started to spin and you had to make a hasty retreat from the conversation. Or worse... you leave feeling euphoric, only to wake up in a puddle of your insecurities the next day.

"Oh hell! Why did I share that?” “What was I thinking?” And, worse, “What must THEY be thinking now about ME?”

You think you said too much.
You think you were too much.

You, my friend, are eyeballs deep into what has been called the “vulnerability hangover.”
[term coined by the Queen Bee of Vulnerability, Dr. Brené Brown]

Dude. Totally been there.

As a chronic hugger of strangers, the first one to say I love you, an over-sharer by nature and a woman living inside a desire to live so fully that most of her filters have been removed, I get it.

Brown posits that if you don’t feel any vulnerability hangover, then maybe you didn’t go far enough.


If we’re going to use vulnerability hangovers as a metric of courage, here’s a super quick survival guide.

First of all, you will survive this.

You will absolutely survive this. Anyone who has stepped out and risked sharing what was true has experienced this and (you guessed it) survived.

Next, Hydrate.

Simple. Just hydrate. No tricks. Just drink water.
(You aren’t drinking enough, you know)

third, Compassion-ate

kəmˈpaSHən, āt/verb

As in, fire compassion beams on yourself. Be kind. Be gentle.

You shared because you had a full tank of thoughts and feelings and sadness and joy and despair and whatever else you had and were looking to connect with someone. Maybe with several someones. You needed that. We all need that. So beating yourself up is no good.

Find the same compassion for yourself that you would give a sweet little girl who told her crush that his eyes were nice and now feels awash in shame for her confession.

Last, Calibrate

Recognize that the impulse beneath the sharing was connection (it was, trust me). Where else can you get this need met in a way that will not send you to bed dizzy and wanting to hide because you are flushed with hot panic? What’s another way forward? Who can you surround yourself with?

Because what I worry about is this: if you endure one too many vulnerability hangovers, you just may stop showing up.

And, honey? We cannot have that.


Listen. We are living in a messed up time.

People walking around believing that guns are keeping people safe.
There is actually a NEED to have hashtags like #blacklivesmatter (this brings tears to my eyes).
The unbelievably messed up legacy of residential schools in Canada (so does this).
Politicians politicizing climate change. Reality TV asshats who believe that walls are the answer.
Social media filled with snark at best and hatred and vitriol at worst.
Children are being detained in unsanitary, inhumane, and overcrowded conditions — some even forced to drink water from toilet.

It is time to say what needs to be said. Now more than ever.

We can’t have you in bed not saying what needs to be said because you are afraid of the repercussions of a vulnerability hangover. Click to tweet this.

I’m scared. I know you are too.

Above all:

Please don’t apologize for feeling the depths of your experience.
Don’t apologize for expressing the depths of your experience.
And don’t stop sharing what needs to be shared.

It’s time for humanity. Not immunity. And certainly not silence. Click to tweet this.

I repeat: we’ve got work to do.


*A note about coaching. With ANYONE.

I’m always amazed when a new client apologizes for being emotional in a session. Worrying about what I’ll think. It’s an epidemic - worrying about how we’ll react to each other.

People… I’m a professional.

THIS is what I do. This is what ALL coaches do. All that deep-listening and ideation and strategy and compassion are God-given gifts that I nurture and tend to. No doubt. SELF-MANAGEMENT is the skill I paid tens of thousands of dollars for and spent thousands of hours mastering.

So bring it. Bring the mess. Bring the tears. Bring what you think is a shit show.

I’ve got it all. I’ve got you. That’s my job. That’s ALL coaches' jobs.

We’ll find your way forward. Because we are going to need your voice, at top level. We’re going to need your arms, your heart, your soul and all that you have got if we’re going to turn this thing around.

With love and raised fist,

TG


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Follow through

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The Unshakeable Confidence model I have developed stands on three pillars: Presence, Integrity, and Action. Of these, it’s Action that has my attention in 2019, with Integrity not far behind.

Which means I started out the year clear that procrastination and perfectionism (the two behaviours that get us stuck when we are out of action) don’t get to vote this year. Or, maybe they get to vote… I just get the veto. My business. My life.

I’ve prioritized them long enough, you see. Searching for the perfect words. Waiting on the perfect time.

And I’ve come to know that I can’t count on perfection. But I can count on truth.

So procrastination and perfectionism simply can’t rate this year.

And they won’t.

FOLLOW THROUGH is my theme for the year. It’s not sexy. And that’s good. Because when I’ve succumbed to sexy, I’ve committed to overpromising.

Following Through is the belonging to Overpromising’s fitting in.
Following Through is the responsiveness to Overpromising’s reactivity.
Following Through is the enduring legacy to Overpromising’s fleeting fame.

Following Through is, at its essence, Action, balanced with Integrity. If I Overpromise, I may get into Action, but not see it through (lack of Integrity). So it’s clear that following through is the truest way for me to get ever closer to the fullest expression of who I know I am at my most essential being.

It may not be fastest. And it’s definitely not the sparkliest.
But it is truest.

So why would I settle for less?

And so, my commitment to Follow Through is the reason I won’t share the three page-long list of promises I’ve made to myself for 2019… because until they’re complete by Dec 31, 2019, I haven’t followed through.

Because nothing matters unless and until I have Followed Through.

Which I did in January.

Including the measures I’ve taken to lower my blood sugar because diabetes is one of my family’s enduring gifts… along with the love of all the things that raises blood sugar.
And the 30 day yoga challenge.
And dry January.
And the writing.
And the meditation.
And the water consumption.
And the preservation of family time on the weekends.
And the journaling.
And the reassessment of my charitable donations.

And I liked how that felt.
A lot.

My intentions don’t matter if my integrity is eroded.

And for my integrity to remain in tact:
I need to show up authentically as the person whose insides are congruent with her outsides;
I need to be obedient to my vision… whilst allowing it space and grace to ebb and flow as the world keens and groans and hearts do too; and,
I need to honour my word. To others, of course. But above all? To myself.

If I can’t trust me, how can you trust me?
And, oh, how I want you to be able to trust me.

My capacity may be immense… but it’s not infinite.

TWEET THIS

There are a number of things that have not been checked off. In spite of how it felt, January was still only 31 days.

My eyes have always been bigger than my capacity. And my capacity may be immense… but it’s not infinite.

But as these things continue to be important to me, I will triple down and follow through.

And those on my email list will be the first to know when they are ready — join us by signing up below.
Because they are glorious.

What are you committed to following through on in 2019?


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Why Comparison Matters - and How You Can Transform It

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Since launching Beyond Compare, Lauren and I have been talking to a lot of people about comparison – why it matters, and how we go about transforming it.

Maybe all this comparison talk resonates immediately with you, or maybe it all seems a little abstract. So today, we want to share a little more about why we think compulsive comparison is a stumbling block for so many – as well as the framework we’ve developed for considering how comparison works.


Why Comparison Matters

In our extensive (professional AND – ahem – personal) research, we have come to understand that comparison tops pretty much any other Big Bad Beastie that gets in the way of our progress (again... professional AND personal).

Google “quotes about comparison” the next time you have a spare hour to kill to see just how ubiquitous it is.

When we are invited to do interviews about comparison, the invites are typically framed as “the #1 issue my listeners are grappling with.” It affects SO MANY OF US. (And while it affects each of us differently, if we’re being honest, most of us have been brought to our knees by its force on occasion.)

If you allow it to, Beyond Compare will help you to see where comparison may be...

  • stopping you from creating what you want
  • preventing you from activating your calling
  • making you feel (and play) small for fear of projections
  • keeping you from expressing yourself fully
  • causing you to disown your power (and hand it over to others).

It matters. Oh, how it matters. Only YOU can say for yourself just how much it matters –  personally and professionally.

How You Can Transform It

In our research, we have also come to understand comparison as a three-dimensional structure. On the one plane, we compare up (looking up to others in a way that “others” us from them) and we compare down (judging and disdaining others in a way that, you guessed it, “others” us from them).

On the other plane, we compare ourselves to others AND we experience others comparing themselves to us. Up or down. Whether we’ve been put on a pedestal or are judged harshly, the impact of “othering” once again endures.

So that’s the framework. It looks like this:

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The big idea behind the work we’ve poured into the program is to offer real and substantive tools that move us from Disdain to Evaluation and from Hero-Worship to Celebration.


Here’s a nibble to whet your appetite for the delicious feast that is Beyond Compare:

Moving From Disdain to Evaluation

Evaluation emerges when we choose to engage critically with someone’s work or behaviour without making them, as a person, wrong. Respectful debate, thoughtful performance assessments, engaging a beloved friend in a difficult conversation: all of these exist in evaluation territory.

If you catch yourself stuck in Disdain territory, try this reflection to shift you into Evaluation:

  • Who do I judge for doing what I’m embarrassed to admit I do too? What’s the behaviour I’m ashamed of?
  • Who do I judge for behaving in ways I secretly wish I could “get away with?" What do I fear would happen if I behaved that way, too?
  • Where are the qualities that I disdain holding me back?
  • What could I do if I gave myself permission to embody those qualities?

Of course, this work has many more layers, but this is a place to start.

Moving from Hero-Worship to Celebration

To understand Celebration, think of a beloved teacher, close ally, or dear friend – anyone who inspires us to say, “I am better because of you.” They help us face and overcome challenges, by showing us our own strengths.

The energy here is a kind of curious equanimity: We notice difference and similarity, and make the most of both. We don’t value a person more or less because they possess a particular trait; we simply appreciate it, and ask how we can celebrate it, while also celebrating our selves.

To shift from Hero-Worship to Celebration, consider the following questions:

  • Who do I admire?
  • What do I admire about them?
  • When I consider these people, do I notice any common threads? If so, what are they?
  • Now, experiment with looking at those strengths and gifts, and telling yourself that you have the full potential to embody them. What would it look like if you allowed those parts of yourself more room?

What did you discover through these two exercises?

You may have noticed that the “fix,” in each case, is to quit focusing your energy on the other person and direct it squarely towards yourself. While it may feel like it’s the other person evoking a response in you, the reality is that your response is entirely within your control. You can choose Hero-Worship or Celebration, Disdain or Evaluation.

The freedom that comes from choice is the reason we created Beyond Compare. The freedom to create. The freedom to follow your own calling. The freedom to own your authority and succeed on your own terms.

Because we can taste that freedom. And we want it for you.

You too? Grab your copy of Beyond Compare here.

Ready or Not: Expansion, eclipses, and throwing your limitations into the volcano of your desires.

"'Come to the edge,' he said.
They said, 'We are afraid.'
'Come to the edge,' he said.
They came.
He pushed them.

And they flew."

- Apollinaire

My father loved to tell the story of how he learned to swim.

 

Long ago in Karlsruhe, Germany, my dad was a 6-year old tagging along with his big brother on a date. They had ridden their bikes to the Rhine River and my uncle was big-talking to his sweetheart about his swimming prowess. (Neither my father nor my uncle knew how to swim at this point, though my father really wanted to learn).

My dad called him out on it, to which my embarrassed uncle responded with brute big brother energy. He ripped the tire off of his bike, wound it around my father a couple of times, blew the air back into it with his hand pump, and chucked him into the river.

(Sidebar: I ought to be horrified by this, but I’ve known this story my whole life and can only ever see it through the animated filter of Bugs Bunny.)

He floated, of course. Bobbing alongside my uncle and his nonplussed girlfriend. And pretty soon his arms and legs caught on.

Ready or not, he learned to swim that day.

One event that had the same effect on me was watching a full lunar eclipse. I felt like I was walking along and someone hurled me into frigid waters.

I bobbed along in shocked disorientation for a while, then my arms and legs caught on and I began to swim.

Maybe you feel it too. Have any world-changing epiphanies doused your reality? Do you feel the rug coming out from under you? Are you rethinking EVERYTHING you’re doing in a current venture? Are your rethinking EVERYTHING period?

Yes, yes. You’re in excellent company. And now that the dust has settled (for now), you may be grappling with what's next. Like, what to actually DO about it.

I have seen what is next for me in my business. And it is huge and bright. And try as I might, I cannot unsee it.

(And why might I try to unsee it? Because the brilliance is blinding. Same reason we always try to dim the light.)

But it’s here. Because although I feel like I got chucked into the Rhine unexpectedly, I’ve been yearning for this expansion - dreaming of it, praying for it, conjuring it.

And, ready or not, it’s here. And it’s hungry.

So this past week I’ve been feeding it a steady diet of my limitations. For every “I can’t” and “I don’t know how” that has shown up (and there have been plenty), I’ve been hurling them into the gaping mouth of the volcano of my desires. (The ensuing lava flares and fire fountain I envision are Bugs Bunny calibre.) In with the limitations go old habits, beliefs, and stories.

It’s not always this easy. Except when it is.

And then I breathe into the space that just created.

If you’re on the precipice of your desires, whether you’ve thoughtfully and carefully navigated your way there, or you’ve been thrust into them by cosmic intervention, trust that your legs and arms will carry you. You will learn to swim. But to actualize your expansion, you will need to lighten your load.

Ready or not, there are many more eclipses on the horizon.


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For the moment that has you question your bravery.

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You were brave. You remember, don’t you?

No? Okay. Here it is. You were brave:

when you stayed.

when you left.

when you said, "No, but let’s try this."

when you said, "No, never."

when you said, "Yes, thank you. More, please."

when your wave to the cool kids wasn’t returned (and still, you kept your head high).

when you kissed the ground (even though you wanted to shake your fist at the sky).

when you stood up.

when you stood down.

when you kept writing, speaking, teaching, singing, preaching, going.

(even though...)

when you danced with the shadow (but didn’t go to second base).

when you were so worn out, but made it count anyway.

when you wore your heart on your sleeve (it SO brings out your eyes).

when you believed.

when you trusted.

when you knew that you knew.

when you raised your hand.

when you took the high road (and not just for the panoramic views).

when you didn't feel so hot in the bathing suit, but swam in the grace around you just the same.

when you made your dreams your mission.

when you shelved your dreams for someone else’s (though you’ll never do THAT again).

when you tossed your limitations into the volcano of your desires.

when you committed to your life.

when you kept your promise to others,

when you kept your promise to yourself.

when you kept your promise to your soul.

when you trusted how it felt (not how it looked).

when you kept showingupshowingupshowingup (even though the duvet beckoned).

when you forgave (REALLY forgave),

when you decided to stop deferring to others.

when you decided that enough was enough and that you were enough (oh, that was a good one).

when you risked it.

when you risked telling someone they matter.

when you decided it wasn’t too late, but also that it wasn't too soon to just.get.going.

when you chose collaboration over competition,

discernment over decisiveness,

generosity over guarantees,

curiosity over certitude.

when you tapped yourself in.

when you switched gears (even though everyone was watching).

when you chose to love.

when you chose joy.

and, when you chose you.

So, you see? Every.single.day. you keep showing it. You keep showing us.


This Thursday, February 1 at 2pm EST,
I will be live on Facebook talking all things bravery. I hope you'll join me.