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Step into Your Starring Role

Waiting for Your Big Break May Break You

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Big Breaks can make life easier. They feel like ginormous affirmations that we are really on the right path to THERE. They are universal winks of “I see you Kid…and it is good”.

So of course, we want ‘em. Bad. We yearn for them.

The tweet that will change your trajectory.  The windfall of grace at just the right moment.

But have you ever had a Big Break and felt a bit, erm, empty? Like: THAT was what I’ve been waiting for?

Or, have had the Big Break and then felt like you’ve fumbled it. That it was the ONE CHANCE and there will never, ever, EVER be another?

Or, possibly even worse, leveraged the Big Break but then never really allowed yourself to feel good about it…’cause after all: you “just got lucky that one time”, or: you “didn’t really deserve it”. (And THOSE, my friends, are two of the many calling cards of the Impostor Complex.)

Or, waited until the Big Break came…only to never have it show up.

Oh. Did you just feel that in your chest? Me too.

Waiting for the Big Break may break you. It may break your spirit. It may compromise your belief in YOU. Your genius. Your sacred gifts.

Know what’s a much, MUCH saner way?

It’s not sexy, and you’ve heard it before, but here goes:

Commit. Do the work. Get good.

Fairy Godmothers, silver bullets, magic pills, lottery windfalls…listen, I’m not going to tell you that they don’t exist. Because they might. Because they do.

And sure, leave a little white space for magic, serendipity, and chance, but waiting for them to show up as part of your strategic planning? Mmmmm, no.

Write. Immerse. Run. Bake. Practice. Teach. Expand. Fail. Sing. Train. Redirect. Preach. Sell. Pitch. Ask. Rehearse. Speak. Draw. Coach. Paint. Bead. Dance. Learn. Deepen.

Again and again and again. Imbue it with your truth, your heart, your integrity and your authenticity.

Practice isn’t about making something perfect; it’s about making something possible. – Justine Musk

And...

...look up from time to time. Take your own breaks. Make your own breaks. Revel in your commitment. Notice how far you’ve come. Breathe in your good. And then get back to it.

You are required to show up. And in that way, the universe DOES see you. And it IS good.


Ready to name your Imposter Complex and Step Into Your Starring Role?

Enter your information here to receive the (mostly) weekly Friday Finale from me in your inbox, and my gift to you, Imposter Complex 101: Four short videos to prompt you to think more deeply and clearly about how the Imposter Complex wants to keep you playing small—and how you can fight back.

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


Ready to name your Imposter Complex and Step Into Your Starring Role?

Enter your information here to receive the (mostly) weekly Friday Finale from me in your inbox, and my gift to you, Imposter Complex 101: Four short videos to prompt you to think more deeply and clearly about how the Imposter Complex wants to keep you playing small—and how you can fight back.

Everything’s a teacher

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It is an unmitigated wonder that my daughter still tells me anything.

Because as much as I do my best to simply listen, to simply be, to offer her my presence and my unconditional love, I fall short. Often. And instead, I counsel. I point out the opportunities, the possibilities, the other ways, the other paths. It has got to be annoying as all hell for the poor child.

But yet, there it is:

“What are you learning?” 

Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Because it’s a good question. Maybe the BEST question.

Here’s what we know: comparison is a teacher. A flashing red beacon that clearly and unapologetically shows us what we want as embodied by those that we compare up to and clearly shows us what we don't want as embodied by those we compare down to. (Lauren and I tackle this more fully and completely in our Beyond Compare self-study program.)

I speak and write often and at great length about how the Impostor Complex is a reliable teacher about what matters to us.

But guess what else is a teacher?

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G

Procrastination
Discomfort
Envy
Fear
Anger
Lethargy
Worry
Perfectionism

But also:

Joy
Excitement
Ease
Pleasure
Delight
Flow
Satisfaction
And so worth repeating: joy.

Alllllllllllllll of it.


So the real question is:

What are you learning?


And then:

What are you going to do about it?

A couple of ideas.

Choose differently.
Change course.
Do something.
Do better.
Say no.
Say yes.
Show up.
Stand up.
Speak up.
SHINE UP.
Vote. TODAY.

Easier said than done? Could be.  But the alternative is really not acceptable, is it?

Agreed.


PS - We’re opening the doors for The Step into Your Starring Role Academy very very soon. Sign up here for first dibs. Nine months of sitting UP, rising UP, speaking UP, stepping UP and shining UP.

Big skies know big things. So let’s go to Big Sky Country. Together.

I’m away from the city for a short while as I spend time with family, count stars, eat cherries, write words, breathe clean air and sing by the campfire. 

In a word: glorious.

Usually, I settle into the pace up here quickly and familiarly. This time, I can’t help but notice how I’m resisting said gloriousness. Too much going on, in my world, in THE world, back “home” to…relax. Which is about as counter-productive as it gets.

But I’ve finally recalled the structure that brings me to my actual home. A simple and sacred structure: I look up at the big sky.

Every time I feel the weight of the things I read from my computer screen, I look up at the big sky.

Every time I feel the pull of guilt of things not done, I look up at the big sky.

Every time I feel the pang of worry for things to come, I look up at the big sky.

Every time I doubt and fret and sweat and panic, I look up at the big sky.

And every time I feel like I am avoiding the weight of the things, the pull of guilt, the pangs of worry, the doubt and fret and sweat and panic by LOOKING at the big sky? I blink hard and I look up at the big sky again.

And she says:

Sweet Child, do what you can, but more importantly, do what you must.

Be brave enough to look at your shadows. Don’t try to douse them with light. Look at them for what they are.

Be with the weights and the pulls and the pangs and doubt and fret and sweat and panic.

They are here to be heard. They are here to bend you, shape you and to help calibrate your next steps. They are here to teach you, but they are not here to define you.

You can no more unsee the injustices by tuning out the world than you can deny the privilege of your very existence. So don’t. See them. Feel them. Choose to do better.

Don’t short cut your way to your purpose.

When you feel weak, get stronger. You know how. You’ve done it before, you startlingly magnificent creature, you.

When you are faced with the next battle, don’t seek comfort. Seek courage.

Don’t look for proof. Feel for truth.

Trust the love you feel in your cells.

When you are ready to make the leap that transcends your story, jump high and hard and with all of your fracturedmended heart.

Big skies know big things.

It’s under big skies that I remember all that I’ve ever known. Which brings me right back home. Wherever that may be.

I want the same for you. Join me under the big skies of Alberta this September.

We’ve crafted a unique, intimate, big-heart-opening one-day retreat in glorious Athabasca, on September 15th. This day is for anyone who wants freedom from the Impostor Complex so that they can step into their Starring Roles. In their leadership, in their life and in their life’s work.  

Think wide open spaces. Crisp NORTHERN air. The immersed experience of sweet relief when you finally walk towards and claim the role you’ve been desiring. Soul connections. Prosecco. And big BIG clarity. 

We’re keeping this one-day retreat very small this time so there’s even more space for processing, being and feeling the wisdom of the big sky. Register by August 12th and receive two bonuses: The Step into Your Starring Role Playbook and an hour of coaching with me – additional value of $600 USD. 

Looking for a larger group experience? Join me at the beautiful Yoga MCC in Calgary for a powerful workshop with like-minded healers, seekers and leaders. Three ways to play: a quick shot of activation on Friday night (16th), a full day workshop on Saturday (17th), OR both. While there will be plenty of time for integration, we’ll going strong and deep. (It is a yoga studio after all.)

I do so hope you’ll join me in Alberta.

Until then, look up at the big sky and feel her wisdom cool your furrowed brow.

Love,

TG


What happens when you decide you’re writing a book about the Impostor Complex?

What happens when you decide you’re writing a book about the Impostor Complex?

Well... let’s go back a ways.

What happens when you decide you’re writing a book? Any book?

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Your inner critics go ballistic. After raving inarticulately for awhile, they start to list off all the reasons you can’t (and probably won’t and definitely shouldn’t) write the book with startling conviction. Like they’ve been waiting their whole existence to filibuster “Project Don’t Write The Book”.

What happens when you decide you’re writing a book about the Impostor Complex?

Well, you’re met with the same (somewhat generic) inner critics to be sure. You can’t. You won’t. You shouldn’t. Blah, blah, blah. But you’ve been doing the work of inner critic management for awhile, so you’re able to step in and say, “Oh, no, you don’t. I am totally going to write a book."

 

But then it gets even more specific and personal when the second line of offense shows up. These guys have placards directed at you that may not be catchy, but they are clear: “Don’t Write That Book About Overcoming Feeling Like a Fraud Because You Actually ARE a Fraud, You Fraud.”

Their case is really compelling. You don’t have the clinical background. You don’t have the degrees. You may not even have the writing chops. And while your stories are good, they're not the really fascinating backstory to end all backstories. You just have this little thing called a burning desire that feels like a second beating heart. (You can’t recall which clever writer - far more clever than you - came up with that metaphor, but you know it feels true. So, so true.)

So, you hide out. Behind your vocation. Behind your beloved clients. Behind writing and speaking and family and obligations and house maintenance and friends and more family and you feel lucky and privileged and really well graced. And a touch... incomplete. And then decide you should feel guilty about that. Because everything else has been tended to and you still need to hide out some more. And, truly, guilt is a fabulous way to kill time. And, of course, you have nothing but time, right?

Ba-BUMP.

Ba-BUMP.

Ba-BUMP.

Ba-BUMP.

Ba-BUMP.

Ba-BUMP.

But you’re serious about this. You’ve been talking about it with your small corner of the world because accountability is key. Also key? Doing what you say you’re going to do. So you send your family away for a long weekend and try to write through pangs of missing them and longing for wide open lakes for stand-up paddle boarding and campfires and s’mores, but you know it’s for the best. But then you’ll drink smoothies for breakfast and eat popcorn for dinner and then start to realize within three short hours of your solitude that the infuriating cursor on your screen is not actually blinking, but rather beating.

You can’t.

You won’t.

You shouldn’t.

You can’t.

You won’t.

You shouldn’t.

And it’s like the tell-tale heart beating under the floorboard so maddeningly that you can’t take it any longer and want to shout your confessions to the Fraud Police who will invariably show up at your door.

(You, of course, stop trying to write and go read Poe’s work instead because... procrastination. The calling card of the Impostor Complex. Along with leaky boundaries, perfectionism, people pleasing, and comparison.)

And then you start to finally see in the fourth hour of staring at the page that your own Impostor Complex is so far up your grill you don’t even know where it ends and your grill begins.

(And then you start to wonder what a grill is, so you go off to research that because... procrastination round two.)

At this point, you start to empathize with poor Jack Torrance going nuts up there in the Overlook, only to realize that he’d been writing for months and you’ve only been at your computer for five hours now.

And then you start an email to your writing group who invited you to go into the belly of the beast of your Impostor Complex this weekend to tell them to go to hell, but stop because you love them and know why they have asked you to dig deeper. They want this book in the world. The border guard wants this book in the world. And you want this book in the world. You NEED this book in the world. And besides - you know that email would be round three of procrastination (and you’ve learned better by now) so you simply email them, “Sending you love from the belly of the beast”.

And as you press send on that email you realize, "Holy shit."

You KNOW how to do this thing because you live and breathe the Impostor Complex and know it inside and out and see it’s silly tricks and games and, in fact, you don’t just know it, but know it better than anyone. And that’s a fact. You are the world-class expert on this very thing and you have actually already written the manual on how to overcome it. And that you have plenty more wisdom to share. More than plenty.

So you re-blend the breakfast batch of smoothies that’s been on the counter since this morning and get back to writing and write and write and write and eventually look up to see it’s been seven hours and you’ve written thousands of words. Good, smart, and true words that tell the stories that need to be told because your secondary heart said so.

And you realize as you shut down the computer to go to fire up the popcorn popper, that all along that blinking cursor’s actually been saying:

Write on.

Write on.

Write on.

Write on.

Write on.

Write on.