This podcast is personal. As I live my mission to teach 1 million women
about money, I realise that it’s very easy to lose my way! I walk a tight rope
of living with passion while trying to avoid my biggest fear – public opinion.
There, I said it! But we can’t serve two masters to be truly great.
Over the last few sessions, we have been exploring the ideas of resilience, difficult conversations, professional disappointment and genuine relationship connections. I explore my head space on these notions and I invite you to stretch outside your comfort zone with me.
- My journey of working through Robin Sharma’s “5 AM Club” methodology.
- I have a deep feeling of dread that is looming!
- I don’t have as much resilience as I need in order to overcome the obstacles that come with being a public figure.
- This dread is rooted in my innate desire to please people, the fear of failure and any public lashing.
- What is my worst fears and my darkest thoughts?
- I am okay with saying something that people may disagree with based on their background, expertise, opinion or preference.
- But I often speak my unfiltered thoughts that may offend or hurt others without realising it.
- I am proactively working towards humility and humanity while maintaining my authenticity.
- Is this journey worth me continuing my mission if my work, reputation or family may be hurt as a result off any public backlash? Should I stop?
- The difficulty of serving two masters.
- Do I serve my mission? Or do I serve public praise, approval and validation?
- How many people in the world have missed the opportunities to be the people that they were born to be because of fear?
- The concept and consequence of having a split mind.
- Being tossed from knowing what we can offer to the world with being worried about what the world will think.
- Stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone to take the opportunity to be WHO you are meant to be!
- Be gentler with the people around you. We are all trying to make our way to find our purpose as we fight in the arena called life.
- When you come to the end of your life, did you live your life’s purpose? Or did you live to the validation of others?
Check out Robin Sharma’s new book!
You will not regret reading Robin Sharma’s new book, The 5AM Club.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you will enjoy The Connection Challenge, Imposter to Influencer and Defying All Odds.
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Lisa Linfield: 00:21 Hello everybody and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about resilience in the workplace, about having difficult conversations and recovering from the disappointments that we have as we journey through our careers. We also chatted with Alan Samuel Cohen last week about creating relationship connections both at work and in general, but those connections that are authentic that allow some of the challenging conversations that we need to have. I personally am trying really hard at the moment to live deeply in some of the practices I believe, so you’ll never believe it, but I’m in week four of trying to implement the methodology of the 5:00 AM Club. It’s based on a book that I’ve read by Robin Sharma and it’s quite a fascinating thing for me because for those who knew me before children, they’d know that I wouldn’t even take a meeting before eight o’clock because I just don’t do early mornings.
But now trying to balance work, kids, everything that needs to happen, I have decided that I’m going to try this methodology that’s in this book. So essentially what you do is that you wake up at five o’clock, and you do 20 minutes of what he calls sweaty exercise, 20 minutes of prayer or meditation or whatever it is to still your mind and 20 minutes of reading something that stretches your mind, and in the process you journal and I guess you gather your thoughts. And I can’t believe it, but I’m actually in week four and not a perfect record, but I have been trying to do it because the couple of things that I really do believe and that is that you need to exercise, that you do need to have some time to be mindful and pray or meditate and that we all do need to actually stretch our minds in terms of learning new things.
So this week through my prayer at time, through my meditation, I’ve been really challenged by a deep sense that something is going to go pear shaped quite soon. I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s something to do with my business. And as you can imagine, it’s not a great scenes in your tummy when you feel this almost foreboding feeling that coming down the path is something not nice. In fact, it scares the bejeebers out of me. So I’ve been thinking quite deeply why it scares me if something not nice is coming. And I guess to be honest, I’m not very resilient. And one of the things I always say is that you read about, and you learn about and you engage in conversations about the things that you yourself are struggling to figure out. So maybe this current series on resilience is because I know that I’m actually not very resilient.
I think as I mentioned in the previous podcast two weeks ago, that the first head on collision I had with a massive sense of failure derailed me for a very long time. But that the second one I managed to get over in a very short period of time, but those were personal losses or personal senses of failure, not public, not things that were hung out to dry for all in public to see. And so I guess that one of the things I fear is that if it goes pear shaped, I’m going to be devastated. I’m going to be a bit broken as a human being. And the reason why is that I have a very strong and deep fear of failure and probably an even stronger need to please. I guess if I’m honest, all these years of being the good little girl that does really well and has everybody say, well done for the opposite to happen, for something to go wrong with the work that I’m doing at the moment, it means that it’s probably going to be something that is potentially a public form of shame or failure.
And that scares me a lot. So I guess as an over analyzer, I’m trying to think deeply about the things I fear most. If I have a foreboding sense that something’s going to go wrong, what is it that I fear is going to happen? What are my worst fears? What are the darkest thoughts? And I guess it’s that I say something that causes a fence or something that goes wrong, which leads to a public lashing, like the old days where they used to put you in the middle of the town village and stone you or something like that. And the modern version of that as a social media public lashing where you know, people say nasty things because I’ve seen what happens to poor celebrities or other people who raise above the parapet and people can say really mean things. Now, in my case, as I say, there’s probably something that I’ll say but not on my podcast because anything I say on my podcast I can edit.
And if I don’t think it’s good, I can ask for it to be edited out. But I do have a fantastic editor who if she thinks it’s going to cause a fence, would also be a second line of defense. So it’s probably something that I’m going to say in a live forum that if I think about it, I’m okay to say something that might cause a lot of people to disagree with me, but if what I say is fundamentally true, then people can disagree. Not everybody’s going to like me. As I say to my children, you’re not a piece of chocolate, so not everybody’s going to like you. Similarly, I’m not a piece of chocolate, not everybody’s going to like me. What I fear most is something that comes out of my mouth that I don’t actually mean.
You see I have a brain that is a real challenge. It’s not one of those perfectly structured brains. In fact, I had a call this week with a book coach, and he described part of his job is to get inside my brain and work out what is the story that I need to tell, and I turned to him, and I said, “I’m afraid you’re going to need a lot of tequila if you want to try and get inside my brain because it’s not very structured.” And also I’m a person who thinks as I talk, so in a live context being interviewed I’m absolutely inclined to say something I don’t actually mean, because that thought is not perfectly formed yet. In fact, I actually did this last week, I went out to lunch with some people, half the table I knew and half the table I didn’t know because it was a friend’s birthday. And I said something that in hindsight was very hurtful for one of the people at the table.
And I truly, with every breath in my body did not mean for it to come out the way it came out. I was mortified. I was mortified that I could have expressed myself so badly that it would cause someone hurt. So I spent a lot of time in my 20 minutes of prayer reflection and journaling actually thinking about this. And the first take I always take is, is it what I actually really mean? And what I actually really think? Because sometimes what comes out of your mind is the unfiltered thoughts of your soul. So is it what I think? And I knew deeply that it wasn’t, that act was just a bad thought that hadn’t formed properly, that just came blurting out my mouth. And so I spent a lot of time working on what I really felt about that particular issue because it could so easily have come up in a live interview.
I was very lucky it came up in a small interview, but I’m more than a week later, and I’m completely mortified that I could have said that. And I have beaten myself up probably a hundred times every single day since then, because I wish that I hadn’t said what I’d said and I wish it had come out better. You know? So when it comes to my foreboding fear that something bad is going to happen, that I will say something, and I don’t mean it makes me start to wonder whether this whole journey is worth it. You know? To be fair, I might have a life mission, and a sole mission to teach a million women about money, and I might believe that this is what I was put on this world to do, in my way of changing a little corner of the world, my way of doing my little bit for humans, but it does make me think to myself at what cost to me personally?
Is it worth me getting publicly drawn and quartered and humiliated and hurt in a major way and is it worth me potentially hurting other people when I really don’t mean to at all. And maybe should I stop doing what I do? Should I stop doing the podcast? Should I stop getting out there and speaking? Because in reality, I am human and if I am going to try and teach a million women about money, I have to be out there. I cannot do it one on one, and I have to get into some form of public stage because that’s how I will access the million women. I’m never going to have a million clients that I serve personally, I just humanly can’t spread myself that thinly. So as it would happen in my 20 minutes in the morning, two separate Bible verses came to me that were I guess relevant that resonated.
The first one was about the difficulty of serving two masters, and I guess if I’m totally honest, my fear of public shame, or my wanting for people to think that I am a good little girl, that I am praised for what I do, if I’m honest, I guess public opinion and what people think is a master that I serve. My whole life I’ve wanted to fit in, I’ve wanted to fit into a group of people, and I’ve deeply sought validation for the work that I do. And as I consider whether I should throw in the towel or not and go back to a smaller life, just teaching one on one, I guess God was patting me on which masters is it that I serve. Do I serve my soul’s mission to teach a million people or do I serve the opinion of people out there? Which one wins? This morning I was actually talking to a client. She’s not only a client, I’ve known her since she was born as I’m a little older.
And the great thing about your oldest friends is that they can tell you things about yourself, or they can approach things with absolutely no holds bar because they know you so well, and you’ve survived I guess a lot of different things. So we were chatting about her work situation and how she’s struggling to get direction from her boss. It sounds like a boss is a solid leader but not a very good or very caring or involved or engaged people person. And it obviously makes it very difficult for her to lead her team without a clear strategy in clear direction. And also personally she wants to be told that she’s on the right track. She wants to be told that she’s doing a good job as we all do. And it absolutely became clear to me in the context of my own thinking that she was serving two masters, her personal mission to be, you know, a really leading great and amazing food technologists, and the public or external person of seeking validation and direction from her boss.
And as she heads up her division, she has mandate, she has talent, she’s excellent at what she does, and she has enough experience that she could definitely fulfill her sole mission. Will she get it wrong every now and then? Absolutely, but if it’s because despite her research, the market doesn’t like the new sandwich that she has made, or the new drink she has developed, then in my mind that’s okay. Absolutely. Will she be disappointed? Yes, because we all want every product we launch to be a raging success. But if she doesn’t launch these new products or doesn’t stretch herself way out of her comfort zone because her boss isn’t very engaged, which means that she’s not very motivated, then won’t she miss out on opportunity to be the talented, amazing food technologists that she was born to be. And also to be the leader that she was meant to become.
So that’s shaped my thinking’s on this challenge of serving two masters with her and we ended up chatting about and wondering really together how many of us have missed out on changing the world and missed out on our sole purpose because we were serving the masters of approval either from the broad public out there or from our bosses or people of influence. The second reading that kind of spoke to me a bit talked about the consequences of having, I guess what you’d call a split mind. It refers to being like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind and therefore unstable in what we do. And we actually ended up spending a bit of time chatting about this too and thinking how much more could each of us do if we’d all been all in. In essence, we’re tossed between knowing we have so much more to give in life and holding back because we’re worried what the other master, what the people out there will think and say.
To be honest, I’m still a little tossed, I haven’t got this sorted. You know, as I prepare for this podcast and as I speak to you now, it seems a no brainer. You know, I need to help people with their money. That’s my sole mission and in order to be true to myself, I need to do this. But then when I pause, and I think about that shame that I will feel when I mess up, the hurt that I will be feeling when I’m subject to so much public criticism and how much I’ll beat myself up for missing things up and hurting people unintentionally, the wave tosses me and wants me to hide some more. My friend tells me not to worry, she tells me that if there is a backlash she’ll be right there to jump in and defend me on social media, and you know what? I know she will be.
But it does make me think how often I’ve sat back and watched public figures take a beating for something that they either sit in curricular that they didn’t even say at all because I don’t want to get involved and how much each of us should be a lot gentler on the people at work. The people around us, the people we serve, and the people who work for us and recognize that somewhere, somehow each of us are just trying to fulfill our soul’s purpose rather than play it safe. Shouldn’t we cheer on those around us when they at least are in the arena fighting hard to try and get something done. So this week, if your boss isn’t giving you direction or if you’re losing the will to fight for what you believe in, because so many people keep saying no.
Or if like me, you want to play it safe for fear that people out there will say something mean and nasty, then I think we should pause and reflect because when the end of our life comes, none of those people will be with us. My bus, your bus won’t be there. The people who are throwing stones from the sidelines won’t be there. Everybody we’re trying to please won’t be there, it’ll just be us. And the question we all need to answer is, did you try your best to live your soul’s purpose or did you give in to the master of public opinion? For all of us this week, I am here cheering you on. Take that step. Put yourself out there, and if you need someone to just give you a boost or cheer you on, let me know. I’ll jump into that social media feed and fight for you if others are not. Have a great week, be brave because if we’re brave, we can be free. I’m Lisa Linfield and this is Working Women’s Wealth.