I was really inspired by Nella's story she shared at one of our group meetings. Nella is a DrivenWoman member in London, and she told us what happened when she went to Tony Robbins Life And Wealth Mastery course in Holland.
"It was like being in this bubble where anything is possible. It was a very empowering environment." And that's exactly what a supportive environment can do. It can shift your mind to believe anything is possible, which is of course a good thing. But there's a catch.
How do you bring a 'can do' mindset when a big opportunity presents itself?
The group was given a task to climb a very tall pole. Climbing to the top was a metaphor for your journey, all the hard work and effort you are putting into getting to your goals. Once at the top of the pole the task was to jump (in a safety of a harness) and reach out to a big red balloon which had been pitched up on the level of the pole a meter or two away in the air. The balloon represented your goals and dreams.
Standing at the top of the pole, ready to jump, you wanted to reach out to your vision but your fears were holding you back.
Nella volunteered to be the first one to climb up. She wasn't that afraid of climbing and had no fear of heights so she was happy to show the way. There was a real supportive group atmosphere and the group had been rooting for each other all day. When she got to the top of the pole she thought she should wait for the others before jumping to reach out for the red ball.
So she waited. And she waited. There were a lot of fearful and slow people in the group and she started losing her momentum and she got a little nervous. Perhaps she should just jump and not wait for the others? Uncertainty slipped into her mind.
She decided to jump and scrambled reaching out to the red ball in front of her. And she missed. She couldn't believe it! It was very disappointing because she though the target was well within her reach.
What had happened? Why couldn't she reach her goal when the opportunity was right there in front of her eyes?
To reach your goals you have to stay in your own momentum.
To build a momentum you benefit tremendously from the energy and support of like minded people. The positive 'can do' attitude can be built up in a group but when you are facing your moment of truth you must carry your own momentum.
Nella let her mind slip from her target and she started worrying about the others. But did her worry help them? No, not one little bit! Had she focused on what she was good at - climbing and jumping fearlessly - she would have actually helped the group that came behind her as she could have built 'winning' momentum being the first one to succeed and the rest of the group would have strived for her example.
Unfortunately, this is what we women do all the time.
We think that if we are kind and worry about other's performance that we are somehow helping them. We think that by putting ourselves down we'll lift others.
You can only lift others when you perform in your own power.
We are wired for connection, says researcher Brené Brown. I believe this secret fear of being pushed out of the herd if we stand out and be brilliant is what is holding women back when facing our big opportunities. This mindset is a very difficult to change as it's usually unconscious.
So Nella lost her momentum when she started worrying about how the others were doing. And now she's on the ground disappointed missing her great opportunity. And worse, she told us, was that the group had an impression that she'd succeeded. For many the mere pole jump was a great triumph of overcoming your fears.
For Nella missing the red ball was a symbol of missed opportunity. She wasn't feeling victorious at all. We all have a different measure of success. Don't settle for others' definition of success or you will end up performing under your own capabilities.
I believe Nella takes a big dose of learning out of her experience and the next time an opportunity presents itself she's ready to grab it by staying in her own power. Thank you Nella for sharing your story!
Have you experienced a moment when you thought your vision and goals were there within your reach but then the opportunity slipped away? What did you learn? What will you do differently next time?
Do you want to explore how you can reach your goals and reach success the way you define it? Join one of DrivenWoman Introduction evenings how being part of a supportive Lifeworking -group can help you.