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Ep90 Fear is a gift

by Jacqui Brauman
January 26th 2022

Starting 2022 with the big topics - Ush Dhanak and Jacqui Brauman talk about fear, performance, preparation, and embodiment in this episode!

Shawnee is a two-time Olympian as the former Assi... More

Welcome to the I Q. Meets EQ podcast. I'm Jacqui Brauman, principal solicitor at T B A. Law and ceo of legally wise women and I'm here with Ush Dhanak former corporate lawyer then head of HR now an emotional intelligence coach. Morning Morning Jackie. I was just saying before we hit record, just january is nearly over. It's just it's gone too quick. And what a crazy start isn't it? I think that the theme for the month of january is ambiguity. It does feel that way. It feels like it's just started with a bang because cases are going up. We're just like, what do we do, what are they going to do? We can't get tests, all those things. That's right. So yeah, definitely ambiguous. But it's good. It's been a good start to the year. Yeah. Yeah. It has. There's a lot of energy. I think people are wanting to get on with life and things. There's that little bit of like, oh, we want to be cautious because you know, we don't want to get sick.

We don't want to have to be locked down. But on the flip side, everyone's just like the weather is so good. We want to see people. Yeah, I read this article though and it was so cleverly written and it said for two years, the world has put us into fear and you know, don't get don't get Covid, don't go out, don't do this. And then all of a sudden it's like, or you can, but people are like, well, you know, I actually don't want to right now fully, so you can't expect them from overnight to go from fear to straight back to normal and I think, you know there's still a lot of anxiety around that needs to be addressed yes, fear of the virus, but also as you sort of said like ambiguity, like we don't like uncertainty do we? And um yes, so we're a bit self protective. Absolutely, yeah, so did you take some time off christmas a little bit, not too much. I used it to do some bits of planning and prep and yeah, just stuff you know, I think I just it's that whole thing again of yes, you have a bit of arrest but there's still that guilt associated with it.

So I was trying to grapple a good balance. Yeah, we're going to be a big year for you to weave well both of us, we've developed everything and it's this market and launch, isn't it? And you've got highlighted in a list of women to watch. Did you? What was that? I did, yeah, it was in the new york journal, amazing, Top 30 entrepreneurs to watch female entrepreneurs to watch out for. So that was nice. A little bit of recognition. And then actually just after that came out, I got booked for a keynote so it's good, it's good to get out there. I think this year it's just about promoting branding, getting the name out and my goal is to sell five of my courses, so I'll keep you all posted on that, Hold me accountable. Yeah. Yeah. Wonderful. Well, yeah, we'll keep you going. That's for sure. Exactly. Focus on the prize. Mm hmm. That's right. What about you? Any big goal for the year? My main goal is just to keep transitioning out of the day to day of to be a law and not be doing legal practice by the end of this year basically.

So be running the business instead of being in the business. Yes. So that's it is it is because I have legally wise women to focus on and that's you know where my big passion is because access to justice is just almost non existent. And you know, there's hundreds of thousands of women who just need that Free. Where do I start? And so my big goal is to take 100,000 women through that portal. Mm hmm. That's really exciting. Yeah. So just like you need to focus on making sure I'm doing at least something every day that pushes forward some kind of promotion or connection or something. Mm hmm, exciting. I love that. Like last year was definitely creation for us. And now it's promoting, isn't it? It's definitely a shift in the energy of the doing and the building. Very much so. Yes. And so for the last few months of last year I was trying to recruit and all of a sudden things come all at once.

I've recruited three people this month or you did amazing One starting on the 27th and then to our, starting the following week. So I've got sort of, I know that I'll have a month of really like onboarding and getting them set down and then it really does start freeing me up, which is just amazing. And are they at the level of experience? You wanted one definitely the other has less experience in Australia but has had experience in the Philippines. So she's just transitioning over. And then the third person was someone I wasn't even expecting but has great experience. So I just wanted to grab her while I could and that was just through advertising yourself, One was through advertising, one was through a recruiter and one was word of mouth. So that is incredible. Wow, that's huge. Yeah. Oh my God, that's totally going to help you now focus on getting out of the work they're doing.

That's exactly right. Yeah. So heading in the right direction. Mm hmm. Big year. So, we've got our first interview. I actually spoke to Shawnee last year. So it was really good to listen to it again before we jumped on today because she's talking about fear, which is exactly what we just spoke about, talked about performance. So Shawnee Harley, it has been to the olympics twice as a coach. So she has now started transitioning, talking about that competitive edge and you know, facing fear and in the scope of performance and now does a whole lot in business as well, certainly with team leaders, so let's jump in and have a listen Shawnee, welcome to the podcast, how are you? I am awesome and I cannot wait to see where this conversation is going, I'm the same, but initially as I started recording, I'm like, I don't know whether to say good afternoon or good morning because we're on such different time zones, so just so everyone knows where are you speaking to me from and you would actually have had to say good evening Because I'm talking to you from British Columbia, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, it's 10 after six in the evening here, that's fantastic.

And also the day before where I'm at the time zone always um fascinates me, so, but we're putting that aside, I'd love to jump straight in and really learn about your journey because I've seen your bio and I've seen, you know, you've been to the olympics a couple of times as a coach, which is very exciting, but I'm sure there was a long journey there when you were a little girl, what did you actually want to be? Well, I was really clear that I from a young age that I wanted to go to the olympics. It sure as heck wasn't as a coach though, I wanted to go as a basketball player, I wanted to go as an athlete and I know your viewers can't see me right now, but if they saw me, they'd be like, oh girl, like you're vertically challenged, you know, you're so you know how that's one of the things that's kind of great when you're a kid, you have these big goals and you don't really realize that maybe you don't have what it takes to get there.

But I held that goal for a very long time and I wrote it in my high school yearbook that I wanted to go to the olympics as a basketball player, amazing. And did you ever tell the school that you've made it, you've gone to the olympics and they say that that's something one of their alumni's achieved? Yes, I, you know, and the cool thing is, is I'm from a small town in a small school, so it was even the odds were even more against me, so to speak. And, you know, without a doubt, my small school and my small town, you know, takes pride knowing that they had a big say in developing me as an Olympian, even though I didn't get there as an athlete, I made it as a coach and my upbringing and my environment where I grew up really had an influence on that. Yeah, I love that the small town pride, it's very great, very exciting. So I'm sure it was a long journey to then move into coaching and then get into such a high level of coaching, can you tell us about what's involved in all of that and your pathway?

Well I kind of went into coaching, kicking and screaming, I you know, I was bound and determined to be an athlete and I went to in Canada we call it university, I'm you know, the U. S. Calls at college, I'm not sure what they call it in Australia, I'm gonna so I'm gonna say university, I played university basketball for three years and you know, kind of that's how you pursue the dream And after three years I got cut and it was it was absolutely devastating because it's quite obvious that your dream just got shattered by someone else, but you know, life has twists and turns, doesn't it? We don't always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need and I needed to get cut because that's what helped me see where I was really meant to be going, and the same coach that cut me said to me, have you ever thought of pursuing coaching?

And I'm like heck no, I'm I'm an athlete and you know, that's where that's where this whole journey took an abrupt detour. Somebody saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself because I was blinded by my singular focus, they're called blind spots because we don't see them and it needed to happen and that was that's what started me, so I got on that path and like anything in life if you want to be an expert at something, you know, it's, it's more than just reading a book or watching some videos. I mean, I I did a lot of schooling, I went back and and took the most, the highest certification that was available in our country, a coaching certification. I went back and I got my master's degree in coaching studies and then eventually got into the coaching world where where I applied for my first coaching job. So that was a long, it takes a long time to be an expert at something and I was really willing to put the time in because I got to stay involved in basketball.

So your love of basketball has absolutely persisted, which is great. But as you're going through all these certifications and the masters, you're doing the coaching education with people who our coaching in all different arenas too, aren't you? So have you always stuck to basketball and you know, what's, what are the other sort of sports that you've had exposure to? Well, growing up? I, my family was very sporty. My dad was a gym teacher and my mom was like the biggest fan of her kids being in sports. So I did all of them and I just always liked basketball the best. And so when I pursued being a full time, so I was a full time university basketball coach. But the cool thing is because I had had a lot of experience in other sports, I didn't, so in other words, I did not do early specialization, I was a multi sport athlete for most of my life and that has served me so well in my current mental toughness coaching because I feel like I can speak the language of most athletes because I'm versed in sport rather than just basketball only.

Yeah, yeah, sounds pretty important. So tell us what then got you to coaching the team that went to the olympics and when was that? That you went with the Canadian team? It was again, it goes back to that very first coach to cut me, she got me on the road to a career in coaching And then she actually was a reference for me and helped open the doors to our Canadian national team. So I went to the Olympics when I was very young as an assistant coach, was way back in 1996. So I know I'm dating myself here Then I got to go again in 2016 and you know, it's just, it's cool sometimes how you know, john wooden the great coach at U. C. L. A. Always said success is when preparation meets opportunity and in my career coaching. So I was university basketball coach, one of my biggest competitors ended up being named as head coach to the national team to our Canadian olympic team and you know, I didn't like very many people that I coached against.

Like I'm like why would I want to like you my goal is to beat you, like I'm not here to be your friend, I'm here to win. So I was, you know, I was very more of a lone wolf, so to speak in my coaching environment and my biggest competitor ended up asking me if I would be part of her staff and I was like what? And it was kind of cool, we had always had a mutual respect and so sometimes when you're just busy working at being your best self, it's being recognized as being noticed, even though you're not paying attention and you don't know it, you never know when that bell of opportunity is going to ring And that's what happened, that's how I got into my 2nd Olympics was because of a competitor who you know, I wasn't super nice, so she wasn't liking me for my personality, but she respected my work, I took a lot of pride in my craft and I was I was a very hardworking coach.

So that got me to my second olympics, it's pretty incredible and good on her for seeing that in you and reaching out and sort of swallowing whatever pride she might have had resisting that because she knew she was creating the best coaching team and so yeah, it's quite a step, isn't it? And that sort of brings me around because I've been thinking how different it must be to coach an individual athlete versus a team. But then also with you thinking, okay, well, I've been a lone wolf, but then operating at a team. So what are the different dynamics that you have to do for individuals versus teams? I mean, I know teams are made up of individuals, but what I've learned, I mean, I probably wouldn't have said it this way five years ago, but hopefully I'm getting my grandpa always used to say, so soon old, so late, smart. So I hope that I'm getting a little smarter and a little wiser now. You know what, I I don't think the differences are as big as people would think I because I think that we all, whether it's sport, work life relationships, family, I think we all have very similar problems and I think there are a finite number of them.

Like, I don't think somebody wakes up and has a problem. So I was like, whoa, I have never heard that one before. And so individual athletes, I this is what I will say. I believe it's harder to be an individual athlete than a team athlete from this perspective, there's nowhere to hide. Like there's in an individual sport, You can't blame a teammate, You're like, you are like, you're standing naked in front of the world when you're an individual sport athlete, you cannot hide team sports. They have that other dynamic right there, Someone didn't pass me the ball, Someone didn't. So there's always that team dynamic that has an outcome on the wind and it's easier to, it's just easier to blend into the crowd. Um I have respect for both, and again, I think they share common problems, but I really believe there's something incredibly difficult when the spotlight is on you and you alone very interesting, but isn't that nice to know, there's only a finite amount of problems in the world and, you know, they have been experienced before, because quite often we do wake up going, God, no one has ever felt that that has has never had such a problem, and well, actually, probably have.

So now you've also moved into coaching, particularly business, but life, because, as you say, it's sort of all moves across all areas of life. So I guess just as you said, you're finding that everyone has the same problems across the board. That, right, again, I don't know if I'm not sure if I would have said that, say five years ago, but having now been involved in different contexts and, you know, the the thing I love so much about what I do is how much I learned from listening to people and, you know, they tell me things that they don't tell anyone else. And it's a real privilege when someone allows you into their heart and, you know, when I moved, I take my mental toughness coaching with athletes and parents and then I move it into business and corporate and then move it into life. And it's so interesting because I'll be talking to just the other day, I was talking to a client, I'm going to say they're in there, I'll say they're in their 40s.

And I thought to myself, wow, I have like a 16 year old athlete who has the exact same problem. Now, the context is different. But we, what I've learned, we all we all have fear. I don't care for eight years old or 12 or 20 or 40 or 60, we all have fear. And I, you know, I call it my coaching, I tell people if you're going to come and work with me, you have to be prepared to talk about the f words because the F words are like, we can't talk about those. I'm like, oh yes, we can. And we're going to a lot and fear is one of the very first F words that we talked about and what I see and when I think even in my own life, so I say, well, you know, what's one of what's one of the biggest hindrances for us stepping up in our lives, you know, becoming our best self, getting onto the podium of our life. Fear is always the first thing that seems to show up in my client work.

Yes, so true. It's something I've been reflecting on a lot myself in the last couple of years is fear. And quite often, even if you name the problem something else, the underlying thing is fear anyway. You know, fear of success, Fear of failure. Fear of what other people might think of. You probably are the main ones that come to mind. How do we walk straight in and tackle fear? Like it seems such a huge thing to do. It is and that's why I always tell people like if you're going to sign up with me, like I don't have a magic pill if you're willing to come in and do the work, the really hard work. The truth work I call it, you know, the tag line that I use is that we're going to do heart work. Why? Hard work because that's where the truth is and the truth will set you free. Well, doesn't that sound nice? You know, it sounds scary, but it's so hard, but it is it is fearful and you know, honestly I help people, we start off with these questions I I have, I phrase it for I have four questions that I asked and they are kind of the same, but some people interpret one differently.

So I give them these four questions. What are you afraid of? What are you protecting? What are you protecting against? What are you avoiding? Those are all similar questions and every one of those, the underlying theme will always be rooted in fear, but because we've been taught and conditioned to not talk about f words, right? We're not we're not supposed to be fearful, you know, we're supposed to be brave and don't be nervous and if you're you know a male for sure you're not supposed to cry. And so we get conditioned to do the opposite, ignore our fear, avoid it, hide it under the carpet and go watch netflix and eat chips, you know, So we were not we are not good at this. We and I'm including myself here and so we just take a call, we go on a journey, right? A journey is something that changes you is different than a walk around the block.

And I use this phrase when we start talking about fear is the phrase is this without fear? There can be no courage. I think that is like the first time I heard that I was like, wow, because that flips fear on its head. What that says to me is if I want to be, let's just, I'm going to go back to sports, sport wants us to be courageous, gritty, resilient, take risks, blah, blah, blah. Well then I'm like well then cool, the only way we can do that is we must have fear because how else can our best best self ever show up without fear? So that's what I help people do. I ask those four questions and then we try and flip it on its head and I said what if we looked at fear as a gift? What if fear is one of the formulas that's required for growth with that saying that you just mentioned and I've heard it similar, but I think they used the word brave rather than courageous because there's, there's something about being brave or courageous that means you have faced something and it is fearful because if there wasn't something that you're afraid of, it wouldn't be a courageous thing to have done, would it would have just been a walk around the block as you said.

So it's quite interesting to think that yes, fear fear is the thing we should be looking for because that's the thing potentially that we should head towards. Well I, another great saying of her before is what's in the way is the way and I do, I just did all the work that I've been doing. I and the clients that I've talked to, I just am convinced that fear is the biggest thing that's in our way. I don't and we spent a lot of different ways but it it it holds us back and I also tell people, you know, when they come to work with me, I'm like, would you like to increase your emotional intelligence and self awareness and they're all like, oh heck yeah. And I'm like be careful what you wish for? Yeah. So what I show them is how in the world can we expect to be emotionally intelligent and self aware if we're spending all of our time avoiding things that are uncomfortable, scary, et cetera.

I'm like, well if we're going to be emotionally intelligent, don't we need to look at all of our emotions, like not just the happy ones. We also have to look at the crappy ones, happy and crappy. I think emotional intelligence requires both. And so this is the other way because when you know you and you said, wow, this must be a scary journey for people. I'm like, yes, but remember fear is also depending on how we phrase it and how we interpret it. So I help us think about fear as a gift. If we want to be emotionally intelligence, we have to know all of us. We have to feel all the feelings, not just a convenient, comfortable ones. Otherwise we do not get to have the gift of emotional intelligence. Yeah. Talking about fear as a gift sort of reframes how we put these binary statements on something.

It's either good or bad. So fear is bad, but no fear is a gift. So actually it's good. So it is, it flips the brain, doesn't it? So with your high performers. So you know, the girls going in to compete at the olympics, You know, what do you find as a parallel between the high performers in sport and then how leaders or people in business perform under similar fear, I suppose because I think that there'd be a lot of pressure going into a representing your country, you're right, and I also believe that pressure is a privilege and pressure means, so for example, no one puts pressure on the team, who is probably going to finish last. No one puts pressure on the people that are, you know, the below average performers now though, that's a blanket statement and it's probably not completely true, but you can at least say where I'm going with it and sport is very similar to life and you know, work.

I just, I talked to athletes when they come in with me and I'm like, I'm going to help you show up with courage and confidence on the biggest day, the biggest stage of your life. But I also say the exact same thing when I'm life coaching and when I'm corporate coaching, because think about how it feels to stand up in front of your group, a group of your peers and have to give a presentation, you know, to try, you have to be the smartest person in the room. There are so many big days and big stages in everyone's life. And so that's why I tell the business people that I work with, your big stage, what you have to do to get ready is not that much different from this Olympian, and I tell them this, how can you stand in front of a group of people, stand on the world stage and show up as your best self, if you haven't faced your biggest fear, So this to me is the emotional intelligence and what I think is important in all aspects of our life when we're getting ready for the big stage is you cannot prepare for the storm in the storm, it's too late.

We must prepare before the storm. But this is what sport teaches us and this, I also see this in business and life coaching sports says, don't think about things going wrong. I'm like that's the stupidest advice I've ever heard in my life, It would be like me going to tell you to stand and you know, in front of a conference room for full of 450 people and said, you know what, you are going to be fine, you're gonna nail it, because the truth is you might you might not, if I go back to the storm analogy, let's say you're out on a in the middle of the ocean on a boat, and a storm comes up and the waves are huge and your boat tips over and you don't know how to swim, it's not going to help for somebody to jump in and start giving you swimming lessons, It's like, hello people, I needed swimming lessons like six months ago, because now when the boat tips over, I know what to do, I swim, so I teach people how to swim and I tell them if you're going to face a fear, you must be this is this is my opinion.

Which means it's true for me. And this is what I teach. If you're going to prepare for the biggest stage of your life. In my opinion, you must be able to hold two truths simultaneously. one is that you're going to be amazing and the other is that you're not because sport and life or gamble, a gamble means the outcome is not guaranteed. But no one ever talks about that. Or you got this or you're gonna be amazing. People are gonna love you. Just get out there and be confident. And inside we're like feeling like we want to pee our pants because we know we're lying to ourselves. We don't feel confident. And I know for sure the longer we keep pursuing greatness and trying to get to the top of the podium, The storm is coming. Whether we want it to or not, the storm is coming. And if people haven't faced it yet, just keep going. It's coming. We cannot avoid them. So let's prepare for them. And when we can hold two possibilities simultaneously and then believe in our heart of Hearts that no matter which one of those possibilities happen, I'm going to be okay because we prepared for either outcome.

Yeah. Though there's a lot of tension in holding those two truths at once. There was fear on both sides. Mm hmm. Do you know what? You know what's so interesting that this has been my experience again. It comes the phrases what you resist persists. So when we are like, just get out there, you've got this You're gonna love you just be confident, You're gonna be amazing, blah blah, blah blah blah. So we're not holding too Possibilities simultaneously. We're avoiding one the minute I speak to athletes, business people and doing my life coaching and I give them this concept. Do you know what is so cool when we stopped when we stop lying to ourselves and we speak the truth about the fear of the other possibility showing up, which I might not rocket. All of the sudden the fear goes from let's use a scale of 1-10 from a no to a six. And you know what? You're a much better public speaker when your fear is out of six than a nine, you're much better, much better standing over a three ft putt as a golfer that you have to make to make the cut If your fear is a six instead of a nine.

Because when we stop lying to ourselves, when we face the truth, I think this is all emotional intelligence, by the way, it's like that fear just drops down a bit because it's almost like our body has said, thank you for listening to me. Thank you for listening to me. And that fearful feeling makes it drops enough that we're able to manage it. In fact, every athlete that I've coached, worked with business person, like who hasn't done this. So we're all familiar with the word choking Well think about what choking is because we didn't face both truths and the fear came the storm came and we didn't know what to do with it because we were working hard to avoid it. I think choking is avoidable when we have emotional intelligence and self awareness and we know what to do with our fear. I think choking is avoidable. So this is what I teach all of my clients whether they're athletes leaders or they're just trying to get on the podium in their own life.

I just I know I'm so biased and I will not apologize for that, I'm proud of my biases. I know this works because I see how it changes these feelings that everyone has been avoiding for as long as they can remember. I teach them how to face them, I teach them how to manage them, I teach them how to understand them. And then all of a sudden the clients are like, wow, I can do that. I can face that. I'm like, yes you can, yeah, you're you're right. You know, in that when you acknowledge what the worst possible outcome is and explore it, it's not as bad as avoiding it and not thinking about it because when you avoid it, the fear is greater. Just thinking about a couple of things in my own head, but it's also if you're avoiding it, you're not preparing for it, as you said, and if you acknowledge that it's a possible outcome, you can prepare for it, It just makes sense. Hmm. You know where this, when this struck me, so this was this would have been in maybe December of 2015, so about six months before the Olympics, I got to go to this olympics supposed symposium and one of the keynote speakers was an astronaut and this astronaut was talking about, you know what?

We go through every single thing that could go wrong when we get up in space, we rehearse it, we have a plan for it. And I was like, oh my goodness, we do not do that in sport, We do not. And so I'm I'm, you know, building on what you just said, we get a plant. So this comes back to the swimming analogy, you know, when, when the, when the storm hits it's like, oh good. I know how to swim. I know how to put my life jacket on. And I've practiced putting my life jacket on. I've practiced swimming. I've practiced holding my breath underwater for a certain period of time. You are bang on when we avoid. That was so good, what you said when we avoid, we don't prepare and then the storm comes and we drown just amazing to articulate it in that way, isn't it? Yeah, what great clarity. So I mean, this might be the exact thing that you would say, What advice would you go back and give to your 21 year old self?

That girl just before she was cut and then was had the redirection when her dream was shattered. What would you go back and give advice? Would you give her when I look back on those years? You know, I had a lot of really good things going on. I think I had zero emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence. I don't think I would even have known what that term was. And that would have been the biggest advice that I would have gone back because I would have said to that girl, you don't know as much as you think you do, you're not as wise, you think you're smart, but you're not that wise yet. And I would have advised that young girl to go and equip herself with emotional intelligence. Yes. Like you said before we started recording that we learned the EQ way too late. Some never at all. We do. And that's I think that's one of the things that I get the most joy When I work with athletes because my my youngest client is 10 years old and I don't use the word emotional intelligence when I'm working with these young ones, but I tell their parents, You know what if your athlete comes and works with me, I'll tell you what they're not going to have to go to therapy when they're 40 or 50 or 30 or 60 I'm going to give them these tools now.

Like I just look back and I'm like this 10 year old after I worked with her for a bit I'm like she knew she knows more at 10 about emotional intelligence than I did at 20. We in general, I think we have such capacity to truly know ourselves if given the right tools and I think emotional intelligence can be taught at a very very young age and I think it's the greatest gift that we can give our kids. What are the other f words that you use? Well I have um I think I've got about six of them. The list keeps growing. I keep thinking of others but I'll give you my three, the three favorites are fear fake and feel and in the sport context and in the life context I would say sport teaches us two sport teaches us to fake it, fake it till you make it hide from how you feel and pretend you're not fearful, so fake feel and fear in whatever order you want.

I think life teaches us the same thing. I think the business world teaches us the same thing. I think relationships often teach the same thing. We are only truly authentic with maybe one or two people in our lives. We're all out there. We're all out there faking it pretending that I'm not afraid and hiding from how we truly feel. And so the reason I use those three f words is I come back to what I said earlier, how in the world are we supposed to become emotionally intelligent when athletes are being taught? Don't be afraid, don't feel fair, don't feel any negative feelings and just get out there and fake it till you make it. And I would say the same thing to my business coaching and my life coaching until you face those three F words. You cannot expect to stand on the podium of your life. Can you share a little ritual or something you do for yourself when you feel fear. The very first thing that I do is I use an acronym that I teach to my clients.

The acronym is wait W. A. I. T. Which means pause. But it also stands for what am I thinking because unless we know we're feeling these feelings we can't do anything about them until we become awake and conscious. Which is another way of saying paying attention. And so I work on this like there'll be times where I'd just be sitting at my computer and I'm like okay Shaunie wait and I'll just sit and it's like then I'm like I'll ask myself this question what's going on with me right now? And then I asked myself one of those four questions, what am I afraid of? What am I protecting? What am I protecting against? What am I avoiding? And so I use everything that I've just said throughout this podcast. But the only way that I can do that is I have to consciously remember to think about what I'm thinking about. And there are some days I'm telling you like speaking about truth, there'll be days in a row and I don't even think about it once. Like I forget, I just get into habit right?

Most of us live our life by habit. And so when I'm, when I'm when I forget to do it, I actually will set little reminders. So I'll put a sticky up on my computer, I will have an alarm on my phone that will go off every three. So it's like, oh yeah, right, okay, Shaunie, there's your reminder pause and think about what I'm thinking about and then asking myself those questions and then saying, okay, there you are, shawne. You're standing at the fork in the road. Which way are you going to go? Because now as soon as we awaken there, there's big responsibility that comes with this awakening because now, you know you are fearful and the minute you know it you're conscious you are at the fork in the road and then I get to choose Am I gonna let fear drive my actions or am I going to let courage drive my actions as much as I can, as much as I coach. My clients choose courage. Do I choose courage every single time?

Hell no, no, I do not. Sometimes the fear takes over. That's completely normal. That's called imperfection. But I do know I'm getting better at recognizing when I'm standing at the fork in the road and choosing between fear driving my behaviors or courage, I'm getting better at it. I'm way better at it than I was five years ago. I'm way better at it. That was a year ago because it's a skill and we get better at it when we practice it's learn herbal and as you say, it's something that improves the more you practice. So it's wonderful. I want to thank you so much for your time. What a great conversation. There is so much to dive in and learn from all of that. So I'll let you go off and have your dinner the time zone difference. And yeah, thank you. It's such a pleasure to hear your story and to learn some of your wisdom. You guided me beautifully. I I got to talk about all of the things that I feel deep in my heart. So thank you for taking me on the journey with you and I really encourage your listeners get out there, figure out that fork in the road and courage always feels better than fear.

Alright, I haven't gauged your reaction yet. So this is the first time we've spoken about shawne. What do you think I you know the first thing that caught me as an accent, it was just so beautiful to listen to and she's so eloquent, isn't she, with her words like and this and this calmness, you know, that just like I could feel it through the freaking, you know, dropbox link that you sent me to listen to. So I can only imagine what she was like when you actually saw her face to face on zoom. So yeah, and I was thinking actually it made me laugh going, you know, that's probably just the perfect calmness you need as a coach. But then she's also got that side that is truth talking, isn't it? And real and pushes you to be as open as you can. But it is really interesting to sort of talk about the parallels between a high performer in sport versus a high performer in their career or in business, isn't it?

It's very interesting to think that way. Yeah, and there was that book, wasn't it, that was written, that was about the success of All Blacks, wasn't it? Ah Yes. And then they turned that into the book as well around leadership and I think you're right, there's a lot of parallels and you know, the mindset that you need to have for sports, you know, especially in that team setting. The resilience piece comes in the self awareness and eq pieces she spoke about comes in and I think the biggest one is, you know, is great and vulnerability. They almost sound like they don't go hand in hand, but they do in sport and in leadership because if you're not aware of your weaknesses, how are you going to improve? Yes, very much so. And I mean sean is sort of embrace that and I think the business world is really starting to embrace that over the last 10 years or so, particularly with people like Renee brown talking about vulnerability and all those sorts of things. Because I think traditionally, and perhaps sports might be taking a little bit longer because as she said, they don't want to talk about fear.

All they want to do is visualize success and go for it and not actually dig in and go, well, what if, because if you've never, as she said, if you've never thought about the consequence of losing, how are you going to perform under that condition? Mm hmm. Yeah, Absolutely. And I think also if you haven't thought about it and you're not prepared for that failure, your resilience is going to take longer to kick into gear, isn't it? Because you're almost going to be, have that shock factor of, oh my God, I'm failing. And it goes back to remember those questions we did as well. And it reminded me of that when she did her for questions. But it was, you know, to be really resilient. You have to look at the worst case scenario, assess the probability of that happening. And then you look at the best case, assess the probability of the best case and then you look at the likely outcome. So it basically gives you, gives your mind all of those ranges. And then once you've identified those ranges, you go into solution mode and that's where you start your visualization and being really proactive.

So yeah, that I really resonated with her four questions there because it's true. We do have to look at, you know, what does that failure look like? Doesn't mean we sit in that space but we're still going to identify it. Mm hmm. That's right. And if you didn't present your brain with that problem, you're not even giving yourself scope to consider it or solve it. Because even if you present it and then don't sit in it for too long, the brain in the backgrounds processing that possibility, isn't it? Yeah. Those four questions were what are you afraid of? What are you protecting? What are you protecting against and what are you avoiding? And they're not easy questions. I remember when she was speaking, I was trying to muddle through that in my own context and I'm like, oh it's a bit of discomfort answering those honestly. Yeah, you can answer them, you know, for the sake of answering them. But if you really answer them. Yeah, that's the interesting questions. And you know the first word that came up for me when she said what are you avoiding? You know, it is it is all of that discomfort, isn't it?

Like for me it's not the hard work. It's that discomfort of not getting what I want. You avoid that. I don't want to avoid it. But it's like it's like, oh, because I'm so focused on what I want that I find not getting, it causes me discomfort. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. But it's not it's not the doing that causes me discomfort because I I work hard. I'm not scared of hard work. It's it's almost that expectation of violence, expectation of failure. But that expectation of how am I going to feel if I don't achieve it in the time frame? I want. Yeah. It's funny, isn't it? Because the two of us, even when we were talking about money issues, we've got very different approaches. So I embrace the fear as a gift thing and I don't think I? M void being uncomfortable because I think that I tend to run towards discomfort because I know that that's what I need to be focusing on. And yet what I'm avoiding to be honest, is still based in fear what I'm avoiding. And it comes down to my goals for this year is stepping into who I have to be to be a ceo rather than a lawyer.

Like I and part of it is because I don't think that I have someone close to me who has No, that's not true. I was going to say that's done it that I can model off, but no, actually, now that I think of it, I need to get closer to people who I know have done it before. I think that that's the difference. There you go. What you would have answered that question so differently 12 months ago because you would have said, and that was a big thing for you is you were worried about what people would think and thought of you, that was your big thing. And I'm so glad you didn't say that when you were answering it. I'm like, I wonder if she's going to say that, but I know that's something you've worked on and that's the space totally grown in 100% heaps. Yeah, I didn't even cross my mind actually at that time about what others might think. It's great. Yeah, that is good. Yeah, I love her. You know, conversations on fear and I think, you know, we don't talk about it enough.

We just don't even if it's to ourselves or, you know, to other people, we don't really talk about it, that's true. And maybe this comes down to you're worried about what others think because you do want to present as doing well and confident, you know, particularly in a service based industry like both of us are in because if we were constantly expressing our doubts and our fears and self doubt then how would people have confidence in what we could do for them, You know, it's sort of that comes around a little bit, but to other business owners in a safe place. I certainly think that working through your fears Yeah, there's obviously so many benefits of at least considering them as Shawnee says, because if you don't consider or acknowledge them, then you're really not even giving the brain a chance to process it and solve it. It's funny you say the brain to process that.

I wrote this post yesterday after reading something and it said that we all have space between our thoughts right? Like that silence and space, but we sometimes don't feel we have it because our thoughts can overlap or we literally have one thought after the next after the next. But we don't have that gap. But it was saying that we actually do like it's it's we do. But we're not aware of that gap. And the example that they gave, which was really cool. Was that a trapeze artist? And they said, if you look at a trapeze artist is very seamless. You know where they go from one bar to the next. And it said, but actually before they moved from that one bar and jump to the next, there is this stillness and this space where there thinking they're with their thoughts, their with their body, they're connected. And it said it can go either way, they can wow you because they've got that next part and they strategized it embrace the stillness or it can be disastrous and they've fallen, bad things can happen. And it was saying basically that we have many trapeze moments in our day all the time, all the time.

But are we actually aware Of those moments of stillness that's going to help us be our best to our people? And I thought that was a really cool analogy. And after reading that yesterday, I remember I was doing something at work and I had to prepare for a call with with Europe and it was like 9:00 and I was tired and I was rushing and I was like, you know what? This is my trapeze moment, like I can either just calm myself down and be with my thoughts for for a little bit or not, and it's going to make or break. How will I present in that session? So, so yeah, little trapeze moments. That sort of my that was my take away yesterday. It's a great visual. Thank you for that because it is, it's that floating period in space. And if someone allowed themselves to get in fear and go, I'm going to fall in that moment instead of just going now, I've got this Yeah, yeah, yeah, very interesting stuff, isn't it? The other thing that I would have loved to dive more into where Shawnee is those people who are overconfident because there's a lot of them around, they haven't considered fear.

They really don't dive deep into their emotions. They feel like they're far more capable than their performance even shows. And I was just thinking of that in terms of different leaders, particularly political leaders in the world over the last couple of years and who has been an overconfident, mediocre leader and who has been a humble, excellent leader. Mm hmm. And I think that overconfidence is fueled by ego and I also think it's fueled by insecurity, ego and insecurity because it's almost like and I've seen it in leaders myself that I've coached in the queue that they've got this, you know, bravado attitude phases me attitude. They can be quite controlling overconfident as you say. But deep down that they're not that secure in themselves and they don't have a lot of awareness about themselves either because if they did they wouldn't behave that way. Yes.

Yeah. Complete, almost complete lack of self awareness because they wouldn't they wouldn't describe themselves as insecure whatsoever. No. No. And I don't think they have a good understanding of personal power either which is you know, as part of the queue is about understanding your strengths and also leveraging. You know, some of your weaknesses as well and going, you know what I'm aware of these but that's okay. Like I can use some of these weaknesses or areas of improvement to my advantage. You know, there's a lot of power in being vulnerable in you know, being transparent in all of those beautiful things that some people would see as, as you know, its weaknesses. No, but if you've got all these benefits of increasing performance, resilience, being able to deal with pressure, certainly being able to work with team in under pressure. Yeah, I don't know why these things aren't being more widely embraced. Perhaps they are, perhaps we're sort of thinking back more about the bravado is more of a more of a traditional approach, but it's becoming less, do you think it is becoming less?

I think it's definitely people are calling it out more as well. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Then than they were before. And I think also on that note around that self awareness piece, it was interesting how she was explaining, you know, that there isn't much difference between coaching individuals and teams and I think you need a level of EQ to be able to stay in both because you know where you are as an individual, the focus is on yourself and your own awareness of your abilities and strengths. Um but if you don't have that EQ and you go into a team, then you're not going to be aware of other people's emotions as well within the team and how they impact you and that's what it's all about, like the first step is your own awareness and then stage two is, you know, social awareness of as you lead a team or you are a part of a team, not only do you need to know how you feel an awareness of yourself, you need to be able to pick up the awareness of people around you. Yeah. Which is, you know, the main premises around the importance of EQ.

It's that it is a really crucial element of being successful. Yeah, I really liked coming back to what Shaunie was talking around about preparation as well with the swimming metaphor and being prepared because you don't want to end up in deep water not knowing how to swim at a crucial moment. That's why you actually do some of this prep work beforehand and learn how to swim by doing these deep dive coaching into your own emotions and talking about these things and I also think about it almost like first Aid as well, like we do our first aid course, we do our refresher courses, we do all these things so that we know if we find someone in a situation we will be able to put them into recovery and be able to actually deal with the situation calmly instead of going into hysterics, but we hope that we're never going to use it at the same time. Yeah, I'm fearful of using mine. I don't think I could use mine.

Yeah. And I often talk about that sort of stuff in terms of preparing for conflict as well, which again draws on a lot of EQ because if we don't have some of these basic skills to regulate ourselves. If we're in stress and a conflict situation then we're not going to deal with the conflict situation very well. We're going to react. We're going to be fearful aggressive or we're going to avoid rather than being in it. Yeah. And also the focus will just be on a win outcome when sometimes it's not always about that. As you know, that's right because in fact what a win outcome should be externally for other people. Might actually not be the best for your situation or what you actually want because someone else is telling you what a win is for you rather than you knowing what it is. So that's the media is enough speaking that that's right. Yeah. So yeah, I really like that conversation.

It's a good one to begin 2022 With. It is it's it's definitely made you think, hasn't it? And I think everyone should ask those four questions. Yeah. Um, start the year with that, you know? Yeah. Yeah. The one that gets me most was what are you protecting against? That's the most confronting for me not. What am I avoiding or what am I afraid of? It's what am I protecting against? What is that the answer? Look, I don't really know what I'm resisting. So that one needs a little bit of thought and deep dive. Yeah. So we're right into the year nearly at the end of january already. How's the outlook for you, What do you got for the next couple of weeks. Yeah. She is going back to school soon. She is she's in the Gold Coast at the moment having a big holiday. So that's nice. Yeah. Back to school for Geo and I think for me it's now I found this amazing marketing company that's us based but they're specializing coaches.

So we've just literally spent two weeks doing all of the technical set up the back end systems and tagging and all that google stuff and I don't want to do but it's all done and now it's gonna be a case of literally focusing the next two months on marketing and yeah, growth. I think that's going to be the word for me this year. Fantastic growth for you. I obviously want growth but the word for me this year that I'm going to try and live is embodiment. That is my word for the year. And I've said it a few times and now I'm saying it here and now because of all the inner work that I've been doing over the last couple of years I actually now have to put it into play. I actually have to be my full self and embody what I actually believe in who I am all the time instead of dividing myself into different silos for different situations. Yeah. I love that. Yeah. Being the whole of you. Yeah.

Yeah it could be a good year? That's good. I think every year starts a good year. We make, isn't it? Like if we're, you know, lockdown, No lockdown Covid. No Covid. I think it's what we think and how we behave and what we do. Yeah, very true. And even on our reflection of 2021, you know, it was a difficult year in a lot of ways. But the amount that we progressed it was incredible. Would we have done that if it was any different? Who knows? But I think we've always got to look at the fact that there was good and there was good in last year. Lots of good. Yeah, absolutely. Alright. Well, if you want to continue the conversation around fear, I'm sure Shaunie would love to hear from you. All those links are in the show notes, we post this on linkedin, which is a great place to have a conversation. But otherwise where can people contact you directly? Yeah, I'm the eq dot Academy. Wonderful. And you can get me Jackie at legally wise women dot com dot au. So there we are first one for the year.

Well, and truly into it. Catch your next Fortnite everyone. Catch you later. Thank you.

Ep90 Fear is a gift
Ep90 Fear is a gift
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