“When you don’t know what to do, get still. Get very still until you do know what to do.” – Oprah Winfrey
I’ve been kicking myself lately about all sorts of stuff, and it came to fruition the other night while I was talking to my coach. I was worrying about the experience of having a baby in France, and wishing that I could go home to New Zealand to have babies. She asked me “Why”? I explained how if I was at home I would have a midwife who would coach me through birth. I REALLY believed I needed someone elses leadership. In France, (in my experience) they don’t help you the same way, they just wait for you to cave and ask for the epidural, and then they throw you into stirrups and grab the knife. Its procedure.
This is what happened last time anyway.
When I had my daughter I came away feeling thrilled and relieved that I had a beautiful baby.
I also came away feeling dis-empowered, scared and angry. Up until that day I had totally trusted that my body would know what to do, women have been doing this forever, and I figured that I would just be able to do it.
The reality was different. I panicked (for a number of different reasons) and because I was panicking, I didn’t know what to do. Whenever we’re scared, that puts us into a fight, flight or freeze response, where our bodies basically shut down, and make it impossible to think logically or hear any intuitive messages. At that time, all I wanted was someone to lead me through. Only there was no-one. Richie was there, supporting me and doing a great job, but I felt annoyed at his inability to tell me if I was at least one more centimeter dilated or not. Then there was the midwife, who kept coming in to ask me if I wanted an epidural yet, please don’t get off the bed, NO EATING OR DRINKING, and for christ-sake stay out of the bath. So bizarre as it sounds, I let her lead me. I handed over my power to someone else, because I was panicking so much that I couldn’t hear myself, trust myself or lead my experience.
All of this got me thinking.
Do I really need someone else to lead me? Through childbirth or any area of my life?
Well there’s lots of evidence in my mind and my life that tells me YUP damn straight I need someone else with more experience to lead me. But I know that this isn’t true, because of the way my body reacts to that thought. When I think and believe that I need someone else to lead me (in any area of my life) I feel deflated like an old balloon, I feel hallow and sick in my stomach, tense and angry and sad and scared. My Jaw tightens, my eyes narrow, and my arms feel like dead weights. These are all great indicators that I’M BELIEVING A LIE, my body knows its a lie and it’s trying to get my attention by making me uncomfortable, emotionally and physically. My body is saying “Uggghh this thought you’re thinking isn’t right, move toward the truth.”
What’s the truth?
When I am a true leader, I can’t mess things up.
When I think this thought, I smile, my whole body relaxes, and I feel my breathing come into a deep easy rhythm. I feel as light as a feather, energised and bubbly. This is my body telling me, YESSSSS that’s the TRUTH. To think this way feels empowering. I feel like in any situation I will know what to do, because I will be connected, listening, open, relaxed, calm, clear, confident.
It took me a while to get to this perspective.
Even though I knew in my brain what true leadership looked like, in my experience “leaders” often looked different. I was deeply concerned that if I became the leader in my life I would end up being domineering, controlling, manipulative, hated, bossy, angry, arrogant, stubborn -I’ll stop there ’cause my list is long and ugly.
True leaders are never any of these things.
My point is; I was so afraid of becoming these things, that I often shied away from leading because I was freaked out by how I might mess things up, become the image of the leader who lived in my imagination. I had no confidence in myself as a leader in my own life, in my own experience.
Learning to trust myself is something that I work at everyday, every moment, consciously. It takes me concious effort to not hand over my power to anyone else because I’m scared, worried that I might mess up, or I perceive that they might like to feel powerful by leading. I have to hold a clear and revised vision of what a true leader is, what it means to be a leader.
And I have to find new evidence everyday of why, when I’m the leader of my experience,
everything falls into place and I feel at peace, and a small growth in confidence.
So if you like me are feeling that there is somewhere in your life that could do with some true leadership from YOU, but you’ve doubted your ability, you’ve doubted yourself, you’ve questioned if you’re capable, if you would really know what to do, worried that you might mess things up, have no idea how to do it, or don’t know what it would like for you to be in this role, then here is your invitation to consider why you might be able to lead your experiences better than anyone? How do you feel when you’re not leading your experience? What would it look like and feel like for you to trust yourself? Who would you be, how would you behave differently if you deeply trusted yourself as a leader?
I would LOVE to invite you to join me in trusting, listening and leading your experience.