How To Fall Down Happily
How to fall down…happily
I fell down one more time.
I was a little 13-year-old girl acting as Scarecrow in our school play, “The Wizard of Oz”, and we were practising the day before the big show.
“Do you know what, Nicky?” my drama teacher exclaimed excitedly, “You are a better little actor than your brother!”
Her words sunk in slowly but deeply like water to a sponge.
Up until that point, I had just been enjoying myself.
Up until that point, I had been having fun.
I hadn’t been comparing myself to my brother and suddenly, in an instant, the fear of failure dropped onto my 13-year-old shoulders like an invisible, dark and heavy coat.
I didn’t realize what was happening but something shifted.
And the next day, when the curtains came up, I bombed. I remembered all my words. I went through the motions, but the joy was gone.
I knew it. The audience could feel it. My drama teacher was stunned by it.
So, what had happened?
Suddenly I felt pressure to perform. Suddenly I needed to prove myself and I was no longer doing it for simple enjoyment and with all of that, the spark inside of me died.
That night I cried.
I was confused.
And my confidence took a huge knock.
Fast forward 20 odd years, and I was a high flyer ambitious Regional Training Manager for an e-learning company. I loved my job. The pressure. The people. The responsibility. And I was damn good at it too. I seemed to be quite talented in keeping our clients, project managers and my bosses happy all at once.
Until one day, a new boss arrived on the scene.
And he didn’t like me much. Worse than that though, he didn’t believe in me.
It was a tough pill to swallow. Up until that point, pretty much everyone liked me. I was good with people. This motivated me and I excelled.
Now, suddenly, I had a boss that didn’t get me, didn’t like me and didn’t believe in me.
Again, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this lack of belief started impacting my performance. I would find myself stumbling over my words in his presence and messing up presentations to potential clients.
And before I knew it, inside myself, I was no longer the high flying successful manager, but a self-doubting, word stumbling failure.
After my second child, I resigned … I had been with the company for over 8 years and I felt the need to break out on my own. It was hard to leave a company I had been so loyal too, but it was the right move. I started a Nanny Training and Recruitment company with a friend. The business grew quickly and easily … very soon, we were one of the top company’s in our industry. But life changes and my husband and I decided to move “back home” to Port Elizabeth which resulted in me selling the company.
Deep down, I knew that I wasn’t passionate about the business, so it was an easy move. My second business, The Support Room, didn’t take off instantly like I had expected it to. And this business, I was passionate about so I started to take the slow start personally. As the business moved up, down and around, the doubt, the disbelief and lack of confidence started to creep into all the cells of my body, slowly but steadily.
And here’s the thing about losing self-confidence and gaining fear, you don’t realise it’s happening. My persona as a “jacked up” business woman with her feet on the ground and her sights on the stars was firmly in place, but underneath, I was slowly crumbling.
It was only through coaching and deep reflection that it dawned on me that the root of my low self-confidence was linked to the “new boss” that came into my life 4 years earlier. It had been sitting buried inside of me all that time.
The beautiful thing is that with awareness, comes the ability to release.
And as quickly as fear can drop onto your shoulders, so too can it disappear. So, what do you do if you too feel like your confidence has taken a knock?
Start by acknowledging the good.
Because, with every knock down, there is always a lesson or a gift.
Yes, it’s crappy – and hard – and sometimes we only see the gift a few years later, but it is always there. And when you realize this, you can start looking for the gifts and lessons in EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME.
So, what was my gift or lesson in having the joy of acting taken away from me as a young girl, I hear you ask?
Well, the lesson that no-one can take your joy away unless you let them. No-one can make you happy or build you up – it’s your responsibility to believe in yourself and love your own damn self intensely.
Because when you do this, you connect with your own inner power, resourcefulness, beauty and creativity. When you love yourself intensely, it’s impossible to compare yourself to others, to worry about what the new boss thinks or to let fear rule your life. When you love yourself intensely, it’s easier to flow with life and it’s so much easier to FALL DOWN HAPPILY … because yes, you will still fall down, but when you do, look around for the lesson(because it’s always there), appreciate the crap, keep loving yourself and this will help you to GET UP DANCING.
The new boss’s opinion of me was just that … his opinion. It needn’t have impacted my performance at all. I could have dusted his attitude off and chosen to continue blowing everyone away … but because I didn’t believe in myself and love myself intensely, I let his opinion impact on my happiness.
Looking back, I want to shake my younger self and say “Wake-up Woman – his opinion doesn’t matter – you are still damn good at what you do!” But I can’t go back, and in reality, all of these experiences have brought me to where I am today … to a place of accepting myself, believing in myself and loving myself.
All of these experiences have brought me to a place of understanding my weaknesses, and celebrating them … but most importantly, they have brought me here .. to this moment, of sharing and teaching.
If you take just one thing away from reading this, let it be the belief that the ability to be happy / successful / joyful / abundant is ALWAYS inside of you.
You are enough!
You are talented!
You are powerful!
Don’t let fear fall onto your shoulders … shake it off … because YOU DO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO LIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS.
And if you fall down … you know what to do 🙂
Wishing you a beautifully, relaxing weekend full of love and abundance
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