If you’re alone, you’ll go home
You’re about to see me in a way that I rarely share on social media.
I carefully manage my public image, “my brand,” as I’m sure most of us do. On social media, we share our wins, and we share our struggles after the fact when we have some perspective and have had the chance to tidy our hair and fix our makeup for a camera-ready “tell-all”.
Over the last six months I’ve had some of the most incredible moments of my life. Watching my daughter’s face as she saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time moved me to tears. Seeing the Alps bearing down on us out of every window in our motorhome took my breath away. Having my hand shaken by a total stranger in a restaurant in Slovenia after she overheard that we’d travelled, just my 10-year-old daughter and myself, across Europe from the UK in five days and were entering Croatia the next day, made me feel proud that being a single Mum hadn’t stopped me taking the trip of a lifetime. Those parts were magical.
However, I’ve also been fed up, tired, bored and frightened. Backing our motorhome down a single track lane with a cliff face on one side and sheer drop on the other because I’d gone the wrong way. There was no possibility to turn the vehicle around at the top and it required a ton of concentration while also reassuring my daughter, the entire way down, that this was easy and neither of us were in danger.
I will never have to drive 1,500 miles across Europe in four days in 35c heat to get home to a sick relative ever again. And I’m glad about that.
And I learned the hard way that if you’re a people pleaser, a worrier and a stresser you’ll be a people pleaser, a worrier and a stresser even when you’re in a beautiful villa in Italy.
I shared some of my ordeals as they happened. But not all.
I was worried that my struggle to learn the lessons of this trip would undermine my professional image. I’m the happy, smiley, together one, right? People don’t want to know when the dream goes sour, or they’d rather not see the ‘real me’ who’s been grumpy for days on the trot for no particular reason.
Well, as we embark on our next Brilliant Gamble I’ve made a commitment. I’m going to tell you the truth of the journey. At times it will be nauseating. I’ll be happy and excited and unable to foresee problems. I’ll brush other people’s concerns or reservations or warnings away with a wave of the hand and a, “We’ll be fine!”
At other times, I am sure to be upset or stressed about what may seem like nothing. You’ll think, “Why isn’t she enjoying this? This is meant to be fun!” when I’m having a bad day over nothing much.
Why have I decided to do this?
Because over the last six months, coinciding with our trip (and not by accident) I’ve been running the pilot of one of our new coaching programmes. 24 people have taken part in A Brilliant Gamble LIVE which will launch officially in mid-January 2019. While they’ve been taking the course and committing to their own Brilliant Gambles, they’ve also witnessed my journey. I’ve shared the realities of our trip with them in a way I haven’t wanted to in public. We have a pact. They share their truth and I share mine.
The more open I am with them about my struggles, the more they encourage me to do it again. And that feels really good. We live in such an image conscious world where so many coaches and so-called “gurus” seem to have it together - that we feel wretched when we behave as mere humans.
We’re stressed when the house is a happy family mess because it doesn’t look like the homes on Instagram. Or we tell people that we meditate every day even though we secretly spend most of our meditation time constructing a to do list of things we’ll need to get around to after the blooming meditation is over. We gab to our friends about our wise insights but we leave out the bits where we argued with a loved one about who worked the hardest or who makes the most sacrifices.
So I’m stopping.
Today we launch our other big programme, A Brilliant Gamble ONLINE. This is a programme anyone can undertake. You can can access videos and exercises at your own pace that guide you - based on the lessons I’ve learned from the last six months...AND the last 20 years - through turning your goals from a dream into a reality.
I don’t pull my punches. I’ve tried to be really honest about what makes such a journey tough. I’ve looked in the mirror and faced my demons - and you should too. Otherwise, as I experienced, you’ll simply take them with you.
Rather than sitting on a pedestal saying, “I went through this and look at me now,” I’m going on the journey with you again. I still have a lot to learn. My need to please other people has to stop. Being concerned about what other people will think of me and fretting about the impression I’m making takes a toll on me and those around me constantly. I’d like to let that go.
Worrying about the “what ifs” and replaying the “if onlys” is exhausting and distracting. I know that the only way to love our next brilliant gamble - a smallholding life - is to be present to it, to take lightly the opinions of others and to embrace uncertainty and risk.
I can only be a good coach to the wonderful people on any of the programmes I’ve created if I refuse to gloss over the ugly bits. If I pretend it’s all easy for me, how will they feel when their going gets tough? They might feel like they’re failing, when quite the opposite is true. They’re confronting the parts of themselves that most people leave well alone, peeling back the facade and looking under the skin to fix themselves and their lives from the inside rather than for Instagram.
I owe it to them, and to you, to do the same.
If you’re thinking taking a brilliant gamble of your own, check out A Brilliant Gamble Online. Please use coupon code GAMBLE10 at check-out for a 10% discount.
If you’d like to see the curated view of our Big Trip, as mentioned in this post, there are plenty of photos of our adventures on Instagram. Finally, if this post resonated with you, please give it a share on social media using the buttons below.