Compassion, Gratitude And The Power of Words with Dr Jane Tornatore PhD
Katerina: Hi Jane.
Jane: Hello, how are you?
Katerina: Hello, I’m good. It’s great to have you on the podcast. Jane, you are a speaker, a counselling therapist… a family marriage therapist, and author of a book — “Everything is perfect. Just not me” … I actually read the book… Why, why such a name?
Jane: Why such a name? Because it’s true… I, I’m a recovering perfectionist I will probably always be a perfectionist. But one of the things… and the people who are drawn to me are the perfectionists, and for a perfectionist, it’s like you’re doing so well, you’re so awesome, that was done so well… I kind of sucked because I totally could have done it better. We tend to think we’re, we generally tend to be much kinder to others than we are to ourselves no matter how hard we work… or how it goes, no matter, no matter how much praise we get. It’s always just not quite good enough. So we never get that feel-good of like, oh yay me — that is super awesome to feel. We can give it. We just can’t receive it. So, hence the title Everything’s perfect, just not me.
Katerina: So, where this drive for perfection comes from?
Jane: Oh, that’s a great question, Katerina. Most of how we… how we see ourselves in the world, and how the world is… most of our perceptions most of our beliefs are formed before the age of six. So many of our beliefs are pre-verbal, we just kind… of because of how our brain works, actually. Do you want me to get a little brain geeky and talk about forming these beliefs?
Katerina: Okay. Yeah.
Jane: So around between the ages of zero and two our brains are mostly in delta waves. And delta waves we’re just kind of like, you know, you know little kids they’re just kind of looking around and experiencing. They’re just taking in the world. And they’re responding to the moment… if they’re wet, if they’re hungry if they’re scared if they’re no cuddle, they just respond there’s no thought around it, it’s just a response to the world. Around the age of two, our brain becomes mostly theta state. Now theta state is the state our brain is when we’re under hypnosis. So, under hypnosis in a theta state, the brain gets very quiet, our ego gets very quiet and we just kind of receive… we don’t critique so much. We just take in the information. So little kids are basically until the age of six under a hidden hypnotic state where what is seen to be true, or what is experienced is seen to be true, that’s, that’s how the world is, that’s how I am. If we’re told, you know, your bad kid…
Okay, I’m a bad kid. We literally don’t have the brain capacity, the brain capability to say, no, I’m not, I’m if I’m just making a kid, what do you call your bed kid for. So literally, we just received things that is true. And then they become underlying beliefs. Now later our brain goes into beta state and beta waves in were mostly in beta waves and that’s kind of like, I gotta fix things I haven’t solved things I got to take care of things I gotta, you know, that’s the problem solving and always scanning very busy part of our brain. When we’re in beta waves, we can go — “What. It doesn’t make sense. That’s a wacky belief… What is up with that.” But, you know, before the age of six, we’re just kind of taking it and going, Okay, that’s how the world is. And in my case, my family, were not so healthy when I was a kid, and I decided that in my little unformed brain you know my theta ways if I were just good enough and I could make everybody in my family happy, and nobody would get hurt.
Now, as an adult I’m like, yeah, that’s not gonna happen. You’re the smallest you can’t stop everybody from, you know, being unhappy, and getting hurt. You just can’t do it. But in my little non fully formed brain that was the best answer I had, because it’s an unconscious belief until I really became aware of that and really started practising to go. “Yeah, they’re better beliefs than the ones I grew up with.” They were just kind of an underlying driver. Is that, is what I’m saying clear.
Katerina: Yes. Yeah, so did… was being a perfectionist kind of hindered you during your adolescence years or young adulthood. How did it affect you?
Jane: It both helped me and hindered me. It’s a really good question and helped me because, you know, working really hard is a great trait, especially when you’re in a working hard kind of world, right. I have ADHD and dyslexia, and I got a PhD. Like, that doesn’t come without going, I’m going to make this happen. The problem is, it wasn’t just the drive. But no matter how well I did — it was never good. Like I never got the pleasure of the work. So while it gave me a drive of like, I will be perfect. I will show people, I will rather better than whatever. I did it with great stress. I was just very stressed all the time great anxiety great stress. So while it enabled me to get a PhD on unmedicated ADHD. I also wasn’t happy, the entire time I was a student.
So, one of them, one of the things I frequently tell my clients is every tool, eventually becomes an impediment. Like, we learn these things because they work at the time. And then when we become bigger than our, our fears our beliefs, then they hold us back. Because if I keep being a perfectionist, I never going to try anything new. Well, I will… it’s just so much harder for me than… People who are like “No. Awesome. I am gonna learn something new.” And I’m like “Oh, my god, I’m gonna fail.” Right. And I do it because I’m driven to, but it’s just not as happy as I could be where.
Katerina: Yeah. So what are your strategies today to… I guess you’re still kind of dealing with this… What is your strategist to do… to kind of overcome this? Or maybe kind of paying attention to when you start doing it again… but what are you doing today to stop you from being a perfectionist?
Jane: Right, that’s a great question. I do many many many many many things. One of the things I’ve learned is that it’s helpful to have a toolbox versus a tool. Because if I just have one tool perfectionism — I have to use it all the time, whether it’s appropriate or not. But if I’ve got a whole toolbox. Sometimes perfectionism is super awesome, it gets me prepared for things I’m not sure about. But, so, honestly, a lot of what I do is just, it’s a lot of self-soothing “I’m like, oh, I’m being perfectionist again.” And I literally got this from a woman named Tara Brock, who’s just wonderful about meditating and she literally puts her hand on her heart, and says “Oh, I’m hurting.” So the first thing I do is basically give myself some compassion because I’m hurting, I’m hurting myself right it’s just in my mind nobody’s saying “Jane you’re not perfect, like, that’s not coming for anybody else it’s coming from me.” So I first have some compassion for myself, always, always, always, that is my first step. And the beautiful thing is, is I, the more I do it, the more it grows, and the easier it is to create. So that’s the first thing I do, honestly.
The second thing I do is use a lot of humour. Like when I make a mistake… one of the things my friends know I say a lot is when I’ve done something kind of really stupid. It’s not bad. It’s just I made a mistake it was stupid, or I’m having trouble like you know I got this new mic. I don’t know how to set it up to my computer yet I just don’t. So one of the things I will say is “I’ve had a PhD, you know”… so it’s like, super smart, and I can’t figure this really simple thing out so this humour brings lightness because perfectionism has this harsh taskmaster feel to it. So as soon as I laugh. It lightens it and it doesn’t have the same power, it’s like “Yeah, I don’t do everything perfectly because I’m human.” And that’s one of my favourite things I say to my clients constantly it’s like well you can believe you can do that too bad you’re human right, because, because we are inherent as human beings fallible, we make mistakes all the time, we, by definition, cannot be perfect. So those two things are my go-to, as always, is self-compassion and humour.
Katerina: Yeah. So, in your book, you talk about dealing with negative emotions. So what is the biggest sort of issue here for entrepreneurs?
Jane: Oh my goodness. So I was listening to some of your other podcasts and I’m like, this is the comparison monsters like they seem like natural entrepreneurs, they just know how to do this stuff and I suck at it, I’m not a natural entrepreneur. And so I did that comparison. So, one comparison is super not helpful so two especially I think with entrepreneurs like we’re always doing stuff out of our comfort zone. We by definition, well, I’m kind of an entrepreneur by like by happenstance versus by temperament. But we are always doing stuff that we don’t know how to do, and therefore we can be afraid. Right. It’s like, oh, I’m gonna, I’m I don’t know what I’m doing so I might fail, and we frequently do because we’re trying new things, it’s great. If we aren’t failing — we kind of probably aren’t trying enough new things, you know the definition.
So, that failings model that you talked about and I’m so happy you got to read the book — I love my book. But basically, when we can just feel our feelings and let them go. They don’t have to rule us, they don’t have to rule our decisions like for me being an entrepreneur, I faced fear, a lot because I can’t do it perfectly. Cuz I’m doing a lot of new stuff. So, we are humans do three things with our feelings, we either repress them, saying “Oh, I can’t feel angry. I can’t feel scared, I got to work now I can’t feel scared.” So we repress it, which keeps it around, or we feed it, which you know we things say things like “Well, of course, I’m scared I don’t know what I’m doing, you know, of course, I’m gonna fail” because… I don’t know … we feed it we keep it around.
The way to actually let him pass is to simply feel it. We know we’re simply feeling when our brainstem is super busy having thoughts about… If you just focus on what’s happening in your body, like the physical sensation, your brain quiets and your feeling just processes through. There’s research that says, our feelings, our reactions to our thoughts or happenstance or circumstance or events are done within 90 seconds to two minutes. Right. So if I hear a loud noise. And I get startled. If I’m not going “Oh my god, what was that was that a gunshot was that uh oh my, what was it was an earthquake what”… I’m keeping it around. So I’m adding to the stress of I’m just like, Wow, my heart’s beating faster I’m kind of shocked my muscles get tight, it’s done within two minutes. Our body is naturally set up to let these things go very quickly. Our mind keeps them around. So, if you know as entrepreneurs we’re feeling afraid where we feel disappointment, anything…. It’s just like, sit down and let yourself feel, and almost always within five minutes it will be gone, because as a perfectionist, I want to be down to that two minutes. I’ve never gotten to two minutes, the fastest I’ve gotten to is five because it’s hard to shut down these patterns and it shouldn’t feel it. Of course, they should feel like because they’re jerks or I’m a jerk or whatever.
Katerina: Yeah, yeah. So since you’ve opened your practice which was what 2005… what, what is the biggest sort of challenge you faced as you opened your practice?
Jane: Oh my goodness, nobody’s ever asked me that that’s a great question. So, yesterday before this interview I went back to look at my income statement between the first and second year of business, I raised my income fivefold.
Jane: That sounds super impressive until you realise my first year, I made $3,000 went from 3000 to $15,000, because one of the beliefs I have I’ve had to instil have this is what I’m working on is, I don’t know how to market. So I sat in my little office. I had a very minimal website. I basically didn’t tell anybody. I was just like, how people find me on the internet and call me. That was my marketing strategy. So I’m really lucky actually that I made $3000 but one of the things I realised, is you know you talked about feelings I because I’m not a natural entrepreneur, I was gripped in fear for the first five years right… The first five years I’m like “Oh no, I won’t be able to make it. Oh no, how am I gonna make money? I can’t market. I don’t know what to say.” So I was literally afraid, and when we are afraid our brain shuts down. When we’re afraid it makes our limbic system in charge, which takes our frontal cortex, which is the, I can make decisions, part of our brain offline right.
So when we act out of fear, we’re always going to make the decision.. well, not always… But most of the time, we’re going to make the decision that is not the best one right? So around…. I don’t know when did I have my jump year 10… I finally made over $1,000, or $100,000, a year. And I don’t know when it was in there, but at one point I’m like this fears totally getting in my way. Because each year I was making more money like each year I made a lot more money, but I still never had enough money. Like, I was paying down debts, I was making more money and still at the end of the month I’m like, Am I gonna make rent, maybe I won’t eat a whole lot, maybe I won’t buy that shampoo yet, so I was just so gripped in fear.
So I decided to do a small action to help me. So I did two things. I decided to buy a cup of coffee a week, whether I could afford it or not. I mean that’s how scarcity-minded I was, I’m gonna buy a cup of coffee right. And then the second thing is I started a gratitude practice, instead of being so anchored in fear like, what happens if that client and oh my god they’re getting better they’re gonna leave. Then who’s gonna pay me, right. There’s just like, I would just be grateful every morning when I woke up in every night before I went to bed — I just felt grateful.
I decided not to make a list… many people make a list. I’m a perfectionist. I kept thinking that my lists weren’t good enough. Oh, you said you’re…, every single time comes on, come on. That’s not important. That’s so every critique my list so it wouldn’t put me into gratitude. So instead I literally, and for me when I feel gratitude my heart just kind of feels all warm and expanded. So every morning and every night I would feel gratitude. Now, what’s really fascinating about those two things they were very powerful for getting me out of fear.
The next year, I didn’t make any more money. However, I was eating out, I was saving money, and I was still paying down debt and I’m like, this doesn’t make any sense. I’m not making any more money yet now I have enough money. I think because my brain wasn’t in fear I was just making wiser decisions. So, that’s actually that was probably my greatest challenge was getting myself out of living in fear as a solo practitioner there.
Katerina: Because you, you’re also saying that you are not a natural intrapreneur. How do you define, being a natural entrepreneur?
Jane: You see this title, everything’s perfect just not me. Anybody, not me.
Katerina: Who are the natural entrepreneurs?
Jane: Actually, I would love to ask you that because that’s your whole focus…
Katerina: I’ve got no idea. Everyone is just trying their best and you know they do a little bit every day but you saying I’m not natural. Natural. How do we spot natural entrepreneurs? Some of my students I teach say oh well, cuz I’m teaching on entrepreneurship programmes and, and they say “Oh well well why do I need to learn entrepreneurship because I’ve done this test and I’m not entrepreneurial to start up a business.” And I’m thinking “Well, what what what are these tests, who are there to tell you whether you can do entrepreneurship, or not.
Jane: That’s a great question. You… I’m so glad you said that and I’m going to stop saying that because maybe there aren’t any natural entrepreneurs, maybe we’re all just… maybe other people are scared as I am, I don’t know, do you think that’s true?
Katerina: I think so, yes I think we all have fears and limiting beliefs. Because I’m also kind of practising cognitive behavioural therapy as well and I just it’s helped me a lot to actually spot why I’m thinking what I’m thinking.
Katerina: Why I feel what I feel.
Katerina: Helps you to monitor your your you’re your thinking, you know, process and stuff like that but you know you mentioned gratitude you took quite a lot about gratitude in your book. And so.. you practice this every day?
Jane: Twice a day… and what’s really interesting you know you talk about cognitive behavioural it’s really just training your brain right. So because I practice gratitude in the morning and it’s just for like 30 seconds it’s not very long in the morning and at night. I remember about two weeks after I started it in the middle of the day I just started feeling grateful for something I’m like, what, it was just spontaneous because I was building neural pathways of gratitude. So, those who are more likely to fire when I see something I’m like, “Oh, I’m so grateful for my for my flowers out there” and it’s just natural versus me “Now I feel gratitude.”
You know anything we practice any belief any thought pattern we do it enough becomes an underlying belief. So now my underlying belief is oh there’s so much to be grateful for… even though I’m still not perfect.
Katerina: Yeah, so, entrepreneurship, it can be stressful right and it probably is stressful for a lot of people, especially solopreneurs before they get the right team on board to help them out. But how can entrepreneurs reduce stress and anxiety?
Jane: Right. There’s one tool that I have that is so powerful for anxiety. It’s the circle of power, and the circle of control, that was originally from Steven Covey of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People … he had a different name but it kept names for the circles, but my clients were kept being confused so I renamed it. So when we’re anxious, when we’re stressed, when we’re frustrated, when we’re stuck, when we’re helpless, when we’re hopeless — we’re always in that external circle of control.
The internal circle of power is basically two things, our thoughts and our behaviours, that’s actually what we actually have control over what we do and what we think. Everything else is in that circle of control which includes the weather, which includes the coronavirus, which includes you know whether people buy our product or not whether, which includes how people think about us. So anytime we’re feeling stuck helpless, hopeless, anxious, afraid. I always myself and tell my clients I like I said, I usually go “Where are you?” … “I’m in a circle of control” because we’re worrying about stuff, we actually can’t do something about. So when we’re worried if you’re concerned about something, stop and ask yourself…
Is there something I can do about it? And if there is great if you can make a plan for when to do it, do it because clearly if you’re anxious and afraid and stuff, it’s bothering you — so it’s important to take action. So that’s, that’s really helped me one because it brings me back to what I can actually do versus spinning my wheels, but when this happens and then what if this happens which I can’t control right? The second thing it does is if we’ve if something feels out of control, we decide an action to take. And it doesn’t work. Like, if I can’t think… when my brain is totally blanking on an action that’s business-oriented. I’ll say, I’m so used to in Seattle, we’ve got these on-ramps onto the freeway and when the freeway is busy it has a red light so you have to wait right but there’s a lane for people who have two or more people in their car they get to go right.
Katerina: Yeah, yeah.
Jane: So what I would do is I would watch and see all the people who only had one person in their car that were going on that lane… you know just like what’s wrong with them… and I’m waiting like they’re cheating… and I was getting mad… I was totally in this circle of control right. I was doing nothing to stop that. Now if I wanted to get out of my car and go stop — you get over, no I could have been I wasn’t going to write, I wasn’t going to take that action. So, I would say, okay.
So what was in my circle of power? Well, I can not look so I literally, because I was just such a habit to see who were the, quote, you know, cheaters I literally put my hand up against my face, so I couldn’t see them right, because I was the only one making myself unhappy. I wasn’t willing to try to change their behaviour so I’ve changed mine and changed my thought pattern. Now I don’t even look. So, you know, come to always what do we have power over, and that gets us out of feeling helpless and stuck.
Katerina: Yeah. Also, you know in the book, I… Then, the chapter I quite liked was the chapter about the power of words.
Jane: Oh yes.
Katerina: Could you just tell us a little bit more about this.
Jane: Yes, I love that one. So, if I were I always say if I were the Queen of the world — I would ban the words “should”, “must”, “have to”, “need”, and “gotta” right because those words literally create stress in our bodies and our minds. I would replace them with, “it would be a good idea”, “it would be helpful”, an option is, and only if it’s really really true “I want to”, or “I’d like to”. So, will you do an experiment with me?
Jane: Okay, so is there something that you need to do or should do or have to do now that you can think of.
Jane: Okay, great. So, say in your if you’re willing to share it out loud, fine if, if not just say it to yourself and say, say whatever it is, I need to do blank, and then close your eyes and feel what you feel in your body.
Katerina: I need to transcribe a podcast interview.
Jane: Great. What do you feel in your body?
Katerina: A little tightness in my chest. Little…
Jane: Now say it would be a good idea to transcribe a podcast interview.
Katerina: Also with closed eyes?… say it with open eyes and then close it.
Jane: It would be a good idea to transcribe an interview. Close your eyes and what do you feel in your body.
Katerina: Nothing [laughs].
Jane: Okay fascinating, so that the stress has gone right here.
Katerina: Yeah, I just, I personally don’t like… I’m quite creative I’d say and I like to do all sorts of creative activities and everything to do with admin work or paperwork, stuff like that —it just kind of makes me…and sometimes I do delay tasks like this, and I know I can just outsource it to someone. But I used to hire a virtual assistant, but then I would end up just doing kind of checking work and just still ending up spending my time doing it so I’d rather do it myself at this point in time.
Katerina: With every interview, I am using the app to transcribe it I still have to go through the interview and just make sure it doesn’t change the words, meanings and stuff like that.
Jane: Right, you still need to cram things…
Katerina: I have to do…
Jane: But you don’t want to do… Okay, so I’m so glad you said that so that when you said it would be helpful to you didn’t notice anything. Now say, I want to transcribe that interview.
Jane: Now say I want to transcribe an interview. Close your eyes. What do you notice?
Katerina: Yeah, kind of, I feel okay about this.
Jane: You do? Yeah, I expected you to feel more stressed.
Katerina: Yeah? No, cos we’ve just discussed it… Maybe because I’ve actually said that I want to have a good transcription and it’s kind of in my mind, it almost became kind of okay with this decision, I don’t know….
Jane: Great. I’m glad to hear that.
Katerina: I think, saying out loud actually helps to make me, you know, prepare yourself for this task… I don’t know.
Jane: It does when we saw the power of these words is… And I’m glad you mentioned the out loud because that’s, that’s a whole other aspect to it. But the word should have to mean if we say oh I need to do it — we’re basically giving ourselves the unconscious message and sometimes conscious… why haven’t you done it yet. If you need to do it and it’s not done — what’s wrong, why are you, why are you, why you’re not doing it, why do you keep pushing it off, like, so that we’re automatically failing right. It’s like if I need to do it like we create you know tension you created… I need to do it, oh yeah I do. So, it’s something that’s a good idea it’s on your list for a reason right yeah you’re creating additional tension when you say I need to.
Katerina: It’s a good idea is kind of like you have an option not to do it but deep in your mind you got to think, well, you still have to do it, maybe it’s your brain just has this…
Jane: Exactly. You’re not letting yourself off the hook. Although for your ego, it is, it’s like we become two again. When like when somebody says to you, you need to take better care of yourself. Who likes to hear who’s like, Oh, don’t tell me what to do when somebody says, it’d be really helpful to exercise if you want to be healthier … so there’s nothing to argue against because it’s on your list for a reason. So “it’d be helpful” just gives you an unconscious choice. And then what’s really important is your unconscious then is working like if it’s helpful — great. Then you just set your unconscious… especially when you say it out loud… when you hear it and your, your unconscious is like marching orders “Got it, it’s a good idea”.
See, I’ve got a break between three and five today I can do it. So you’re unconscious is looking for how to get it done versus a one, because when we have tension associated with it, to do it… our brain, and our body knows “Oh, I’m going to feel stressed doing that so I think I’ll avoid that.” Because who wants to feel stressed, but if it’s a good idea, it’d be helpful. There’s no stress so okay I can do it now, whatever.
Katerina: But I guess it’s that’s why people do affirmations and they wake up and they have all these… you know I mean I’m not doing it but I kind of I tried, but I’ve heard that you need to write down…
Jane: You don’t need to…
Katerina: You know, the sticker and just stick it on the toilet mirror or something like that. Just to remind you.
Jane: Yes. Do you want to know… I’ve got a love-hate relationship with mantras. Do you want to know why? Like, Why are things they don’t work for many people, like for me?
Katerina: Affirmations? Yeah?
Jane: Yeah. Well, when I first started affirmations, it would be way beyond my scope like I first started them in grad school when I had no money in no time. Right. And so I’d say, I’m wealthy and I’m like “Jane, what is wrong with you? you are in grad school… you’re in debt… what is wrong with you? So I would literally like… it would make me feel worse. But there’s this one, wonderful woman named Dana Wilde who does, who wrote this book Train your brain which shifted me to liking affirmations because now they work. So, you find it’s like the words “should”, “must”, “have to” find the point of resistance, like when I said “I’m wealthy,” I’m like, Yes, stop line, I just created a whole lot of stress. Now if I would say “I would like to like to feel more wealthy.” Oh yeah, of course, I would like who wouldn’t like to like to feel wealthy.
And that’s comfortable. So what you’re looking for affirmations is to tailor it so it’s a little bit of a stretch. If I’m totally gonna, I’d like to like to feel that, no worries. I would like to feel wealthy — it’s a little, it’s a little more… It’s a little stronger right… it’s a little less you know… I kind of want to feel wealthy. It’s like, I’d like to feel wealthy and if you’re like “Yeah, I would” then you stay with that one right. You’re like, I like to feel wealthy, and you’re like “Oh god, I can’t.” There you go. “I’d like to like to feel” — you need to tailor it for you where you are and once you’re comfortable, you move it up a little step to make it a little more until you’re like “I’m fabulously wealthy,” and you actually feel it. I’m not there yet, I’d like to, I would like to like to feel fabulously wealthy.
Katerina: So, no I mean it’s great. I think it’s, I guess everyone has their own strategies, some people meditate, some people who are formation… I guess whatever works for those people but I guess if you say enough times these affirmations your brain maybe gets retrained and actually stop rejecting these messages and kind of accepting and maybe it’s a new reality, maybe it’s a new truth for you. When you say I’m stronger and you know, I am wealthier and I love myself and you know “Hello gorgeous.”
Jane: Right, right. I still do that I do this morning.
Katerina: You mentioned in the book that you have to kind of wake up and welcome yourself in the mirror.
Jane: I don’t have to but it’s a great idea. I love it… I just did it this morning and I literally 58 now. I love my body more than I ever have right. Like, who knew that was possible. But it’s true because every day I say hello gorgeous, I just feed that…. Well, I love my body. It’s older it’s a lot older than it was when I even started the practice, but it serves me so well and it’s got muscles and it’s healthy, and I can do all sorts of stuff and so I just appreciate it. Even though it’s a 58-year-old body versus a 28-year-old.
Katerina: But you’re eradicating so much positive energy and then you just… I would never say you’re 58.
Jane: Thank you. I am…
Katerina: You’re so energetic and kind of shining almost.
Jane: Thank you. I will take that compliment.
Katerina: I guess it works… I have to stop doing the same thing.
Jane: You don’t have to Katerina.
Katerina: No, it’s great advice. So, Jane for starting entrepreneurs what can you advise them? What are the strategies to keep their mind focused… and to keep away negative thoughts… what are the strategies for starting entrepreneurs would you advise?
Jane: Great, that’s a great idea. So, first of all, we are all going to have negative thoughts. But when we, when we catch them, you know, as you say you know you catch your beliefs, so you have another choice. So, as much as possible, you know, we can tune in to our bodies …. we’re like umm “What am I thinking right now”. This thought is causing me stress this belief is not as helping. So then we say oh there’s that belief. And here’s, here’s what I prefer to think.. Oh, this client is never going to come in and see me. Well, you know, I don’t know if they will or not, they might. And so, just that change brings me out of stress and brings me out of fear. So, you know, as you talked about — you’re super aware of what our thoughts are, and how we’re responding let our body be … like oh I’m feeling stressed. I’m having a thought here that’s not a great issue.
And then the second thing is, once I decided to ask for help, you know I’m a perfectionist so I should be able to do it all by myself. And once I started asking for help. I got a coach… And while it was a lot of money for me at the time, it was, it was kind of like, I don’t know what it was, whether it was me making a decision that said, Jean. You actually can get help, you actually deserve to get the help you don’t have to do it all on your own. That was bad, and the gratitude practice and buying my one cup of coffee a week was so powerful in switching me into receiving versus fear and I can’t do it I can’t do and don’t give me anything else because I can’t figure out how to do this so I can’t. I couldn’t bring in new opportunities because I couldn’t deal with the ones I had. So, seek help, whether it’s a mentor or a, you know, one of those brains, with a mind mind mind master groups or mastermind groups, or just a group of colleagues like I’ve got some colleagues that I’ve been meeting with for… I think 10 years now, where we just talk, and so I don’t feel alone, and they’ve got great ideas.
So, one, notice what you thinking — don’t make yourself bad because you’re thinking there and that’s a stupid belief against like, Oh, hello believable yeah that hurts …., and then seek out people who can walk the road with you whether professionals or colleagues, people who are entrepreneurs, because I can’t tell you the number of. I’ve been in several coaching programmes now, and every single time people say there’s nobody else I can talk to about this, nobody else understands this, and I’m like, I’ve done a really good job. I got lots of people who understand what I do, once I figured it out, I was really good at seeking out. But, so, you know, to not feel so alone. And, and do what’s in your power to create people that you can access to help you and you can be truthful and honest and I’m really struggling today. I just lost a, you know, an account of, like, 30% of my business not sure what I’m going to do. And you can share it so you’re not alone with it.
Katerina: Yeah… Do you have family members who support you? Do have a strong network of friends and family who support you in your entrepreneurial journey?
Jane: Friends, yes, my family — nobody’s an entrepreneur and my family. So they’re kind of like, oh my dad bless his heart he’s dead now. But he was, he was, he just wanted me to be safe, he wanted me to be, you know, married and have a government job and never take a vacation and have as many savings as I can because you never know what’s gonna happen like my dad was very … base. And so I decided to become an entrepreneur, and not get married right? I’m doing exactly the opposite of what he wanted for me to be safe so I think I took on actually his beliefs of, you be very secure, and you always have a job where you’ll always have a pension and a salary and paid vacation that you should never take. So, my family loves me, but they don’t get what I do. And they don’t say you shouldn’t do it, dad would have, but the rest of my family is just like okay that’s you know.
I can’t talk to them about it because they don’t have the same. You know, they don’t deal with the same issues I do, got a lot of entrepreneur friends though those my entrepreneur friends.
Katerina: That’s good. Yeah, but I guess what is secure today I mean, I know one of my neighbours he’s retired now and I think because of COVID-19 and think his pension… he lost quite a bit of money… in his pension pod because you know the stock market down and what the secure, what is safe today?
Jane Makes a lot… Katerina, I mean I every once in a while I stop and go How did I end up with a career, that’s fine with COVID. Like, that’s total happenstance. You think so many careers would be like safe, and we don’t know what’s safe any more that’s one of the things I think Covid is really teaching us. So, you know, and not safe is out here in that circle of control because we can’t control COVID, we can’t control the stock market. We can decide how to create safeness in our own life, like maybe have different aspects of, like, branch out I’m sure a lot of people are you know they everybody’s pivoting now. Well, how do I diversify? So if this thing happens then I can work on this part… if this part goes down then I’ve got this part.
So, yeah, that’s just actually coming here and in the moment. This is I’ve been doing this a lot. Right now I’m okay. I don’t know what will happen in the future. What happens if the internet goes down, I can’t work if the internet goes down. Right now I’m okay. Yeah, so I’ve got it now. And so that’s way to lower the stress is right now — I’m okay. I don’t know what the future will bring because I don’t. I’ve got hopes. I know for sure. Yeah. Right now, I’m okay.
Katerina: Yeah. So what would be your final advice to female to women entrepreneurs?
Jane: Oh, goodness, women, we’ve, we’ve tended to be taught that we should do it all … should do it all. And we should do it all really well. And you know, with children and spouses, and houses and businesses. It’s like they’re, you know, with a focus on one area so many women feel that they are failing at the others. And, you know, one of them, one of my favourite things to say to myself is. Right now I’m doing the best I can. But I fell in filling this part of my life. Right, right now and feeling that and I literally because it’s true. We are always doing the best we can, like, one of the things I say to my clients is nobody ever wakes up except if they’ve got a personality disorder. Nobody ever wakes up and says “ How can I really screw up today. How many people can I fail today let’s see, I’m gonna talk my misery scores” — no we don’t do that. So literally, like, oh, and I am doing the best I can, self-compassion, whoo women entrepreneurs need it as much if not more as anybody else that. I’m Okay, I’m not perfect I’m human. And I’m doing the best I can. So good when I say that.
Katerina: So self-compassion and self-love and gratitude for what we have.
Jane: Yes, it’s because we are going to fail, always. Because we’re human. Yeah. And the really cool thing is if you’ve got kids. If you have self-compassion for yourself for not being perfect. Guess what you teach them. Right. They get to fail and they stuck to good worthy people, they still got to love themselves, even though they’re gonna make mistakes, for their entire life. I mean what a lesson for kids. What a lesson for our employees. Yeah, it’s like, you get to screw up now I’m gonna hold you accountable. You’re not a bad person. We’re just gonna make sure this doesn’t happen again cuz you know, that’s not Ok for a business… self-compassion doesn’t mean any boundaries. It just means self-compassion.
Katerina: Yeah. No, thank you so much for sharing your story and your thoughts on… Thank you. Oh… there’s a cat. A cat just walked in front of the camera. I guess it’s time to feed the cat.
Jane: And I’m so professional right?
Katerina: Nobody’s perfect. Right. Here we go.
Jane: That’s right.
Katerina: Thank you so much and good luck with everything.