[00:00] Jacqueline: It’s, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, Harry Potter here. You know, him who shall not be mentioned. We don’t talk about fear. We don’t talk about our insecurity. We don’t talk about our self-doubt. Just put on a nice big show and make sure everybody thinks we’re fine.
[00:16] Bobbi: Welcome to UnYielded, Thriving No Matter What. I’m your host, Bobbi Kahler. I’ve coached more than 3000 people in my career and of this podcast to give you the tools to discover new possibilities, move past limiting beliefs, fears and self doubt, build your confidence, master your mindset, and create the life that you love to live every day. In this conversation, my guest Jacqueline Wales an expert on fear, and I talk about the many forms of fear, including two of the most common. We also talk about how sometimes fear can be a travel companion with us and we may not even realize it. We talk about how it can create a barbed wire around our heart if we are not careful, how all fear is the story that we tell ourselves and heads up, usually that’s fiction. We also talk about how to transform your fear and the two questions that you can ask yourself to uncover where you might have fear lurking. They’re great questions. A little bit about my guest before we bring her on. Jacqueline is a trusted advisor to high achieving women and she helps her clients take accountability for their actions and responsibility for their decisions to achieve remarkable results. She is the author of The Fearless Factor, the Fearless Factor at Work When the Crow Sings and the soon to be published The Fearless Woman’s Handbook. She has explored human behavior and asked tough questions to discover hard truths for the last 35 years. Jacqueline, welcome to the show.
[01:57] Jacqueline: Nice to be here, Bobbi. Thank you for having me.
[01:59] Bobbi: Absolutely. So we’ve been chatting for a few minutes already and I know I’m going to love this conversation. So let’s dive right in. Want to tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
[02:11] Jacqueline: So I’m Jacqueline Wales and I’m the author of The Fearless Factor and The Fearless Factor at Work. And I’ve also written a novel called when the Crossings, which takes a look at three generations of women giving birth to children outside of marriage. And it’s set in Scotland, and it has to do with my own family history. So these are my three books, as well as being the creator of The Transformational Strategies for Success, and the other program is Breakthrough, the Noise Redefining Your Relationship to Uncertainty.
[02:41] Bobbi: Love that. So a lot of fear, right? That’s in a lot of your so why did you choose to take a deep dive or to study fear like you have?
[02:52] Jacqueline: It started at a very early age in my life when growing up in a family where violence and alcoholism were the defining factors. And if my father was in the wrong mood. We learned to stay out of the way. And I like to say that I became an astute observer of human behavior from a very early age, because you watched for the signs.
[03:16] Bobbi: That’s right, you left.
[03:18] Jacqueline: So I grew up with a lot of low self esteem. I was physically abused growing up. I ran the gamut of all the abuses that you can have in childhood. And I left home eventually at the age of 16, leaving Scotland, which is where I was born, and I left school at 15, and I left home at 16, and I moved to London. And it was a lot of trial by fire in my life, and one there. And I had my first child at the age of 20, and I didn’t know who the father was, but I was supposed to give her up for adoption and could not at birth. So I had her for three months before I realized that that was a big mistake. And one night when fear took over and I saw the same patterns as I had been raised with, and I went, this is not going to happen. So at that point, I gave her up for adoption. There’s a lot of stories I can tell you about the first 30 years of my life, but it was around the age of 35 when I got pregnant for the third time. The second one I left with his father. By the way, that’s another piece of the puzzle. So fear has been a big, big piece of my life, and it resulted in a lot of drug and alcohol abuse as well, on my part. At one point, a friend looked at me and he said, are you on a suicide mission? Because you sure look like it. Then I joined AA, and I was five years in AA before I realized it wasn’t about the drinking. It was about the thinking, and it was fear based thinking and the fear of not being good enough. And I had plenty of reason to believe that that was true. Became a real big eye opener for me to see where I had shown up and done some very courageous things, but really stupid things, too, that brought me from Edinburgh, Scotland, to London and then leaving London and my son and ex husband there and then moving to San Francisco, not knowing anybody and not supposed to stay because I was an alien, an illegal alien, as they stay used to sing. But there was a whole piece of this. So fear traveled with me all the way through this until I was about 35, and I got pregnant for the third time. Now with my husband, who I’ve now been with for 43 years, and we’re still going, so that sounds both of us. But there was a journey, and I like to talk about joseph Campbell talks about the hero’s journey. You go on a quest. I didn’t realize that I was going on a quest for me. I had to discover who I was and who I was capable of being. And I had all kinds of ideas in my head about things I could do, but I never had the courage to go do them. And it wasn’t until I was about 35 when I got pregnant again, and I said, she’ll leave me before I leave her. And they just recently had a baby, so I guess it worked.
[06:31] Bobbi: That’s right.
[06:33] Jacqueline: I hung out for the duration. So this is a long story, but when people ask me about the fear thing, this is the train that has been driving my car, or this is the engine that has been driving my car for, I would say, all of my 71 years. And we still have the insecurities, we still have the stuff that shows up. Nobody’s ever truly fearless, unless, of course, somebody says, I’ve never had fear in my life. Well, you ever had any worries or anxieties? Let’s just put a different label on it. But I think there’s an extraordinary opportunity for growth when fear shows up. And that’s what has really brought me for the last 20 years to do the work that I’m doing now and write books that I write, because I think important that people understand that fear is the stories we tell ourselves about not being good enough or not being lovable. And when we can get down to the fundamentals of what that means, the shame, the regrets, the self doubts, the ways in which we limit ourselves and the ways in which we show up in the world, that’s the journey that we all take if we’re willing to do the work.
[07:51] Bobbi: And that’s a big if.
[07:53] Jacqueline: That’s the big if.
[07:54] Bobbi: Yeah. Okay, so a couple of things in there, because I want to dive into fear, but I’m also very curious. At what point did you realize that you were on the quest, the hero’s journey?
[08:10] Jacqueline: I think it was really the moment when I gave my child up for adoption. I called the social worker the day after this incident, and basically the incident was middle of the night. She’s screaming and crying. I’ve fed her. I’ve changed her. She’s still screaming and crying. I don’t know what to do with it. I’m living alone in one room, and I slammed her down on the bed, and I had such rage in my entire being. And I looked at that and I went, there’s a problem.
[08:44] Bobbi: Yeah, this isn’t okay.
[08:47] Jacqueline: This is not okay. And then I sat down and sobbed. That’s my memory of it. But I called the social worker the next day, and I said, Take her away. And she said, sure. I said, yes, absolutely, take her away, because if you don’t, I’m going to do some real damage, and I don’t want to be responsible. Yeah, that was that. But that was the beginning. But it was a long way from getting any clarity on what it was that I was trying to do. A lot of shit in between here and there.
[09:25] Bobbi: Isn’t that the way it always is, though?
[09:27] Jacqueline: Oh, absolutely. Life is trial and error. Nobody’s ever going to feel like you’re going to get it right. We stop ourselves from going forward because we want to get it right. You know, what does that yeah, go ahead. There’s no such thing as getting it right. No, right is simply an imaginary situation that exists in your mind about what you think that future actually looks like. I mean, that is the big fear for a lot of people. My future is going to be a shit show, and I’m just going to use the language I use because that’s how it rolls. But if I project out that my future is not going to be worth living or my future is going to be filled with negativity or the wrong people or whatever the case may be, then you’re going to attract that to your life.
[10:20] Bobbi: That’s right.
[10:20] Jacqueline: So you have to be thinking in terms of that. The fear is that I can’t be who I want to be. I can’t do what I want to do, I can’t have what it is I want to have. Then that’s the barriers. That’s what you’ve set up yourself, because fear primarily is fundamental to the stories we tell ourselves. It’s not a reality. It’s simply whatever the nonsense is. Now, we can look to the past and we can say, well, I had an abusive childhood and I was a victim, and I could carry that victimhood through my life when everybody’s out to get me, persecute me, make me less than. But that’s a choice.
[11:04] Bobbi: That’s a choice.
[11:06] Jacqueline: The choice is that I can look at that and go, isn’t that interesting? What did I learn from that? Because I would say with all of my victimization that happened at the early part of my life, I can look back on it now and go, wow, that was a hell of a lesson to be given when you came into this world. What did you take from that? Well, I’m an incredibly strong individual. I am resilient, and I don’t care what kind of nonsense shows up in my life. I’ll manage to find a way through it because I’ve got all these past experiences to prove to me that that’s the case. But too many people don’t think of it that way.
[11:45] Bobbi: No, they miss out on that, and.
[11:47] Jacqueline: They miss out on it, and it’s such a waste of a person, frankly. You continue to live in a small space. You continue to believe that somehow you’re not worthy, that you don’t deserve it, that that, you know, you’re it’s. You’re incapable of doing that. And I carried a lot of that messaging in my head for a long time, and I look back on some of the situations that really could have been absolutely amazing, but I never gave it enough thought to know what I could do with that. Sabotage is a wonderful thing when it just keeps I call it the two x four syndrome. You just keep slamming your side of the head with this two x four.
[12:31] Bobbi: And that’s what it’s like. Yes, that is what it’s like. And when you’re talking about the childhood, I think we have a lot of things in common there. I’ve always said my mom was an amazing person. Like when she was in a healthy state of mind, one of the most amazing people you could ever meet in your entire life, bar none. She also had some really severe psychological issues. So when she was in an unhealthy state, it was hell. Like, it was violent. You just didn’t know what was extremely volatile. And I remember one time I was in my gosh, mid to late twenty s, and I was talking to my therapist and mom had had a really bad episode over Christmas. I’m like, once again she ruined Christmas and blah, blah. And Maria, that was my therapist, just looked at me and she’s like, you’re right. And now the question for you is, how many more are you going to allow her to ruin? And I just sat back like, what, I have a choice here? It blew my mind. It really blew my mind.
[13:33] Jacqueline: It’s one of the things that I talk to my clients about is that if you have toxic people in your life, and I’ve got one right now, I said, you have two choices. You can either eliminate them from your life completely, or you can minimize your time with them. And if it’s close family, my advice is minimize your time with them. I know going in the door that that’s the triggers that are going to set you off. And I mean, I left home at a very early age and every time I went back to the family home, there would always be some kind of drama. And I would say to myself, why did you bother coming back here? Because there was a search for love, for acceptance, for this place of where is it that I belong? And that’s what creates this pattern for a lot of people about I just want to be loved. I want to be told that you love me. I never was told that I was loved. What does that word mean? Don’t know. But the search for that, that constant yearning to have that piece, that hole filled is a big piece. And I know that piece and I know what it does for you in terms of that. Never satisfied. You’re never satisfied, right? Because you’ve never learned how to really nurture yourself or be nurtured.
[15:00] Bobbi: And give that to yourself sometimes.
[15:02] Jacqueline: That’s what I’m saying. It’s that self nurturing piece. How do we love ourselves? The self love piece? I like to say when you learn how to love yourself, other people will love you more. To be true in my life, but that self love piece is so tied up with a lot of barbed wire. And I’ve used that piece that just actually came to me because I could see it as the heart is wrapped in barbed wire.
[15:32] Bobbi: It’s a great visual.
[15:33] Jacqueline: It’s a fabulous visual. Thank you. I just thought about it 2 seconds ago.
[15:38] Bobbi: Keep using it.
[15:41] Jacqueline: I understand from my own history that it was my own barbed wire around my heart. I’m very good at giving. I’m very generous. I’ve been a caretaker most of my life in one form or another. But to receive is a different thing altogether. And people who live in fear do.
[15:59] Bobbi: Not receive well, and that’s fascinating. Why do you think that is, that they don’t receive well? Is it just their past experiences?
[16:08] Jacqueline: They’re afraid of being wounded again.
[16:12] Bobbi: Okay, so then that’s their fear? Yes, the fear of being wounded. Okay, so that’s kind of a good segue here because one of the things I saw on your website was that you said fear can take many forms.
[16:25] Jacqueline: Right.
[16:25] Bobbi: It could be shame, self doubt, regret, and other anxious lies that we tell ourselves. And I think a lot of people, when they think about fear, they think, well, I think they have one notion in mind. So the idea that it could take a lot of different forms could be kind of eye opening. So can you speak to that a little bit more?
[16:48] Jacqueline: Well, if we go back to the premises that fears the stories we tell ourselves, you’ve got an entire library of books there, unfortunately. Yeah. I mean, in truth, you can say it’s about the shame. It’s about regret. It’s about self doubt. It’s about lack of competence. It’s about not having the courage to do whatever you want to do. It’s about allowing other people to make decisions for you. I mean, there’s a multiplicity of ways in which our fears show up where we cannot be true to who we are, or do we even know who we are? Because we’ve never taken the time to look at other people’s judgments and opinions and expectations of us. To really get into this issue of who are you? Most people say, who are you? Will give you the labels. This is me as a professional, as a wife, as a mother, as a whatever. These are the labels. It’s like people talk about the Impostor syndrome label, which I absolutely detest because I think it’s a bunch of bullshit, frankly, because it’s the label that you put over it that really speaks fundamentally to self doubt, lack of self esteem, inability to make decisions, or the fact that you’re sitting there basically waiting for other people to tell you that you’re no good. Because internally you feel that you’re no good. Right?
[18:21] Bobbi: So you’re looking for that, or you’re.
[18:23] Jacqueline: Looking for, I guess, yeah, right. Not good enough with high perfectionism, for instance, setting high standards or go the other way and look at people who are approval seekers. They want you to validate me. Validate me and let me know that I’m okay because I don’t feel okay.
[18:46] Bobbi: And I think that this is really important because I’ve coached a lot of people in my life, and I’ve coached a lot of high achievers. High achievers also suffer. Not suffer. They experience this.
[18:57] Jacqueline: Right.
[18:57] Bobbi: That’s why they’re one of the reasons that they can always be raising the bar on themselves. Because I have to like, okay, this was great. This was amazing. But now what? Okay, this might sound like a silly question, but I’ve asked them before, how would someone know if they’re being held back by fear?
[19:22] Jacqueline: Where do you second guess yourself?
[19:29] Bobbi: Love that.
[19:30] Jacqueline: Yeah, second guess yourself. That’s number one. The second part is where do you want other people to make the decision for you? These are two big pieces right there.
[19:47] Bobbi: Those are really good. I’m writing those down.
[19:49] Jacqueline: Yeah.
[19:50] Bobbi: Why are those so indicative?
[19:54] Jacqueline: Because again, you’re not feeling worthy.
[19:57] Bobbi: Okay.
[19:57] Jacqueline: It’s always going to come back to that not good enough. Not worthy, not deserving. How many women don’t get promoted? I’ve worked with a lot of high achievers. Most of the people that I’ve worked with over the last 18 years as high achieving women, they come to me for one good reason. I’m not getting out on as far as I would like to get on, or I want to make some changes and there’s people standing in my way, or there’s a lack of belief that I’m capable of doing whatever it is I want to be doing at a higher level. So we have to start looking at what is driving those stories. And self esteem is a big issue. None of us are very few of us actually are born into this world with all the confidence in the world to be able to do whatever we want to do because our environmental factors have influenced the ways in which we show up in the world. And then we drag those environmental factors I e. Family of origin with us, like, I call it the gummy sack of generations gone by. And we’re using that as the excuse for I can’t quite move to the point being is that high achievers in general, they will always set the bar high for themselves, but they doubt whether they can actually make it. But they’ll go out of their way to prove that they can do it. So they work twice as hard. So they put up with the bullshit that’s coming from perhaps their male counterparts where they’re not speaking up in the room. And I have a story for you on that for CMO, who was given the role of CMO right below the CEO and showed up in meetings and new role and didn’t say anything until the CEO took her aside and said, if I invited you to my house and you didn’t eat dinner, do you think I would be offended? She said yes. He said, yeah, well, that’s how I feel when you’re in the room, and I put you in this position because of your experience and you’re not talking, you’re not giving your ideas. And that was a big eye opener for her because she had a lot of senior roles in her life. But this was a piece, and she had to figure out what I’m afraid of in putting forward my opinions and putting forward my ideas or in challenging those who seem to think they know better than me. That’s right. The one that shows up there can I challenge someone who thinks that they know better than me? And it’s usually a guy, to be honest with you. And so having that courage to be able to say, this might sound stupid, but I’m going to put it out there anyway, because what’s the other big? Fear, rejection and humiliation. Two big ones right there. If really show up authentically, if I show up uniquely as me and take the courage to present, then I could very well be shot down, and I will feel humiliated. But will I recover from it? Hell yeah, you will. You feel embarrassed for a little while, but then you’ll get over it, because if you hang to it, all you’re doing is perpetuating that feeling of I’m not good enough.
[23:22] Bobbi: Yeah. And that leads me to something else I saw on your website about you say it’s important that we understand our fears. And do you mean just like, what they are or what’s important for us there?
[23:37] Jacqueline: I think it’s under, first of all, understand where your fears are, because once you identify what you’re afraid of am I afraid of speaking up? Am I afraid of making a decision? Am I afraid that somehow in my mind, I’m not good enough? But I’m constantly looking for evidence that that’s true, which is another piece of the puzzle. So identifying those fears becomes really important. And then the next piece is, how can I think differently? Because it is around your thinking. That’s right. Where do we get into blame and judgment and negative self talk? Who is the inner critic? The judge that stamps on you when you feel like you’ve made a mistake or you didn’t do what you were supposed to do or blah, blah, blah? I mean, you’ve got all kinds of ways in which just listen for that inner critic and then ask yourself, who’s doing the talking? Because I guarantee you that voice was not yours originally. It was someone else. Yeah. My father told me for years I would never amount to much. And my favorite story is standing in a room full of FBI agents talking about fear. And then I looked up at the ceiling and I said, so what do you think now, dad?
[24:52] Bobbi: What do you think now?
[24:54] Jacqueline: I love that he was already dead. So what do you think now, dad?
[25:00] Bobbi: But there’s so much to that because it usually is not our voice. This was with my therapist, Maria. This was years ago and part of my mom. It was physical abuse, but it was also a lot of verbal and and not all the time. That’s what was so hard about it. It wasn’t all the time, so it was that intermittent. But anytime my inner critic was always my mom’s voice. And Maria said to me, she’s like, look, you’ve taken over from where she left off. And that was painful. That was really painful. And so that was back in my twenty s. And I started really working on censoring that being aware of it. Something that occurred to me over the weekend though, is because I know that I can be hard on myself. I get that feedback a lot. Big surprise. I’m like, I’m not that hard on myself. But I was thinking that over the weekend. I’m not that hard on myself. And it occurred to me, it’s like but is that the same as being kind to yourself? Just, oh, I’m not hard on myself. That doesn’t mean I’m being kind or loving to myself. You know what I mean?
[26:13] Jacqueline: Yeah. You’re basically saying that I’ve developed a softer voice, but I can still be highly critical of myself. But one of the pieces that I talk a lot to my clients about is self compassion. Because especially when you have high perfectionist tendencies like many high achievers do, self compassion becomes a critical piece. Now, we can talk about meditation and we can talk about being kind to oneself. But when you hear that harsh voice of you really should have known better, you could have done better, blah, blah, blah, we have to find the self compassion inside of us to say yeah, true. Absolutely could have done better. There probably next time. Yeah. It’s a much gentler way of dealing with our internal dialogue. I talk to myself a lot. My husband’s always going, who are you talking to? It’s like I talk to myself sometimes. I get more sense out of talking to myself. But it’s that way of the dialogue with self that goes on. And I’ve had a long relationship with my husband and when I come down on myself, he looks at me and he goes, you know better than that. And I’ll say, yeah, you’re right. That was an old story. I just told myself an old story. Yeah, we will continue to do that because it’s so ingrained in our DNA on a certain level that it’s that vigilance of noticing. And that’s what I said to my clients. Just notice it. It’s like you don’t have to make a judgment on whether it’s right, wrong or different. Just notice it. There you go again. Okay, we’ll do something different and that.
[28:04] Bobbi: Takes away so much of the charge. Yes, but that gets to something really important, and that’s the self awareness, because if you don’t notice it, you can’t change it.
[28:13] Jacqueline: That’s exactly right. Yeah, right. And that’s what my work is all about, is raising self awareness. Number one, you probably know the work of Tasha Yurich, who wrote a book called Insight, and it was a lot of work on the issue of in order for us to grow as people, we must have greater self awareness. Number one. And that’s all of my program. Everything that I do is about, how can I help you raise the understanding of who you are, who you really are, who you think you are, but who you really are. And we only do that by exploration. You’ve got to be willing to explore.
[28:57] Bobbi: Yeah. Awareness is so key. Oh, my gosh. Back in 2010, 2011, it was a long time ago, there is a coaching conference at Harvard put on, and I got to go to it. And John Whitmore was there coaching for performance, and he was on the main stage, and he said, awareness is often curative. And I thought, that’s powerful, just having the awareness. So when you work with people, how do you help raise their awareness? Or if someone’s listening to this, what could they do to raise their own awareness?
[29:34] Jacqueline: So, number one, if we’re looking at fear, I always say, unless you’ve got empirical evidence of that fear, you have to ask yourself, the story is true. If there’s no clarity on that answer, then you need to explore, what is that about for me? Why is it important for me to hold on to this story? What about this matters in the scheme of things? So these are the exploratory questions that one needs to get into. And then when I’m working with my clients, like, for instance, say I’m afraid of speaking up. I just did a conference a couple of weekends ago on women speaking up. And why do women not speak up? Because they’re afraid that their opinions don’t matter. Or they’re afraid that what they have to say isn’t worth giving heir to, or afraid that somebody else is going to tell them that they’re not. Right. So we’ve got all that story in our head. I mean, how many times and I’ve had the experience of sitting in a room and they say, Any questions? And you’ve got a question in your head, but are you going to stand up and ask that question? Because maybe the rest of the room is going to go, well, that’s a.
[30:50] Bobbi: Stupid question, but half the room is probably having the same exact thought, the same exact question. Precisely.
[30:57] Jacqueline: But the insecurity of the individual sits on it. And so the question never gets asked. And that brings us to the self awareness issue. If you don’t take the courage to ask the questions of who and what matters to. You, then you’re just going to keep perpetuating a story that I guarantee you is not the truth of who you are. So you question that’s the big thing that we do in coaching, number one questions. But it’s the quality of the questions that are being asked. I’m told by the people who go through my program, these questions are really confrontational. And I go, So what did you learn? Oh, amazing. Don’t open up.
[31:46] Bobbi: That’s right.
[31:47] Jacqueline: So we have to have the courage to go to the questions that don’t want to be answered. It’s kind of like Harry Potter here, him who shall not be mentioned. We don’t talk about fear. We don’t talk about our insecurity. We don’t talk about our self doubt. Just put on a nice big show and make sure everybody thinks we’re fine.
[32:08] Bobbi: That’s right. Because part of that is, I think we feel that that’s the expectation. We’re supposed to be fine. When you say we have to ask the questions, that how’d you put that where we don’t want to go there. Essentially, what are the questions that we.
[32:22] Jacqueline: Don’T want to ask? I mean, we talked about this briefly earlier, which is when you start opening the door on the questions that you don’t want to ask, then you’re going to end up with a whole lot more questions. That’s just nature of the beast. So as you start to unravel and open up, you’ve got to be willing, once you’ve got your foot in the door, to go all the way in. Otherwise, we just put another Band Aid on it and go back to what you’re doing. People like to say, better the devil I know than the devil I don’t. I like to say, Why do you like living in hell?
[33:00] Bobbi: Why does it have to be that way? Right.
[33:04] Jacqueline: It’s your choice.
[33:05] Bobbi: Right. But we are afraid. We’re afraid to open that door. It can be scary to open that door.
[33:12] Jacqueline: It can be scary to open that door. And I know there were many times when I was pushed or shoved by a therapist or a coach to go down the road that didn’t want to go down. But by God, am I happy that I did, because I would not be half the woman I am today if it weren’t for the fact that I had some really good people who were like, don’t go that way, go this way. Right.
[33:33] Bobbi: It’s worth going through the door.
[33:35] Jacqueline: Absolutely. And I am a complete evangelist as far as that’s concerned. Go through the door, see what’s on the other, because I guarantee you it’s a whole lot better than where you’re sitting right now.
[33:50] Bobbi: Yeah, I’ve been through that door. I remember when I was first on the journey, it was scary. I’m like, oh, my God, where is it going to go? I don’t know. But at a point, it’s like, you know what? There’s a lot of good stuff on this journey. It takes you in a different direction. But I couldn’t be me had I not gone through that door.
[34:16] Jacqueline: And this is true. And one of the reasons I went through the door was because I had already left two children behind here going into my third one. And I knew that for the sake of those children, I had truly to figure it out. And then I to inherit a stepdaughter from Thailand. A complete stranger at the age of ten arrived on my doorstep, my husband’s child, but there was no relationship with me. And then ultimately, we ended up with one more. A lot of the journey that I’d made was on behalf of my children because I wanted them to know what it was like to have a relatively healthy life. Now, my son, who I left when he was three and a half, I’ll just fill that one in. He and I talk almost every week, and we are very close. But the work that was necessary meant going through a lot of the wounds, and the healing that needed to be done was not easy. Took a few years, but we’re now very close. And that’s a good story.
[35:24] Bobbi: That’s wonderful.
[35:25] Jacqueline: There’s that piece of why do you want to do this work? That’s a big question. Why would you want to do this work? Are you happy just to go along, to get along? Or do you feel like there’s something unfulfilled that needs attention? And I guarantee you it’s the unfulfilled part, knowing on a fundamental level, I can be more, I can do more. I can absolutely create the life that I want to live and not settle for less. That’s a big one.
[36:02] Bobbi: That’s a big one. And is that what you mean? Because a few times throughout here you said throughout the interview or the conversation that it’s how we become who we were really meant to be or who we really are. Is that kind of what you’re talking about?
[36:16] Jacqueline: Exactly right. Because we’re a journey of discovery about who really are. We don’t come into the world fully formed. We come in in a form. But it’s our conscious and unconscious minds that are driving the car. But do we know who we are so that we know which direction to take? I’m a writer. I’m a professionally trained singer. I’m a martial artist. I can put all these labels on myself. But at this point in my life, I like to say I’m fundamentally a very good human being.
[36:56] Bobbi: Yeah.
[36:57] Jacqueline: I don’t need to describe myself any other way. I’m just human being.
[37:03] Bobbi: And that’s a great place to be at.
[37:05] Jacqueline: Yeah. But it took work to get there.
[37:08] Bobbi: Of course it does.
[37:10] Jacqueline: Because I thought it was a worthless piece of shit for a long time.
[37:13] Bobbi: And now you know otherwise. I do love that. Okay, one final question, and then we’ll get to the can people reach out and that type of thing? I was listening to something. That one of your presentations, I think it was, and you said you earned your black belt at 49 years of age. Why did you decide to do that?
[37:39] Jacqueline: Well, at the age of 43, I took my kids to Taekwondo classes, and I’m sitting outside waiting for them to do their classes, and I thought, I’ve always wanted to try this. So I started taking Taekwondo classes privately while they were doing their their class, and it was like a duck to water. I was like, oh, hell yeah, I can get with this. This is good. And then at the time, we were living in Los Angeles, and then we moved to Paris, and I couldn’t find a Taekwondo studio that I liked, so I ended up taking karate. And I was about three years or four years into doing karate when I took my black belt in Shotakan karate on the age of 49. But martial arts for me was like a coming home. It’s like, really, I have an enormous amount of strength and energy, and I’ve always used it in the early part of my life, sabotaging myself, but this became a real outlet. In fact, I used to call it my meditation when you’re in the practice. But what was really interesting, what came out of this, and it’s something I talked to my clients about. I learned six fundamental things doing martial arts. Number one is commitment. You’ve got to be committed to be in the fight. Number two, focus. You got to be focused on your opponent. And you’re not looking at his arms and legs. You’re looking in his eyes. You can see everything. You need to see all around you peripherally, you got to have discipline. Thousands of hours, repetitions, doing the same thing. Then you got to have follow through. Somebody throws something at you, you got to be able to follow through on it. Then you’ve got to have consistency. You can do the same thing over and over again. And the last one is perseverance. So commitment, focus, discipline, follow through, consistency, and perseverance. We need all six of those to succeed in life.
[39:29] Bobbi: That is right.
[39:30] Jacqueline: And this is what I learned in martial arts.
[39:33] Bobbi: Love that.
[39:34] Jacqueline: I’ve been using that, and I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for the last ten years or so. It keeps me busy, keeps me strong and healthy.
[39:46] Bobbi: And that’s key.
[39:47] Jacqueline: That’s key. Absolutely. You can’t just sit and think about stuff. You got to get up and do yoda thing. No try. Just do.
[39:56] Bobbi: Just do. And if you stumble, so what? So who hasn’t? That’s right.
[40:01] Jacqueline: And here’s the other big fear. And we haven’t talked about this, and we could probably do a whole program on it. Fear of failure.
[40:07] Bobbi: Oh, yeah.
[40:08] Jacqueline: One of the big things for high achievers, particularly, is the fear of failure. And failure is simply a choice of decision or an expectation that didn’t go the way you had planned. And there’s only one word for that. Next. Because we’re all failing our way to success. I want the people who are listening to this to remember that we are all failing our way to success. And how you define failure in your life is not a measure of who you are.
[40:43] Bobbi: That’S right.
[40:44] Jacqueline: Decision or an expectation that did not go the way that you had planned.
[40:49] Bobbi: Yes, and I love the owner response is next.
[40:53] Jacqueline: Yes.
[40:54] Bobbi: Because we learned and we can move on.
[40:56] Jacqueline: Yeah, lessons learned. I won’t. Don’t want to do that again. Well, good on you. If you do it again, you might want to question yourself.
[41:05] Bobbi: You keep doing the same thing. That could be another story. This has been amazing. So much good stuff here. Where can people find you? And on your website, I think. Do you have an assessment or something on your website that people can take?
[41:19] Jacqueline: There’s a download called Three Ways to Transform Your Fear, and it’s an exercise in analyzing your fear and starting to take a look at what is real and what is not. And I guarantee you that 90% of it is not. But there’s a tool in there as I say three ways to transform your fear Download that and go check it out. There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the website, too. My blog has many different articles that I think you might find useful. And if you need to get in touch with me, you can reach me at jacqueline. At Jacqueline wales.com. Perfect. There we go. Happy to chat and talk about what do you need to get past the fear?
[42:04] Bobbi: That’s right. Well, thank you so much for sharing and sharing your stories and your insights. There’s been a lot of value in here, so I appreciate it.
[42:13] Jacqueline: Thank you, Bobbi.
[42:15] Bobbi: I hope you loved that conversation. There was so much that I thought was so much value. So many takeaways, it’s hard to even wrap my head around how many there were. I think one of my favorite things, though, is when she talked about that we’re all failing our way to success, and when we do fail, the only appropriate response is next. I think that’s really powerful. The other thing that I took away, and it’s probably what I need to learn right now, is more of the self compassion. I think that’s something that we can all kind of struggle with a little bit. So I love that she highlighted that. So I hope you had your own takeaways. I’m sure that you did. And with that, I’m going to wrap up and say I hope you have a great week and that you continue to thrive no matter what.