meaningful work podcast

Episode 28: Amplify your Courage

Jun 26, 2024 | Podcast

If you’re in a stage of evolution, expansion and realignment, then don’t miss this essential episode. I’m talking about the critical mindset shifts necessary, specifically to build your courage and confidence.

By challenging your thinking and taking bold action, you can create a business that truly aligns with your values and goals and makes great impact in the lives of all around you.

We explore:

  • Why I care far less than most people about what others think of me
  • How to discern between your inner knowing, and your fear
  • Common ‘wisdom’ that hinders business success
  • How to amp up your marketing magnetism through storytelling
  • Practical ways to build your courage and alignment of your values, words, and actions
  • The two crucial elements that you personally need when you want to scale without burning out
  • Reframing imposter syndrome
  • Identifying and leveraging your natural strengths in business

Want to earn consistent $10K+ months in your business, without working longer hours, without hiring staff or contractors, without spending thousands on social media ads, or getting a huge influx of cash (though it’d be nice…)?

Join me on June 28, for a free masterclass on just this: 


Welcome to meaningful work for unremarkable life. I’m your host, Brooke McCarthy, and I’m a business coach, trainer and speaker, living and working on the unseeded lands of the camaraderie people here in Sydney, Australia. In this podcast, we explore the paradoxes inherent in working for love.
And money, magnifying your impact and doing work if you’re.
Born to do.
We explore the intersections of the meanings we bring to work and the meanings we derive from work.
My best clients right now are continually challenging their thinking.
My best clients don’t all look the same, different genders, different ages, different business models, different industries and sectors, different lengths of time that they’ve been in business for. Some are extroverts, some are obviously introvert.
That’s there is no type, particularly that kind of is the connecting thread between my best clients. My most successful clients right now, but this is one thing. One thing is that they are continually challenging their thinking. And So what I want to tell you now.
Is don’t believe everything you think this is huge to be able to discern between your actual real values, your actual boundaries and non negotiables and.
The everyday chatter in your head, which is sometimes extremely articulate, chatter I don’t know about you, but my procrastination and my fear sounds very intelligent and articulate sometimes.
And of course, it’s sometimes chessed up as beliefs and opinions, but actually on closer examination it is just fear insecurity.
Conditioning, procrastination and all that fun stuff. Everything that you were taught in school will actively work against you in business. So in school we are taught that we need to fit in. We are taught that we need to understand the rules, we need to memorise those rules.
We need to know the rules before we kick off. We are taught to conform to the loudest person in the room or the most authoritative person in the room. We are not necessarily taught critical thinking even when the school believes that they are actually teaching that more often than not, they are not.
So the process of building your business, the process of thriving in business is the process of unlearning. It’s unlearning between the things that are actually going to help you and the things that are going to hinder you, even though they appear to actually be useful and helpful. When I was young.
My mother wasn’t just when I was young. My mother has been an early environmentalist. She was ahead of her time.
In saving the planet, saving the environment and my childhood was full of embarrassing instances.
Of her telling off the fish and chip man, for example, because he had polystyrene packaging and she would have a go at him about that and he’d be defending himself and I’d be standing by her side just wanting to die. I remember vividly being at a party. One of my parents friends parties when I was about.
No, maybe 11 or 12.
And my mother was having a go at her friend’s husband and saying you shouldn’t be mixing the recyclables and the bin. You need to separate out the recyclables and the the husband had to go at her and said, why would I want to grub through the garbage?
And he said this in front.
Of me and I was absolutely.
My mother was constantly telling me and my siblings that we should never conform. She’d say, make them guess, keep them guessing book. Don’t let them pigeonhole you. Don’t let them reduce you to a type. Keep them guessing, and this has actually been really useful.
In retrospect, for building my business, because it means that I care less about other people, I care less than other people about fitting in. Of course I’m human. I’m a social creature. This is how how humans work. We have evolved in societies and group.
Conforming to that group or being accepted not so much conforming, but being accepted by that group. It’s part of being human, right? Like if we don’t have that desire, that drive.
To be liked by other people, to be accepted by other people. Then we’re probably a sociopath and.
That’s not a.
Great thing, but I’m grateful to my mother, and I’m grateful to my upbringing, because it means that I care less than other people about fitting in. I don’t mind not conforming as much as other people.
Appear to mind.
And this has been great for me. This is a part of my socialisation that’s been beneficial because marketing is about being seen and being heard. Yeah.
We have to be seen and be heard if we are to market our business effectively otherwise.
We make ourselves the elevator music of the Internet, and there’s a lot of that right now. There’s a lot of that right now because we are at an age of information. We are in a particular point in history.
Where the age of information is long established, where the Internet has been mainstream for a good 1618 years or longer, where content marketing, otherwise known as modern day marketing, which is inherently generous spirited, it means giving away all your best ideas for free and then some.
This has been around for a while now, right? We are not in the early days of the hay days of 2012, 2014 where it was ohh so easy. It was so easy I could put any old crap up on my Facebook page and people would see it and they’d engage and they’d go hey.
And it was actually a a brilliant time to be in business. But those days are behind us now, so there’s no point going. Ohh, I wish things were different.
We are at.
A point in the age of information and then we add AI on top where we’re reaching saturation point. Now saturation point doesn’t mean OK, let’s give up on this. This was fun, but let’s give up on this and go and retreat to the hills and train a carrier pigeon to take our marketing messages.
Out to the world, it doesn’t work like that.
What? What it does mean is that this truism of marketing being seen and being heard has never, ever been more important, because when we have businesses using AI to generate marketing, well, they can do so at much greater volume than ever before.
Hence, there’s an opportunity here for you and me.
Because you and I know that we cannot, we do not want to be the elevator music of the Internet. The elevator music of the Internet is diligently posting on social media, putting the newsletters together, pressing, send publishing on their website. But nothing is happening. You are marketing with no engagement, you are.
Talking to yourself, so if that’s you, if you’re listening to this right now going. Ohh God, that hurts if you are diligently and consistently marketing and it’s not resulting in inquiries, it’s not resulting in opportunities in your inbox at your door.
Then stop.
What is the point of being the elevator music of the Internet? It has to be impactful, right? Because I dare say you don’t have a marketing department. I dare say you cannot delegate marketing to a team of 10 or 20 people. I dare suggest you are the marketing department.
You, perhaps in church a bit.
So what are we doing? What is working right now in marketing? Is this storytelling and the storytelling to an extent has always worked because it’s always how humans have made sense of the world. This is how we remembered things. This is how we kept culture. This is how we taught.
Norms and morays to our kids, to our children, is through storytelling.
The specific details of storytelling are the specific details that cannot be regurgitated by AI. So what am I talking about here? I’m talking about the story of my mother. I’m talking about the polystyrene in the fish and chip shop. I’m talking about grubbing through garbage.
It’s the specific details of your story. It is the specific details of your why and how you do things differently.
That’s going to breakthrough the noise on mine.
We’re going to be looking specifically at your attitude, your beliefs, your opinions, your perspective, the lens through which you view the world.
And some people call this mindset, which I think is a horribly reductive word, to talk about this massive, massive topic.
And part of our attitude, beliefs, opinions, perspective and lens.
Is the thinking the thoughts that aren’t actually useful, so this is part of what we’re doing today, part of building up courage involves removing things. Yeah, it’s not about adding things. A lot of it has to do with removing things, removing barriers.
Removing these thoughts that have become beliefs, these introduced beliefs, there’s introduced thoughts because I don’t know any babies with imposter syndrome.
I don’t know any toddlers.
With imposter syndrome. Yeah, I don’t know any toddlers that overthink things. A lot of this stuff, a lot of this noise in our head has been introduced by our society, has been introduced by the people around us. So part of courage involves being super discerning.
Being really sharply discerning to figure out what is useful to me.
And what is taking me further away from where I want to be, yeah. What is going to take me closer towards my goals closer towards building the kind of business that I want and having the kind of life that I want to live.
And what is?
Actively working against my best interests, and sometimes it’s very, very sophisticated. Sometimes it’s trust up in all kinds of sophisticated arguments and ideas, and that’s oftentimes one clue.
To help discern between the actual intuition, the actual real wisdom, innate wisdom that you have.
And our ego is our ego tends to make things very complicated. So if it sounds complicated, if the argument in your head is complicated.
It could well be ego, not intuition. We are building courage through conversation. We’re building courage through storytelling. We’re building courage through having the audacity to be seen and be heard. And this is a big one because for a lot of business owners ask me how I know for for a lot of business.
They are marketing, but they are hiding.
Yeah, they’re going through the motions. They’re saying yes, yes, I I understand the fundamentals of marketing. I understand storytelling. I know how how it works, but in actual fact, they are censoring themselves. I see this all the time, and this is part of socialisation. This is part of culture, right? This is the self censorship that happens.
We are all censoring ourselves to an extent in order to conform, fit in, and be accepted and to belong.
But when we can live our values and when we can walk our talk, we are changing our culture. We are having an impact on our culture and our hat tip to Kelly deals here. Who coined the phrase culture makers? We are all culture makers.
We all have the ability to shape.
The culture and the society that we’re surrounded by, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why I love the Internet as.
Much as I.
I love that thing. It kind of a massive communicator. I love communicating, I love the the idea that I could shape the people around me. I could shape the culture and society around me.
Now the other.
Thing happens. The other thing that happens, of course, when you live your values, when there is a lack of tension.
Between what you believe, what is actually a value of yours, what you say, and what you do when this is in alignment and you are walking your talk, this becomes its own magnet. This becomes its own expression of courage, and courage is contagious.
And people want to be around it.
You can do a lot to build trust by living your values, walking your talk, and making sure there’s no tension or misalignment between your values, your words and your actions. Now, of course, of course, we are all a little bit hypocritical. We have to be a little bit hypocritical.
To live in our society, this is not what I’m talking about.
It doesn’t mean you have to make your own clothes and spin your own yarn and all that jazz. Who’s got time for that? Like, of course, there’s a little bit of hypocrisy because I believe that I believe in climate change, and I believe this is a massive threat to our society. But of course, I still drive a car with petrol. But yes, of course there has to be a little bit of hypocrisy.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
One of the ways that we build up courage is by creating that consistency between our beliefs, our thoughts, our words, and our actions are one of the best ways or most effective ways we undermine our courage, and we undermine our self trust.
Is by not doing that. It’s like the marketer who doesn’t have time for their own marketing, the the mental health professional who’s got terrible mental health because they.
Just can never seem to find the time to prioritise their own self care. Yeah, it’s the website designer who hasn’t updated their website in five years and knows that there’s broken links and all kinds of stuff going on. So having this alignment between these things.
And walking our talk and actually doing what we say we’re going to do.
Builds our self trust and it builds our courage and it creates this contagion effect where we become magnetic to the people around us because they can feel our courage. They can see our courage in action. They can see us walking our talk.
And in our society, a lot of this is in short supply, right? Look at our politicians. We’re gonna say when we do something as simple as walking our talk.
And we can do that like I said through alignment, but also through taking care of ourselves as well because.
Courage relates to resilience and resilience requires strength and strength requires self care. One of the things that stops business owners all the time, one of the biggest excuses or reasons that I hear from people is I want to live the easy life. I want to enjoy myself. I don’t want to be working all the time.
I don’t want to be stressed. I don’t want to make my business harder and more complicated than it needs to be. Fair enough.
I don’t want to be stressed all the time. I don’t want to make my business more complicated than it needs to be. In fact, part of what I do each and every day as I add things, I also seek seek to subtract things as I add complications. I also seek to edit and refine and drop things that aren’t 100% necessary.
Has Banksy said 3 daters Banksy?
Learn to rest not to quit. Learn to rest.
And really rest, there is something deeply depressing about talking to parents of kids.
I might, I might put a few people’s noses out of joint here, but when you talk to parents that have kids and it’s so, what are you doing on the weekend? Ohh, Friday night. I’m standing in the dark and the cold watching a sports game. And then Saturday morning I’m getting up early to take my kid to sports. And then Sunday morning, I’m.
Getting up early.
To take my kids to sports.
Like hats off to you if you actually enjoy all that. But how many parents actually do? Yeah.
So reclaiming selfish is part and parcel of of self care.
Alright, I want to add a couple more tips, a couple more important things before I sign off today.
First one is we talked just a moment before about we want to build our business, but what’s stopping us building our business? What’s stopping us from growing scaling our business? We don’t want law stress. Fair enough. We don’t want to burn out. Fair enough. We don’t want to over complicate things. Fair enough. Neither do I.
So part and parcel of this and this is absolutely critical and crucial.
To how I built my business.
Is the boundaries and the standards. Everything that I am saying today, everything that I’m teaching is hard won because I am not a quick learner. I’m not a quick learner. Some lessons have. I’ve been fairly quick to pick up some lessons. I have made the same mistake over and over and over and over and over and over.
For years, until finally the penny has dropped and I have moved on.
And one of those has been with boundaries and standards, boundaries and standards. And these lessons never really end. Yeah, strong boundaries means that we are not letting the stress of our work, the crappy conversation we had. The situation is not quite resolved.
Seep into our Sunday evening seep into two AM. Seep into time when we’re not at our desk, when we should actually be living our life and enjoying.
Ourselves, strong boundaries are multifaceted and they absolutely definitely include your pricing, your terms and conditions, your inclusions, and they include the energetics. They include the energetics of how do you stop your brain working when you are not in fact working.
Yeah, and this is a big task and it’s an ongoing thing it it evolves as you evolve as your business evolves.
The second part is standards, and again this is a huge lesson for me. What do I tolerate and what do I not tolerate? What do I accept or am easy going about? And what do I not accept or not be easy going about because I took a lot of pride in being easy going for years.
That would be one of the words I would jump to describe myself as I’m easygoing. As a teenager in the 90s, that was like the highest praise for a woman, for a girl. She’s easy going.
Which is great for everyone else, not so great for.
So strong boundaries and standards are part and parcel of scaling strong boundaries and standards are part and parcel of building courage and earning more money and being able to actually scale in the 1st place. We’re going to talk about this in a lot more detail over the next two days.
The next thing I want to I want to say is that imposter syndrome is just a sign that you are conscientious. It’s just a sign that you are conscientious. It is not a reason to stop. It is not a reason to go back to university. It is not a reason to go and do the 4th qualification in your field.
Imposter syndrome is simply a sign that you care and that you are conscientious. It is not a sign that something is wrong. Yeah, and we all need to figure out how we can feel the fear, how we can feel. The impostor syndrome, and do it anyway.
Alright, I’m gonna move on to actions and homework.
The question I have for you, please pick up a pen or pencil if you don’t already have one. What is easy for you but hard for others?
What’s the natural field? But other people value this really highly.
What’s easy for you, but hard for others, naturally comes to you. You do it out of the joy of it. You do it out of the love of it. You do it because it feels fun.
But actually other people comment on it repeatedly because it doesn’t actually come naturally to everybody. This is your edge. This is your edge.
This is ideally where you make the majority of your revenue through through your natural strengths, not through choosing the should path.
So I want to leave you with a story and then I’m going to leave you with a couple of pieces. One.
Piece of.
Homework. The very first major speaking gig that I had was in 2011. I had a six month year old and I had a 2 year old.
So she just turned to.
It was an incredibly incredibly stressful time, as you can imagine. I’ve got two under two. I’ve got a baby that just does not sleep. She slept for three months and I loved her, and then she just woke up and she almost sent me to the insane asylum. I was awake all the time, all through the night, every night. It was incredibly stressful. I had clients at the time.
Had a retainer business model, so I had clients that I spoke to multiple times a week, if not multiple times a day, they would call me all the time and.
My blood pressure would rise each time the phone rang. It’s stressful just to even remember it, so I had the mother of all anxiety dreams before that speaking gig. I just really wanted to quit. I really wanted to tell the people that I couldn’t do it. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do it, but I decided we got to a certain point.
Where it was just a bit too close to the date and I thought OK this is this is happening. I’m gonna have to do this. So I had of course had a big argument with my mother just beforehand related to lack of sleep related to the baby sleeping.
Related to my mother accidentally waking up the baby so I couldn’t ask her to babysit and it was incredibly incredibly stressful. I did actually find somebody to babysit the baby. The baby was outside the room in a pram and the guy that spoke immediately before me at the I.
People see here in Sydney at the International Convention Centre. His topic was insurance. So the longer that he bought on about insurance, the better I felt.
I felt calmer and calmer and all.
Pouring. He was.
And I stood up on that stage. I had a blast. I might have accidentally sworn I told a few stories I wasn’t planning on telling, and I was really pleased to see that when I came off the stage, I had a gaggle of people waiting to talk to me. There was a little kind of crowd of people gathered near the edge of the stage, and there was a break directly.
Afterwards. So I’ve I came down the steps and the very first person who spoke to me was a middle aged white guy and he said I’m a professional speaker.
And you made a few mistakes on stage. There was a few things that you could have done better and he started giving me some solicited advice.
Now that experience which was I put on my poker face, I didn’t scream at him. Lucky for him, I put on my poker face and I smiled and nodded and finished the conversation as quickly as I could, and then spoke to.
The next person who was.
Nice and kind, but that experience really stuck with me because it made me realise a number of different things. Firstly, major changes were needed in my business. The way that it was happening was not how it was going to continue to happen. It was not working. It worked for a period and I had outgrown my business model.
New Era, new business model. Everything needed to change and that speaking gig was the impetus.
It also made me realise would that guy that people will line up to tell you what you couldn’t do shouldn’t do, wouldn’t do terrible. How you did that. You really shouldn’t talk about this on the Internet. It’s really a bad idea to talk about that on LinkedIn, blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah. Those people will line up to tell you not to do the thing that you’re doing.
And the more courageous you are, the more you create out loud. The more you do the thing.
The the louder that crowd will become, and it’s easy to spot somebody like that guy because they had no relationship with him, right? It’s much harder to spot the well meaning friends or the well meaning business colleague.
Very articulately and kindly and persuasively makes the argument why you shouldn’t do the thing that you want to do. The courageous different thing that you really want to do, that person is harder to spot and they’re well intended.
But you are inadvertently provoking that person.
And so This is why they’re going to go out of their way to tell you not to do the thing. Yeah, and knowing this, hopefully it will be easier for you to notice that thing. Notice that person notice when that happens.
So the mantra that I would love you to try emphasise today is courage. Like confidence is a muscle.
And I become more courageous and more confident through flexing that muscle.
Now the action or the homework, I’d love you to take today is I want you to look at your To Do List. I want you to look at the things that you’ve had as goals perhaps or tasks on the To Do List.
And I want you to scan that list and notice the thing that has perhaps been on that list for weeks, if not months, that feels scary and important at the same time.
This is the thing you’ve been procrastinating on, and it may well be the thing that takes 5 minutes to complete.
But you’ve been sitting on it. You’ve been procrastinating on it. You’ve been postponing because it feels scary.
That’s your task today. Do that thing, do that task. The scary and important task. And then there’s two parts to this. I work and then this part is important. I want you to reflect on it. This is called banking confidence. This is my banking confidence meditation.
Is when you do the scary thing when you do the thing that requires you to.
Go. Ohh God, we also got the well right now.
You then need to sit and bank it. You need to reflect on it. You need to feel good about it. Feel pleased about it. Feel proud of yourself because you’ve just challenged your self. Limiting beliefs right there. You’ve just broken muscle fibres in order to build new muscles.
What feels scary and important at the same time?
Real quick before you go, if this episode has gotten you thinking, gotten you excited or has you changing the way that you do business or life, would you do me a super quick favour and write me a short review? Your podcast review means so much to me and it helps other values based business owners.
Just like you to find this show, which is a fantastic.
Gift to make.

Brook McCarthy Business Coach

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