I believe we need to be brave not just in our business life to extend ourselves professionally but we need to also be brave personally.
I was ‘abandoned at birth’ and put up for adoption and this primal wound extended well into my adult years and my belief I was rejected, defective, and not good enough was my mindset through my teenage years that led me into the challenging times of mental ill health; anxiety in my childhood and chronic depression in my adult years.
The laws changed in the late 1990’s that meant an adoptee could receive their original birth certificate and potentially find their birth parents.
After receiving my original birth certificate in the mail and discovering my mother was from New Zealand (perhaps that accounts for the hair) I began to search electoral rolls to no avail and then thought perhaps my birth mother returned home to New Zealand to get married. I began to search NZ and was rewarded with a marriage certificate that ended up having a current address on it! (very rare!)
Within minutes of receiving that marriage certificate I had a way to contact my birth mother…
I wrote a short one-page letter from the heart saying who I was, and who she was in relation to me. I didn’t flood her with my life story (which was quite an effort as I’m known to over-share) instead I asked if she would like to connect, if she would like to know me, and that if not, I would respect her choice and not make contact again and asked instead for two photos, one of her back then and one of her now. I was desperate to see a reflection of myself.
That letter then travelled in my handbag for 10 days, each time I went up to a red post box I would burst into tears from fear of what may happen – would she want me or reject me? what if I ruined her happy marriage if her husband didn’t know about me? what if it confirmed my deep seated belief that I wasn’t good enough?
I became stuck and immobilised by my indecision and anxiety, caught between my fantasy of what I wanted and my fear of what I dreaded.
On this particular day I was at rehearsals for a comedy cabaret show I was performing in, my husband, (also the producer, director and casting agent) decided it would be really cool to have a comedy trapeze act over the audience of 300 people so I had been strapped into a harness and put up on a trapeze and the first thing I had to learn was to ‘fall off’, to feel the sensation of falling and trust the safety harness would catch me (if not, it was ‘fillet mignon le splat’).
I swung backwards and forwards so many times, each time the rest of the cast cheering me on and counting me down, 3..2..(nah) but then my darling husband called out “there’s only one way down Robbi, you’re gonna have to jump”.
The next swing forward I let go and I fell about 5m and the safety line pulled tight and caught me. I felt exhilarated! Now for some that would be ‘no big deal’, but did I mention I’m afraid of heights? lol
“Being brave is doing something in the presence of fear, not the absence of fear” – Robbi Mack
On the crest of the wave of feeling empowered and brave, I walked outside to the post box and posted my letter to my birth mother… and irreversibly changed my life.
Sometimes when the big things overwhelm us and we become paralysed by our fears and insecurities, personally or professionally, we need to challenge ourselves with smaller but unnerving tasks, it flexes the ‘brave muscle’ we all have within and we can build up to taking a leap of faith.
One minute we’re taking small steps forward into our anxiety, the next we’re free falling into a brighter future!
What are avoiding or putting off doing that if you took the plunge could change the direction of your life? 3..2..1.. jump!
Love & Laughs