Wobble One by Daisy Barnes, Co-Founder of Yolk
Fear and ability are not mutually exclusive. Wobbles are an inevitable part of being alive, and they happen to us all, regardless of wealth, background or success. Harvard psychologist - and bearer of unbounding wisdom - Susan David says: “Being positive has become a new form of moral correctness. We have a culture that values relentless positivity, permitting only those emotions deemed legitimate. But research on emotional suppression shows that when emotions are pushed aside or ignored they get stronger. Courage is not an absence of fear, courage is fear walking. Emotions are data. The radical acceptance of all our emotions even the messy difficult ones is the cornerstone to resilience, thriving and true authentic happiness .”
This desire for a more honest storytelling approach has been something I have been craving for a long time. From talking openly about my own mental health wobbles to sharing the difficulties I’ve faced launching a business, planning a wedding and moving city all within nine months. So whilst a part of me gawked at the thought of sharing my own as the very first Yolklore wobble, (as if revealing that I have wobbles would infer my incapacity to produce good work and be a sound businesswomen) I was encouraged to share my story by listening to someone else. In her Ted Talk, Susan David says that emotional truth is critical for the workplace. “Diversity isn’t just people - it’s what inside people, including diversity of emotions.”
Wobble rallies against women or men adopting any traits to demonstrate adequacy - in the office or home. Acting on and opening up to uncomfortable, embarrassing and unappealing feelings and experiences is so terribly un-British, yet it is vital. Not only for our mental wellbeing but for the wellbeing of our businesses too. People are flawed by nature and the world itself is storied and troubled. Covering our stories in make-up is hiding the wild, naked and untouched wobbles that make life beautiful and allow us to grow. Ultimately forming strong relationships and communities through shared experiences and collective wisdom.
So I shall start where I began with my own wobble. (Aside note: I’ve had LOADS of wobbles, this is just my most recent.)
I would hugely value any comments and/or feedback on Wobble. If you want to share your own, contact us here.
A Work Wobble by Daisy Barnes
The Delivery Room is Out of Order
I’ve always been a doer. I carry with me the motto: “better to ask for forgiveness than permission”, so have always been one to just get on with things. From organising a 1000 guest, 9 hour festival within 5 weeks to commencing a 200 hour yoga teacher training course, having done about 10 hours of yoga in my life beforehand. I rarely ask questions out loud (although there about 1000 in my head at any one time) and acting on my gut has led me to make more mistakes - and glorious moments - than I could possibly count.
I love social media. For an ideas whore/hoarder (pick your favourite word - I liked both) like me, the fact that there is a spiralling world within my mobile phone is somewhat Alice in Wonderland/Mary Poppins mystical, magical territory - and I find my phone’s ever changing nature utterly enchanting.
BUT it was beginning to intimidate me.
Whilst I was busy researching things whilst planning a) my business b) my wedding c) my flat’s interior design I couldn’t help but see all the good shit going on out there. This is 50% inspiring, 45% intimidating, 5% debilitating. And when that 5% begins to creep up as it did with me, I had myself a problem.
As a yoga teacher I tell people that comparison is the thief of joy (it totally is). But when everyone in my pocket world is smashing it, being a girl boss, living their best life, producing fucking great work and showing it all off via gorgeous gifs (please can someone explain to me how i make a gif - there’s no way I can succeed in business/life if I can’t make a gif.)
Then well. I froze. (I have been frozen for about two weeks now. This piece is actually my thawing.)
This is not just the fault of social media, by the way. This information influx is also present elsewhere. Well-meaning female entrepreneur networking events have all given me a long list of ‘how-to’s’ allowing me to spend a long time deciphering my perfect angle of entry when it comes to social media, PR, business development, pitching, content creation, branding, financial expertise and so on. Dreaming is a form of planning, I’m sure I’ve seen more than one shitty meme say, yet my dreaming/planning was turning into procrastinating and a mythical hunt for perfection.
Lucy Sheridan (The Comparison Coach) told me in a podcast that envy is just telling you what it is that you are craving in your life. For me being envious of someone else’s ‘activity’ and/or ‘journey’, just demonstrated to me my love of and yearning for my own ‘activity/journey’.
My fear was that getting this activity ‘wrong’ - (wrong filter- yikes/ not the right tone - eek, wrong pricing model - oh gadd) was going to be a) inevitable b) completely unacceptable in a world where everyone else’s activity is so bloody fantastic (proof is in their social media - durr.)
So where to begin?
American personal trainer Jillian Michaels said in conversation with Garance Dore: “Dare to be yourself, you have to be brave to be yourself.” And she’s right. The only option is to be be yourself. Even if that is the Hardest Fucking Thing Ever.
For an eternal doer, who when working in other people’s companies I moved at a million miles an hour and didn’t doubt myself or stop moving for one minute, I had suddenly grown a fear of delivery.
My wobble continued whilst I analysed HOW to make all my ‘business owner/girl boss’ output REALLY good. 100% of the time - and the decision of mine was subconsciously made not to do any more activity until I was sure it would be JUST AS GOOD AS EVERYONE ELSE’S. IF NOT BETTER.
OK shouting over.
I conceded (as I eventually always do) to the power of talking and admitting my vulnerabilities. Because when blurting out a few things to my friend Rochelle she told me - quite simply - to just start writing/doing all the things in my head. Urgh - so simple. And so I did.
My ‘shit’ as I appear to be referring to it in this article (also known as output/work etc), is not going to be always as I want it to be. My tendency to delete and/or not publish, send, print, promote any work that I deem unworthy of extreme greatness will likely continue. But I will hold my breath and send it out into the world regardless. There’s been no a-ha moment yet, no fairytale ending in this wobble. But a commitment to trial and error.
In one of the weepiest films I’ve watched, Meryl Streep in ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ says as a hopeless but passionate singer: “People may say that I could not sing. But no one can say that I didn’t sing.”
I can’t predict my future. I can’t connect my dots yet. But I can open my mouth, and I can sing.