How to bring out your gold

As I gear up for my live event and do the marketing, one of the tasks is to go through reviews and testimonials (which is a really nice thing to do really!) This week I came across a note that had come with a bunch of flowers one of the performers had given me after last year's event. In the note she talks about me having a gift for bringing out people's gold.

Well I can't say that I'm sure I have that, it got me thinking about what it takes to bring out someone's gold or, more of a challenge, to bring out our own gold.....

(If you'd like to work with me to bring out your gold you can find out more here.....

Podcast Titles (2)

The Courageous Performer Podcast

How to Bring Out Your Gold

Read the episode transcript here:


Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker. From Find Your True Voice, and in today's episode, I want to talk to you about bringing out the gold in people. Because as I build up to my live event this year, I go through old testimonials to try and persuade more people to come along. And it's it's feels thoroughly self indulgent to do it, but it's a very nice thing to do.



And the latest thing I'd come across is a picture of a bunch of flowers that young last year someone sent to me after the day, somebody had come along to the day, and in it was a note that said, amongst other things, it said, I have a real and generous gift for bringing out the gold people, referring to me, which one is such a beautiful thing to say, and I can't say if I have I don't know that I have, but it made me think about what it takes to bring out the gold, not only in other people, but in ourselves. Because I think so often it's easier to bring it out in other people than it is to bring it out in ourselves. And for me, the answer is kindness.



I've got a friend who is a parenting expert, and she talks about radically loving your children, Oona Alexander, brilliant, brilliant lady, and she talks about radically loving your children. And I would talk about radical kindness here. Because it can be much easier to be kind to other people than it is to be kind to ourselves, because we often see being kind to ourselves as being indulgent, letting ourselves off the hook, letting ourselves get away with stuff, and we fear that we'd become complacent if we do that. And it's just not true, because for me, kindness is not that sort of indulgent way you go, 'Well, I didn't mean to, well, it will be fine.' Because that's not kind if you're not being totally honest. But equally being honest, without being kind isn't wise either, because that can be brutal. And sometimes, we put in 'honest' in inverted commas. It's like those people who say, 'Well, I'm just a Marmite person, people love me or hate me, I just say things how they are.' Yeah, not sure that entirely good or appropriate or helpful to anybody.



Yet, that's so often how we treat ourselves, we will often be what we call more brutally honest with ourselves than we would ever be with anyone else. And it's definitely how I used to be with myself, and I was thinking when I was singing in choir this Sunday, that the choir rehearsal on Thursday, I really hadn't sung very well, but the choir, the service on Sunday, whilst I wouldn't say it was sublime, by any stretch of the imagination, I think I was singing all right, and I was working out what the difference was, and what was going in my own in my head when I was singing well, and the answer was that I was sending myself messages in this really gentle way, and I was trying things out, and I was sending these messages in a really kind way, was like, what would it feel like to just let that note float? And I tried it, and it sort of did float. Well, it was floatier than it had been before.



And I think because the messages I was sending were kind and thoughtful, and didn't have any level of disapproval to them, I listened. And in fact, that reminds me a conversation I had this morning, all about disapproval, because so often, we hear, we might label it to be criticism and what somebody else says, but actually what I think we hear, and it dawned on me this morning, is disapproval. And that can be harder and I don't know about you, but I find with a lot of my clients and certainly the way I used to be there's a lot of self disapproval and we find it very hard to approve us of ourselves because that feels self congratulatory, big headed, that we will become complacent as I said before.



So this idea that we will become complacent if we're kind is a fallacy and I want you to get away from this idea that that it is inefficient to be kind, because even if you don't even, what was I gonna say even if you I don't necessarily agree with kindness, for some reason you think you might be come complacent, I'm actually going to tell you it's the most efficient way of making progress. Because if you think about what happens when you criticise yourself, when you are self critical, a number of things happen. One, it can be that you will procrastinate. So you'll put things off, you're either put off practice or you're put off the actual performance, you're put off putting yourself out there at all.



When you're self critical, it stops you, it slows you it makes it like you're living, walking through treacle. So that is incredibly inefficient. If you're not a procrastinator, blimey, you're lucky! But actually, you'll find that you might be more tense when doing something more cautious. So although you'll do it, you'll do it in a very restricted way. Instead of throwing yourself out there, you'll be very cautious and careful about how you do it, which again, limits you and means that you're less likely to make progress because you're not pushing yourself at the edge of your skill zone. Because you don't want to fall off the edge of your skills zone and make fool of yourself.



Even the procrastinators might have that element as well. So this idea that kindness is ineffectual and inefficient is wrong. Cruelty is ineffective and inefficient. Because it slows us down it makes, it triggers us to overthink. Whereas kindness, wise is kindness, not pandering kindness, not indulgent kindness, not dishonest kindness, but honest, warm, loving, supportive, curious kindness, create a space in which we can bloom, and our ideas can bloom and our voices can bloom and our confidence can bloom.



And it made me think, as I was thinking about what I was going to talk about today about the difference between habits and rules. Because I think the two can get confused very easily. But for me, rules are something that if you don't stick to you get punished or told off, reprimanded for. Whereas habits are designed to reduce thinking expenditure. So if you always practice balancing on one leg, when you brush your teeth, it'll get to the stage where you don't even think about it. You're just standing on one leg because you're brushing your teeth, practising your balance, developing your core. That's just an idea somebody came up came and talked to me about practising balance and saying doing it while you're doing your teeth. But that's habit stacking, and that is that whole idea of if you think about the learning curve where we go from unconscious incompetence before we've tried something, we don't know that we can't do it. We might suspect we can we might suspect we can't, but we don't know, so we don't, and we might not even thought about it. So unconscious incompetence - we don't know that we don't we can't do it because we've not tried it yet. Then you move into the unconscious, sorry, the conscious incompetence realm. It's like when you first get in the car and you look around and go, 'Oh my goodness, how does everybody do? Mirror signal manoeuvre, clutch, accelerator, gearstick. Ah, what order they go in? How do I do this all at once?' And then a year later, you're getting in the car, and you're driving really without thinking too much about it? And certainly, all my goodness 32, no, 22 years later, I'm not that old, 22 years later, you don't really think about it, and then gets hard to move from one car to another if they're slightly different in setup, but that is moving.



So you move from conscious incompetence - you know how you can't do it - to conscious competence - you're doing it but you're thinking through every step to unconscious competence, where you're doing it perfectly competency competently, without thinking about it. And that's what habit stacking can do that you just put your keys on the hook, you pick up this, you do this because it's what you've just done, you've done so many times, you've built that neural pathway. You do it without thinking now, and that reduces thinking expenditure and you don't have to use your conscious mind to do this thing. You've just built it in. But there's no punishment for not doing it. It's just like, 'Oh, I forgot to do that. Okay, nevermind, I didn't get the benefit of it.' Whereas if you're breaking a rule is something where you've been a naughty person. And that's bad.



You know, habits are choices. Rules are imposed on us, even if they're imposed on us by ourselves. And just in the same way that cruelty can be the stultifying can hold you up can limit you. So can rules because although we think I'll set a rule that mean, that means I'll stick to it Actually, it's more likely to bring out the rebellious person in you. Or you then think, 'Oh, goodness, I have to stick to it while never stick to it, I'm not competent at doing it and you start to undermine yourself. And then when you don't stick to the rule first time, you think,'Oh, what's the point, I'm never going to do it, I'm no good.'



And rules have a tendency to make us feel inadequate in the same way that being cruel to ourselves does. Whereas habits, I think, are affirming as long as you don't turn them into rules. In the same way that kindness is they're wise, kind things to do to yourself to help you.



And so if we bring it back now to kindness, kindness, for me starts with the trust, that you are a good person who wants the good results and are prepared to put in the work to get them. Because often, we don't believe that. And it may be that it's come from messages in childhood, where people are telling us, you're no good, mistrusting us, etc, etc. But kindness, for me, starts with the assumption that you are good, you will work, you are perfectly competent at doing this, if you put in the time and effort to get there.



Now, how you move to that position of being kind and trusting yourself is is not what I'm covering today. But I do want to say that if you believe that you are well intentioned and can be trusted, that's the environment in which you will bring out your own gold. So bringing us right back to where it started. One of the things I love about the life coaching ethos is this idea that our clients are holding perfect, just as they are, they can't necessarily do the things they want, yet, they may not be able to achieve what they want, yet, but they in themselves are well intentioned good people who may have gone into bad habits, bad patterns. And what we're looking to do is change those patterns.



So when I approach, teaching, and creating spaces, I approach it from that life coaching perspective where everyone is whole and perfect, everyone is capable of achieving their best. And I come at it with kindness. And the other hope of that is to engender kindness in themselves. So all the messages I talk about when I'm teaching live or one to one, and when group, are about how, how kindness is effective, how we we can change what we focus on in a way that is kind in not only the instruction we give ourselves, but also the implementation of that instruction. And also the idea that we know that you have the same goal that you want to achieve that. So I'm never thinking you're being stupid, you're being difficult to work with, I'm always like, 'Ooh, there's something in there, what's going on?' How do we find the wise kind way of finding out what's going on underneath? And you can do this for yourself. So when you're frustrated, which even I get frustrated. Oh, my goodness, do I get frustrated. It's then how do you approach this with kindness? How do you approach this with the assumption that you are a good, hard working, well intentioned person who's hit a bump in the road and wants to find a way to get over round through back out of the hole in the road, over the bump in the road, whatever, whatever the thing in the road that is slowing you down and looking to find a solution that looking to find a solution with kindness.



So bringing that back to my experience on Sunday, and how it was different from the Thursday rehearsal, the Thursday rehearsal, I struggled to find a balance and I was trying to be something I wasn't. As opposed to in Sunday, I was being curious, and I was thinking what would happen. The difference between the two scenarios is one I felt a little bit more pressure in, bizarrely, it wasn't the service, and it it was easier to be kinder to me myself in the lighter place the where I felt less pressure. But when we practice it in those scenarios, it's easier to implement it in the hardest scenarios.



So if you can believe that you are a well intentioned, good person who can be trusted to do the work, and you approach it with this attitude, then you are more likely to do the work, you are more likely to bloom because you're doing it in this space where you've got I was gonna say something a bit weird, where you're, you're sort of co-creating with yourself as opposed to win that battle. That battle that takes up so much energy, so much headspace. So that whole idea of when you're kind to yourself, you create a space in which you enable your gold to emerge.



Thank you for listening. I hope you found that helpful. Do let me know and I look forward to speaking to you next time. Take care. I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice