Don’t tell me how good you are. Show me…

Image from www.freeflavour.com

Image from www.freeflavour.com  PS: If you’re not sure what the Australian slang expression FIG JAM stands for , I suggest you google it… (Warning: swears alert!)

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ” ~ John F. Kennedy

“Talk is cheap.” ~ Anonymous

Today’s post has come about in part after watching a good friend be deeply wounded and disillusioned by the bullying actions of some people who loudly proclaim themselves as ‘enlightened and spiritual’.

Another friend is considering walking away from their life’s passion because of the vicious and mean-spirited ‘critique’ (it wasn’t constructive criticism, it was a poisonous personal attack) from an instructor at an invitation-only Master Class intended to guide emerging artists in front of a public audience at a large gallery. The instructor used my friend to make themselves look good and to extract a laugh or two from the crowd. The attack left my friend floundering in self-doubt, shame and humiliation, suffering anxiety attacks and questioning everything they’d previously held as true.

Most of the people I know who are incredibly good at what they do are also among the most humble, no matter their what field of endeavour. They sit in their integrity. They acknowledge their ability as fact, but have little need to bang their own drum because they are busy being actively engaged in the things that define them. As the saying goes, they walk their talk.

The yoga teacher who awakens each day to perform her personal meditation, pranayamas and asanas before eating her healthy yogini breakfast and getting ready for her classes. Who then comes home to eat her healthy dinner and concludes her day with more yoga, as an integral part of her daily life and philosophy.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

The business mentor who has had years of experience building and running successful organisations, and who continues to sit on the Board of Directors of profitable companies.

Image from leParisien

Image from leParisien

The artist who still attends classes and workshops, and considers themselves constantly evolving; working on their craft even though they are at the top of their field and lauded by their peers.

'Painting in Gold' by Chad

‘Painting in Gold’ by Chad

Whether you are looking to form a relationship, seek employment or learn something new (and especially if you’re a starry-eyed beginner), listen with your eyes. Don’t be seduced by spin.  Don’t be sucked in by wild claims and promises. When we are eager and ready to begin the journey, our enthusiasm often nudges our discernment over into a corner.

Eagerness and newness make us all vulnerable. And sadly, I’ve seen many a beginner derailed because the people they put faith in to guide them on their journey trampled and stamped out that fledgling flame. Or didn’t give them the tools they need to have that promised ‘success’, and then put it all back on the learner when they fail. “Oh well,” they say, “you mustn’t want it enough, you don’t have the ability, your attitude’s all wrong.”

There are so many self-proclaimed ‘guru’s’ out there.  Who do you trust? How do you work out who can actually support your growth?

Image from www.zdnet.com

Image from www.zdnet.com

Word of mouth is a great place to start.

Trust your intuition.

And look for validity of the person’s abilities or claims. Do they walk their talk?  Are they respected within their industry or profession?  Do they have a public track record?  Do their ACTIONS align with their mouth?

The ‘Law of Attraction Wealth Creation Coach’ who has a mountain of debt and lives on credit cards?  Maybe not your best bet.

The ‘Parenting Expert’ who has never had children of their own, or even had them in their home for any length of time.  Really?

The ‘Write a Best-Seller Workshop’ run by the person who has never been published. Perhaps someone who has already walked the path you want to walk would have more concrete advice to share with you.

Even more than that, are they a person you can respect?  Do they have the sort of values and habits you aspire to? Do they treat others well? Are they leading by example?

In this age of social media it’s easy to set yourself up as an expert. In fact there are courses in how to do that!

Back in the day, experts had… wait for it… expertise.  And expertise was hard won through experience.

There’s no magical pill or quick fix in this life that is going to take you from the bottom to the top of your particular mountain. We all have our own path to walk, and everyone has something to teach us, whether that’s through a positive or a negative experience.

The people ahead of you in the climb up your mountain will have valuable insights to share based upon their own journeys. Those insights can save you time, move you ahead more quickly, and help you hone your own skills and talents. So be an active player in your own development.   Use your discernment.  Do your homework.  Make sure they really are higher up that mountain, and not someone standing at the bottom with a giant megaphone and some smooth-talking words…

Take on board what resonates for you, and leave the rest behind.

Above all, don’t take it all too seriously.  Life is an adventure – a big messy glorious adventure. And that’s a beautiful thing.

13 thoughts on “Don’t tell me how good you are. Show me…

  1. Sorry I hit the wrong key before I had finished,( wish we had edit buttons on comments) the video is wonderful and this is timely for me as i know i have been doing some outside looking , not back to the I and the followthrough thanks all my love. xxoo

  2. Lol, great post! This amuses me because I caught myself today walking around the house after meditating, literally drinking a green smoothie with one hand and vaccuming with the other, crystals and tarot cards all over the place, and I was like “Oh crud, I’ve turned into the New Age version of Donna Reed. Sheesh, that’s annoying. I’d better go eat a hot dog and some potato chips to even it out.”

    But now I’m eating pumpkin seeds instead, and thinking about meditating again.

    I am SO screwed. 😛

  3. Hehehehe, love it. There is someone I would love to share this with, if only they would read it! I’m glad you went ahead and wrote the article.

  4. Well Nicole the whole figjam thing great fun can see some bloke (a coke add builder type!) in the sunshine in Australia yelling FIGJAM and im just muttering figjam in a distracted way…. he said figjam….and then aother mutter hell yes u are one of those allright whatever it is…..really did laugh and hadto google it.. Thanks so much for this common sense grounded blog post..used to be a saying paper doesnt refuse ink…..now it is that like you say you can be a guru on the internet saying you are all things to all people and at the top of your game whilst being at the bottom of your hill but with a particulay loud fog horn type voice\ vibe going on..and a final saying we have over here (not sure if others do elsewhere) but it is…….an empty vessel makes the most noise..and just one other one and that is..those who say dont know and those who dont say know.. much love and fig\blackcurrentjams accompained by coke add builder type firemen persons!…….xxx

  5. Thanks Nicole. Very true.
    … and the acronym is very apt as well. There are a lot of ‘jammers’ out there in every walk of life. Syncronicity worked for me yesterday. These little nudges in the right direction help reinforce that all’s well

  6. hear hear!! armchair critics can give you objective feedback that can be useful but decimating someone is unacceptable!!! it takes such courage to put yourself out there, it needs to be honoured!! sx

  7. much love to your friend, may she pick herself up, dust herself off and stick it to the critics by being her ever so fabulous and creative self. may her passion override her fear and lead her to success.

  8. Hope your friend recovers from this negative experience and moves ahead, despite others opinions.
    Love and Light always

  9. Hi Nicole, My inner knowing is seeing my new path unveiling itself but I’m a little lost with the directions of what exactly it is and hoping, hoping it’s a fabulous as I feel it is. Went browsing on your site for a little guidance to ensure I follow my true path and not one written for me by others – this post popped up and think it’s got the guidance I’ve been looking for for reassurance. Deep breath and walking forward one foot in front of the other…….. Trust, faith, belief….Thank you – much love XX

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