Anna coaches student Jo Cumberbatch through her need to always feel in control, striving for perfection and learning to let go.
Feel like you need to have control over everything going on around you all the time? That no one can do it as well as you - and that everything lies on your shoulders? Ever wonder why that is? Are you a control freak?
Most of us grapple with issues of control - especially after being thrown into the chaos that having kids bring... but for some of us issues around control run much deeper than this.
Join Anna on a live coaching with Jo from Gotrovo Games as she digs deep into the beliefs and strategies that have driven Jo to feel like a self confessed #controlfreak - and how her life and business are being impacted by a need to have it all together ALWAYS.
Like this episode? Head to the ratings and reviews section in Apple Podcasts and share the love.
TUNE IN TO HEAR ABOUT
- Why most of us grapple with the issue of control
- A real-life example of how life and business can be impacted by the need to do everything yourself
- Tips on how to let go of control so that you can be more effective and efficient in your everyday
CONNECT WITH JO
Anna Jonak: [00:00:41] Welcome to Episode 14 of the Raising Her Game Podcast. Today we have one of our very own students in the hot seat for a live life coaching session with yours truly Anna Jonak and I could not be more psyched to bring her along and shake things up for you, welcoming Jo Cumberpatch. Hello!
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:00:59] Hi. Hi Anna. Hi everyone. I'm so excited.
Anna Jonak: [00:01:02] I love it. I was like 'how are you feeling' she's like 'actually now I feel excited'. Bit of Tony Robbins you said he's been influencing how you're feeling.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:01:10] Definitely choosing my words. Recognising that feeling in my stomach isn't fear it's excitement and anticipation.
Anna Jonak: [00:01:15] It's how you phrase it exactly right. God I love Tony Robbins. Anyone listening who hasn't got into Tony Robbins yet. You absolutely should. Because he changed my life too and I think he has so much to teach. Ok now Jo is the co-founder of GoTrovo Games and these beautiful ladies create games for children packed with action and adventure and they spark children's imaginations and bring your family together for tons of fun. And I can say personally I have experienced this fun myself with your treasure hunt game and oh my God we literally had my kids running, all three of them running around the house, in the garden. It's not the tidiest game I'm not going to lie. [Jo laughs] My house was turned slightly upside down but it was so much fun and my kids have the gold coins around the house and all the time it's the same thing. Can we play the treasure hunt game, can we play the treasure hunt game. So you're doing something right. [Both laugh]
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:02:05] My kids love it.
Anna Jonak: [00:02:08] So yes okay now Jo you are here today because I know, I'm going to coin you a hashtag control freak.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:02:16] Oh yes.
Anna Jonak: [00:02:17] In the nicest way possible and I would say that I've used the same term on myself and I say it lightheartedly because in all seriousness I've definitely been there and have done a lot of work on issues around control and wanting to be in control of everything and I think that this will make for a really interesting conversation discussing where you're at and also what I can bring to table based on my experiences being in the same realm and how I've managed to work through things. So I would love for you to really just dive in and tell me a little bit about how you're feeling or like what you consider to be an issue that you would like resolution around and then we'll pretty much just go from there.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:02:53] Okay so I'll just get it out there because that would be easier. So I am a control freak. I like to plan things, the route from A to B. I have spreadsheets for holiday packing. I am that kind of person. Control to me means success so if I am in control then the outcome is guaranteed it's going to be successful I'm going to achieve what I want to achieve.
Anna Jonak: [00:03:15] Can I can I just stop you just on that point. Has that always been the case.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:03:20] Yeah I mean if I go back to childhood, my parents are the most amazing people. They love me very much. They have provided for me and have always had everything that I needed. Not necessarily anything I wanted because I never got slush puppy maker, that I wanted as a kid, and I'm going to have to get that for my kids because I'm still holding onto that. But no I had everything I needed from them and a well rounded childhood but they were strict so there were rules, there were behaviours that were expected and we had to abide by those. And that's made me a nice person I think generally. But nothing is ever quite good enough. So if I came home with a B in maths it would be 'why didn't you get an A'. If I came home having done a thousand metres in swimming it was 'well why didn't you do the mile'. And I am not kidding you, when I announced I was pregnant with my oldest, my mum and dad moved up from further south in the UK and one of the reasons they moved up towards me was so that they were around when we had grandchildren. Now my now husband and I weren't even engaged at the time. So we'd gone through the process, got engaged, got married. A year later I went round and said Mum I've got the most amazing birthday present for you, she's like 'what do you mean it's June my birthday is in January' I said yes but we're expecting something to be delivered on the 17th of January. What. What. We're going to have a baby mum. And her first words were 'was it planned'. And do you know that sums up kind of. Just. Just that. That's what I got as a child, that's what I still get as an adult so I always strive to, I strive to overachieve. I'm an overachiever definitely. A type personality so it comes from childhood I know that I can see that which is good. So that gives you I think an idea.
Anna Jonak: [00:04:59] So you're saying essentially that in that moment or those moments you have from your childhood is a sense of nothing ever really being good enough.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:05:07] No I can never hit the mark and I know I'll do that again I repeat that pattern again again. Doesn't matter what target I set myself and I achieve it. I don't feel like I have achieved because I should've done more and that that's just a constant pattern in life. You know I had one baby so I had to go one better and have twins the next time. [Anna laughs] So we're not having any more because my husband knows it will be triplets cause I have to one up myself. [Both laugh].
Anna Jonak: [00:05:29] So you are acknowledging for yourself a pattern that you've developed which is, on the back of nothing ever being good enough, you never feel like you ever get to the point of feeling like you've achieved.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:05:40] No. Exactly. Yeah it's very hard for me to say, I will say I never fail. On the other hand it's weird I've got this dichotomy where failure isn't an option, failure isn't something that happens to me if I had to pull out one thing in my life that I failed in - my grade three flute when I was 13 if failed anything, but that was a failure because that was a fail mark. Nothing else in life but I haven't achieved either I've just got this weird kind of next year, next week, next year.
Anna Jonak: [00:06:07] You're constantly when. When this, I will then and then you never get to that point. [Jo agrees] So with control there tends to be, or not control, but I guess well it is, you can't reach the outcome because you have not experienced the sense of achievement. If you have not had that as something to model from or had that experience or that feedback in your childhood where parents were like 'good job, you did a great job'. You don't know how to create that for yourself, you don't know what that looks like, do you know what I mean.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:06:37] No, I really struggle and I try to do that with my kids when they do something. I try not to say 'brilliant maths mark'. I try to say 'fantastic effort and look what you got, that's great' and I'm rubbish at it because I go straight for the 'well it was 90 percent not 95'. I don't say that to them but that's what I'm thinking and I hate that. I do not want my kids to to grow up with that same sense of never getting there.
Anna Jonak: [00:06:59] But the beautiful thing that you're doing is that you are, even though your on automatic pattern, like your automatic thought process is to think 'why is it not this' because it's what you've been trained to think, is that you're able to stop yourself in that moment and deliver a different response to your children.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:07:14] I'm trying hard yes.
Anna Jonak: [00:07:15] Well you, I think you need to, again you've done it there. I am trying I'm trying. Well are you doing it or not. Are you delivering...
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:07:24] Most of the time, most of the time yes. And if I catch myself if I were to come out I catch myself and I backtrack.
Anna Jonak: [00:07:31] That's great. I think one thing you have obviously is a great awareness around it, you have an awareness around the fact that you struggle with this kind of sense of feeling accomplished or feeling that achievement which is ironic because at the very beginning of the conversation you said that if I'm in control of everything then that's where the success is. [Jo agrees] And yet you don't ever feel success so how does that work in your mind.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:07:55] Well I suppose I feel success where, I mentioned the grade three flute, where it's a mark, where there's a tangible someone tells me, ticks in a box, gives me an A, gives me a performance development review once a year at work, that feels like an achievement that will give me a boost and give me a great feeling for five minutes and then I'll be back to gosh what if my next performance review isn't as good as that one and that's one of the big struggles. I think my control freak tendencies were kind of okay before kids came along because I could follow some rules and get feedback and I'd go right I'm going to change this this and this, someone's told me that's what I need to do to get to the next level or to be successful in this or to whatever. So I'll do that and I'll follow the rules - all great. Then you get pregnant you have a child. And oh my God there's no rule book. No-one thanks you, no one tells you you're doing a great job. You constantly think you're messing them up completely. You know even when they're two weeks old is I'm not feeding them often, overfeeding them, you know I'm not reading to them enough. And then they just got older and they start talking and they get bolshy-er and everything comes in an argument or.. I just wish.. there's no manual and I wish there was.
Anna Jonak: [00:09:03] I was just going to say that. That's right that's based on your feelings of comfort because you're used to having, like you said, you're used to having order, process and getting feedback and what you're doing is that your sense of self is based on external validation. Because you are not at a point where you can go right I feel like I've achieved, right I feel that this is good, I'm happy with that. It's I would imagine, that even if you do feel a sense of oh I feel quite good about this I need to check this. I need to check in and get the feedback from other people to make sure that I'm allowed to feel good about this. [Jo agrees] It's a constant sense of external checking into how you feel and obviously that's where the problem lies is in if you don't get their feedback or you're giving feedback which is pushing you in a different direction or you don't get the feedback that you want you then feel that sense of failure or things not working because you don't have a system or a check point for yourself to go well actually, I think I'm really happy with what I've done. And this comes from the mirroring with what you would have had at home which is that nothing was ever good enough. You haven't got a standard that gives you achievement or success or completion. And what you need to work on for yourself is to find what that looks like and to create it and to get comfortable with it because until you can get to a point when you say this is what success looks like or this is a good standard for achievement and you set the bar somewhere, you're always going to miss it, you're never going to get there and you're going to as you say find yourself chasing and what you're doing right now is you're constantly chasing the next thing which means you're never actually, I don't want to say happy, but you're never just...
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:10:45] No that's a good word. That is a good word. I'm always, doesn't matter what I'm doing, I'm always thinking about the next thing. So if I've got time with my kids I have to consciously go, right forget everything else and just enjoy playing this game or walking through this forest or whatever instead of thinking about when I get back, the washing I've got to finish and put it up on the line, quickly do an email. I want to do more stuff in the moment and just more stuff that has no purpose. It isn't getting me anywhere it's just for fun just to be happy. I really struggle with that stuff until I have done everything in the house. I can't relax and play a game with the kids. And of course that moment never comes because I've got three children, a dog, two chickens. Goodness knows what else. A husband. So the house is never in a state that I can just go I'll just sit back and relax. I envy my husband. He would just go and be asleep in five minutes whereas I'll be turning everything over in my brain constantly.
Anna Jonak: [00:11:34] Well I'm assuming that you match with your husband because you'd then you'd be a good balance for each other.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:11:42] Yeah yes we are a good balance for each other.
Anna Jonak: [00:11:45] So you'd bring something, you both bring something to the table. I'm sure that you instill some drive within him to move and he equally brings you some balance.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:11:53] Yes he does definitely. We've been together 20 years so something's working. I mean it must be mustn't it. I love him dearly. He's puts up with a lot.
Anna Jonak: [00:12:01] So talk to me about how you have the awareness around here and we acknowledge the fact that you are at a point where you feel this sense of you never kind of reach a stage of feeling success or completion or whatever that word might be for you or if happiness, fulfilment, it's a constant churn. How is this impacting you in your everyday.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:12:21] So it is that not being able to be in the moment and just enjoy things. I have to consciously say right. I always like to take a photo or video of that moment so I can replay it later. But I don't want to replay it later. I want to enjoy it right. I think one of the, early on in my career I some personal development along these lines and one of the comments that came out was that Jo is one hundred percent in or she's not, she's 100 percent out and that's totally right and I am a force to be reckoned with when I am on it and want to do it and motivated I can see the end and the goal. I am absolutely the person to be around, I've got loads of energy I, or this is what people tell me I'm fun, I'm driven. We may achieve things that we don't expect to achieve. My boss paid for an all expenses trip for me and my team of two to go to Dublin because we achieved something she never thought was possible - what do you want. Asked about Dublin I'd been there and companies don't do that and they did it for us because a) I had the balls to ask and b) I'd done something they didn't expect to get done and that's, so there's a massive achievement and I don't tick that off on my list. But then when I'm not...
Anna Jonak: [00:13:28] But you did just acknowledge it.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:13:31] I did just acknowledge it yes.
Anna Jonak: [00:13:31] You actually stopped, just, you actually stopped. You actually stopped yourself. And said hold on a second.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:13:36] When I'm not 100% in, I'm gone. I'm the biggest drag
Anna Jonak: [00:13:41] and you bring down the room
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:13:42] suck the energy. I bring down the room exactly I bring down the room and I hate that side of me and I want to step out of it and unfortunately that side of me is what my family see more of because I make myself bring energy to my business and I make myself bring energy to other people around. So my husband will say to me god you've been an absolute b i t c h all morning the doorbell went and it was one of your one of the kids mums and it's like you switched. I'm like yeah because I can't show that side to her. I'm safe here I can show you that. But then if I fake it often I start to feel much happier. So if I can just put the smile on, literally put a smile on my face and my whole attitude changes. So I'm very aware of a lot of things I can do. I just yeah don't want to be 100% in or 100% out. I want to be 80 percent in or even half in and get most of the results and then be able to relax occasionally, chill.
Anna Jonak: [00:14:33] So relaxing is important but what you're saying so you're either really really on everything which is really intense and then you get so tired. So kind of like burn out. So you push yourself to burn out and then basically have a bit of a meltdown and then everybody sees that around you.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:14:53] Yes and my business partner will say, she'll say exactly that. She'll say we just go through ebbs and flows where Jo's totally on it and then she'll notice it's not quite working right, and then she'll go are you alright and like no I feel really low. I'm going to go to bed early, I'm going to get some rest, I need to get to the gym, look after myself, give me a bit of time and that might be a couple of days, it might be a couple weeks but that's the pattern and I don't want to do that bit. I don't need that high to be up here. I'd rather be down here but then the low isn't coming it's more even.
Anna Jonak: [00:15:20] So rather than peaking up and then falling down, it's about kind of maintaining a sense of consistency in the middle.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:15:27] Yes exactly.
Anna Jonak: [00:15:28] Which would come from you being able to... because you've got no, you've got, like I said you haven't got the bar at the top, you haven't got that point so you're constantly striving for it so you burn yourself out to the point of getting to it and then it's like almost like the burn now is almost like the symbol of achievement.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:15:44] Yes yes the more tired I am the...
Anna Jonak: [00:15:46] the more you've worked.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:15:47] The harder I've worked. Yeah yeah.
Anna Jonak: [00:15:48] And the more you kind of get that sense of fulfilment in some sense or another that you've done what you should be doing.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:15:54] Yeah there probably is a bit of a yeah it's an interesting sort of a badge of honour that I'm more tired than my husband. I'm you know I'm the one that's picked up all the stuff after the kids. Well actually it could have wait, who cares, if we're tired sit down, go to bed. Yeah I probably do wear that, a bit of a martyr at times, especially at home, less so in the business.
Anna Jonak: [00:16:10] I was just going to say the M word [Jo laughs] the M word. Yes yeah well I can totally say that I am currently staring in a mirror of where I've been. [both laugh] I listened to it and I'm like yeah yeah I do that and I do some of these things still completely and I remember one of my first coaching exercises that I did was around exactly the same thing like was about my beliefs and it was about the same thing around standards and wanting to achieve and I have exactly the same thing I used to get B why don't you get A, like this sense of kind of like strive for perfection to get to that next level. Constantly driving, constantly and I still do have tendency for burn out. I will hold my hand up to that and that's something that I have to actively work on regularly to find a balance and you know implement exercise and kind of building routines so it becomes more every day for me. So I definitely appreciate where you're coming from and I think the biggest thing for you is definitely coming to a realisation that at the end of the day it comes down to the belief that you have around you not being good enough or not ever being able to reach it, never getting there. And it's about you having to try and re-frame that to a point where, you whether you feel it initially is a realisation that you are enough or that something is enough and sort of setting a standard around when you can kind of go ok, you know you have a goal, you have an end goal you reach here and that becomes the satisfaction and you practice leaning into that. Like I think that you're expecting like magic you know I'm suddenly going to have it and I'm suddenly gonna be able to just switch it on I've got the answer. Whereas it's not it's a constant battle for you to change the strategy and to change the way that you respond to it and for you to, as you have you've got the realisation, but it's about you being able to at that point like you did just a minute ago stop and say okay I acknowledge it and then spend some time in that space and the more that you repeat that behaviour of actually look at all that I've achieved. Holy crap how amazing am I. Like I do exercises here where I'll stop, and I have to sometimes, because if we do we move really quickly and part of that is me that driven wanting to keep going. But I literally what we'd looked at what we'd achieved in the last six months and it was just like had to stop and take that moment and take stock and then go right ok do you know what, the next two weeks I'm pulling the pin. I'm just having some time off I'm going to not work at night I'm not going to do this I'm not going to because this is amazing and I need to reward that like you need to learn to reward yourself in those moments so that they become more frequent that you are acknowledging that and then you're creating a positive feeling on the back of it.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:19:01] Yes absolutely.
Anna Jonak: [00:19:02] So is there something just for you because I think when you're with the kids and I say this just because sometimes you know you're giving yourself that you know if you've been in a business and then you come to kids and you're trying to play games with them you know kids can argue and they can be all sorts of other tension and things going on. So it's not always the most relaxing to be like okay now my downtime is spending time with the kids because whilst that can be amazing it's not always the peace and the kind of you time that you need. So what are you doing for you that you can have that time and those moments to just you know sit in a space and take stock of where you're at.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:19:41] Yeah it's interesting. I think actually life's getting more of a balance as the kids get older. The twins are almost seven now and Alex is nine and a half. So yeah I can leave them watching a movie downstairs under strict instructions not to come disturb Mummy and I should get away with that right now and then we'll go out and go for a long walk this afternoon. But I will come back tonight feeling exhausted and go right Mike they're your kids to put to bed and actually really what I'd done today I've had a nice chat with you, this is stirring up emotions but actually it is a nice chat it's not stressful I'm not working hard I'm actually doing some personal development for myself so that's awesome, tick in the box something to me today and then I go for a walk round the woods later with the boys, my brother and that would be really nice and fun and yet I'll still feel exhausted at the end of the day, I won't recognise I've had quite a nice, an easy day, a nice day. Done things that I enjoyed that I wanted to do and that's part of the problem I don't see when I've had an easy day I always feel like I'm on that treadmill. The one thing I do for me is the gym. So I do like to go to the gym, bit of a nutter for that. So I'd go at half six in the morning and everyone says to me how do you get out of bed at six to go to the gym at six thirty. I'm like it's really easy. My husband gets the kids up and does breakfast so I get an hour and a quarter completely myself and if I go to the gym all I do is pretend to do Pilates by lying on my side on the mat. No one else knows. All good. But when I get there I tend to do a lot more than that and I feel good and I come back ready to start the day. So I have that for myself. But I probably need to re-look at some just going window shopping or meeting up with friends not because I'm meeting up to entertain the kids but just to have a cup of coffee or glass of wine. I used to do more of that stuff but I also want to be my kids. I don't want to be away for a week in Spain with my husband and leave the kids with the grandparents like that's not what I want in my life right now I'd rather take the kids with me. So it's a bit of balance but I need to really enjoy it when I'm with them and not always feel like I'm on that next task round the corner.
Anna Jonak: [00:21:39] Well that's what I was going to come back to you with the whole martyr word again because when you're saying that you've had this conversation in the morning you're going for a walk in the park but you still be exhausted and it's still like I have had a hard day.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:21:50] Yes exactly and I haven't.
Anna Jonak: [00:21:53] So where does that come from though, on the easy days on the easier days. Is it because you're switched on all the time even on the off days you are unable to...
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:22:03] Yeah it's partly because I'm switched on all the time so I'll still be running through things in my head that need to be done and one of the things I've done really consciously since starting with The Elevatory is to re-frame that so I only allow so much into my head. So I'll write to-do lists the beginning of the day and I'll only put five things on it instead of having A4 pages of to-do which means I never feel I can achieve. I have the five key things I'll try, I'm not doing so well with this, I'll try and start with the big hairy scary one to get that done because then there's already a sense of achievement and you're doing it when you're fresh and so on. I do find that hard but I'm doing it more often. And then I can tick those things off and sometimes I'll add extra stuff on if it's going well sometimes I won't get through the five things but I'm getting better at that. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with what I'm saying here.
Anna Jonak: [00:22:45] That's ok. But you are saying that you feel a sense of achievement or you're, it sounds like you are slowly beginning to experience these moments maybe you're not acknowledging them to the degree yet but even just like you know in your expression I feel this sense of achievement by ticking this off or I'm trying to lower the bar and I'm going to try and do a few things. And that sets the pace for the day.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:23:08] That's literally lower the bar you're right I am. That is what I'm doing by only saying I achieve these five things and by doing that I allow space in my day for the unexpected to come in a customer order comes in or my business partner rings can I just do this or what about that and I was so you struggle with anyone changing my plan. So if I've got my A4 list of stuff to do and my business partner rings and says oh just had a chat with so and so, can we do this and can we talk through and brainstorm this, I'd be like, no because it's not on my list and that's no good is it because actually what's important to time is what it is to establish whether what she needs is what's important business and then go with that route. If that's what's needed I'm getting a little bit better at that. I think that makes me more approachable from her point of view she'll be listening to this so she'll be quick to tell me if I'm not doing this right thing. But things are a bit easier there but I still struggle with really struggle with that and it translates into everything. So if we've got a plan for the day to go out and we're 15 minutes late leaving that is really hard.
Anna Jonak: [00:24:08] What does that mean to you that if your day is interrupted or you leave late or things aren't going to plan.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:24:15] That I'm not going to achieve what I set out to achieve that day even achieving that day is having fun with the kids in the park we're 15 minutes late so my kids they are definitely going to grow up with a time issue because we do not arrive late for anything. We arrive early and if we're late I'm so sorry I'm texting to let you know we're late but I can't stand it, I can't, I cannot be late. Hence why I messaged you this morning is that I'm ready whenever you are you know 45 minutes before we'd agree to meet. I mean how ridiculous is that, just in case you were ready.
Anna Jonak: [00:24:43] But it gives you a sense of what.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:24:48] Control back to control. If things are going to go wrong if today is going to go badly or the piece of work goes badly I want it to be all on me, I don't want to be looking anyone else to blame but I don't blame anyone else so I always take it on my shoulders.
Anna Jonak: [00:25:03] For what reason. What do you get out of that.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:25:07] Martyr I don't know what do I get out of it. I was always taught as a kid to solve my own problems. My parents were hugely supportive but they didn't do things for me they didn't solve things for me. They would discuss it through and help me try and work out what the next steps to take forward but that it would be on me to resolve the issue. In fact probably what I end up doing was not telling them stuff as I got into my teens because I didn't think they understood and didn't think they were going to help. I do mean, it sounds awful because they were lovely. They are awesome parents.
Anna Jonak: [00:25:43] Just because you say something slightly negative doesn't make it a reflection of your childhood or your parenting and you may have had an idyllic childhood as as you describe from many factors but the fact of the matter is you still need to acknowledge that there were things and behaviours that they would have instilled within you that aren't necessarily helpful for you in your everyday. And I think the big thing first of all is for you to acknowledge that they're not perfect they're not, but that's okay.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:26:17] I tell you what I'm getting so upset right now. That's obviously touched on something but I don't quite know what.
Anna Jonak: [00:26:22] That's okay.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:26:22] I'm terrified of letting my kids down not giving them the resilience that they need to get through life so I'm trying to do the opposite of the stuff that I feel wasn't right in my childhood, it didn't do me right by my childhood but it's so impossible. There isn't, I can't protect them from everything they've got to get hurt and go to learn themselves. I just want to wrap them up in bubble wrap and never let them experience how tough this world is, it just feels like a fight all the time.
Anna Jonak: [00:26:55] But that's because that's how it felt for you. I'm not sure that everybody would describe that. And I think that your starting place here is that your childhood is not as idyllic as you want to believe and you need to accept that some things weren't great and I'm not asking you to say that it was you know, I'm not especially if you've done this leadership course with me, you know that this isn't about blame and saying oh you did this at all, it's about you know our parents did the best they could with the resources they had and for the most part they are in a tribal cycle wherefore they would have been subjected to certain things in their own upbringing which is why they behave the way they do. Very much like the way that you're now behaving as a result of your experiences with your own parents. But I think your starting point for you to kind of let go of some of this is really to acknowledge that the words that you used around life being so hard and being a fight because not everybody will see the world that way. That's the way that you see the world and you need to acknowledge where that's come from.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:28:04] I've been reading Get Rich Lucky Bitch which you recommended which is awesome and I didn't think I had that many money issues but I have a lot, but what I realised when I started reading, I was watching my kids summer swimming lessons but not watching I was going to read the book and I was hiding the book because I didn't want anyone to see what I was reading because I thought they'd make judgements about who I was. But what that book has bought up and I think this links into what we were just saying is that for me I felt life's hard. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm always saving for a rainy day because my husband could lose his job tomorrow, my business could go wrong tomorrow, something catastrophic could happen. And that's very much my upbringing. Every penny got saved and once it was saved for a rainy day it would never be spent again because this rainy day we're in now is not the rainy day. Just keep it locked away and that's nuts I've got to start enjoying what little cash I have and what's going to come with my amazing business in the next couple of years. But it is that really has put a light bulb on me that I do think life is hard. I really do think that the other shoe is going to drop any second and I'm always preparing for that. My husband always talked about our nuclear war plan.
Anna Jonak: [00:29:19] I was just going to say something about that, have you got that prepared. [both laugh]
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:29:23] Yeah we have got the chickens in the garden and we've got the dog. I'm not that bothered about a nuclear war plan but he talks about that and that is kind of what would happen if I let the anxiety get to me I will start to think what happens if society starts to crumble and you can't get food and we haven't got electric and how what. Yeah yeah it just odd and I catch myself doing that I must stop. I do stop that because it's ridiculous utterly ridiculous. But my dad does that. My dad will talk about when your mortgage is X and what happens when we're going towards a world wide dip in the economy and the interest rates will shoot back up to 15 percent, well they haven't been 15 percent since the 90s when you went through that horror. If they do get 15 percent. Well we'll deal with it because so will equity anyway. What I'm saying shut-up Jo because this is ridiculous utterly ridiculous stop me now.
Anna Jonak: [00:30:12] What you're doing now is that thing that you do, is a sense of foreboding joy because what you do is you miss out on joy by worrying about the worst case scenario, all the time. So everything is focused around being in control so that the worst case scenario doesn't happen but you miss the moments where you actually enjoying the moment.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:30:33] Yes.
Anna Jonak: [00:30:35] And the worst case scenario is very, in most cases, it's that what if. Is it actually ever going to happen. Is your day really going to be that terrible. Is a nuclear war going to happen [both laugh] or is this going to happen. Whatever it looks like but you get stuck in it. And I think it comes with the territory of being in control is the what if I can plan for every single eventuality I have everything organised then it can't happen. And as you said what you're doing is protecting your children from the tough side of things that you had in a way. And yet what are they getting as a result. What is your behaviour giving them.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:31:19] Giving them exactly the same worries and anxieties that I've got potentially. Yes and also not resilience no ability to think for themselves I'm doing it for them. I'm trying to protect them and lead them in a certain direction constantly away from danger towards, I don't know towards what, is not always fun. It's just away from danger. That's the only thing I care about.
Anna Jonak: [00:31:40] So what did you feel that was dangerous for you then. What was the danger or your version of danger for you as a child. Disappointment.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:31:51] My dad was very ill. Still struggles. My dad was very ill so my childhood we spent a lot of time in hospital having quite major operations at least once a year and when I'd visit him he'd be in one of these prefabricated buildings surrounded by men that were a lot lot older and I'd go in each day and one of them would have died literally they'd just been disappearing and that was terrifying. He was a young man compared with them. But it was serious operation serious recovery. And so our house was very much when Dad was recovering or ill and leading up to an operation you know tiptoe tiptoe quietly don't upset your dad. Don't make work for your mum. You know this is really serious. And I guess I just picked up very early on that people die and that life can change so dramatically. And I worry constantly what my kids would do without me or do without their dad. That's ridiculous because we're healthy we're fine. We can't control crossing the road we just got to cross the road and hope, not even hope, knowing it will be all right because it will be. But yes my childhood was all about impressing my dad.
Anna Jonak: [00:32:58] How old were you.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:33:00] When my dad was going through this, most of it was from very early babyhood throught to about 12 was when the operations kind of died down a bit.
Anna Jonak: [00:33:10] So that voice where you just got sad, was your little girl running your strategy. Okay. And what we do is things happen in our childhood and we react to try and feel safe and try and feel protected or to try and just not feel. If it feels so horrible to feel or to worry and what we do is we start to create these strategies in our childhood to protect ourselves and they become so ingrained so like you stop to feel disappointment, like you don't feel disappointment, you don't achieve. You've had a kind of barrier and all of that by trying to control everything. This fear of wanting to protect everyone is you as a little person. This is all you wanted to do. You wanna see that your dad's going to be healthy, you really want those feelings of success and all those things but what you do is you create strategies to cope and you cope with the scenario and what you're doing is just still coping but you're still coping as a seven or eight year old or nine year old that's who you are right now and that's okay. It's okay to be sad as the little girl and this comes back to is for you to acknowledge that things aren't perfect, feel the pain it's okay, it happens you got through it, you are where you are now but the longer you carry around and deny it the more it's going to keep bubbling up and keep coming back to bite you in the butt because you're not focused, you're not seeing it. And I think that something you said earlier on about there's a concern around what people think of you or you're being judged. And I don't know comes back to not getting the grade or not being good enough, but this sense of just not being you, being able to be you to be able to be sad, to be able to, see what I mean.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:35:06] Oh you're so good at this. Yeah I'm not me. I'm trying to be whoever I need to be with that particular group of people. So I'd very much put a mask on. I was the boring one at school had nothing interesting to say and yeah those bi*chy friends you get when you're in a group of three. I was always the last one to be picked all that stuff so that that hangs through to now and friendships I make. I've got some amazing friends but I've got a very small circle of people that really know me and know all the good stuff and all the bad stuff and really who will see me when I'm feeling down who I will go to and show me the real me. And there aren't that many of them and then I've got the circle of friends. I have a great laugh with, but the minute I'm not able to be the 100 percent in person, I will withdraw from that circle until I'm able to be the person so they don't see, they don't accept me warts and all, they don't have the chance to accept me warts and all because I don't let them see it. So I need a tissue. I've got no tissues. You're so good at this. Oh.
Anna Jonak: [00:36:08] That's a big insight.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:36:11] That's a huge insight because I try and hide myself and my kids as well and I shouldn't.
Anna Jonak: [00:36:19] You don't allow people to love you for you.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:36:24] No I need to on the occasions what I have just said to me is that I'm really grumpy I just need to cuddle, only one of my boys is a cuddler, but he will give me a cuddle and a squeeze. And it's the best medicine but when I've got to be in a pretty bad way before I say that I don't want them to see mummy sad, I don't want them to see that side of me.
Anna Jonak: [00:36:47] But again that's part of being human. What you're doing is you're trying to control the perception that people have of you which is therefore a false projection of who you actually are. You're not allowing yourself to be authentically you, which is the s*** days, the crying, the bad days, you know being the b**ch, the saying I can't cope it's hard. You know I haven't got this or oh my god I fu**ing rock I just really knocked this out the park like you're not. You kind of...
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:37:20] I can't do either I just hide in the middle I can't say I've done something amazing.
Anna Jonak: [00:37:21] That's it, you sit in the middle but you have these highs and lows because you're sitting in the middle because you don't allow yourself to be either of those things. You don't allow the feelings of just going okay, it's not good versus you know you're not giving space to those emotions you're just trying to turn them off or not acknowledge them.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:37:41] Shut them off. That's what I try to do. I try to stop them and I'll use the gym to try and even them out.
Anna Jonak: [00:37:48] They're not going to go away. That's what I'm saying, you get the lesson again and again until you acknowledge it. Those feelings are going to keep coming back. It's like you turn off the disappointment, you turn off the fact that you're just going to keep going, I am not going to feel tired, I'm not going to feel anything I'm going to keep going and then you miss all the lessons that you're being presented with. Which are slow down, be you, let people see you, everything wasn't perfect. You know some stuff sucked when I was younger. But man I've been on a ride, what can I bring into now.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:38:27] Yes I totally get it totally can see it. These are ingrained patterns that are going to you're going to need to see now I want a system Anna. I want you to give me a system [both laugh] A.B.C. But I think all the stuff I've been doing over the last few months with you, through you, taking recommendations for various books and bits I think that's all massively helping. So I guess my goal is just to keep doing something every day keep myself honest but not set myself up for a ridiculous failure by saying I'm going to read a book every day or I'm going to cure this I'm never going to cure it, these habits are going to keep coming back.
Anna Jonak: [00:39:11] But it's not about curing it's about changing. And I think first of all like I said it's the acknowledgement and I think there's some things you still need to acknowledge and actually because your idyllic childhood it was not quite that, is to be okay with that and to actually just be honest about things in yourself and those and give some of this stuff space and the more that you can just be uncomfortable, because you need to be uncomfortable, because you don't feel you're not feeling you're stopping everything from going either way. You need to feel the tears like literally like snot it out everywhere like go for it, really just feel it. Feel that and I think the more that you can turn on feeling and just kind of being you and being able to expose yourself and you're going have to be vulnerable and this is again coming back to self leadership. It's about being vulnerable and you don't allow that. Everything is designed not to feel, not to be vulnerable, to keep it together and it's in your vulnerability which is where you have the release, to see that people are going to love you if you don't get the frigging A, that people are going to love you when your snotty and you know crying everywhere and when you're having a bad day and you know you speak to your friends the friends that don't really know, you know what you probably project the most perfect version of yourself to them. They probably feel I can't keep up because they don't see you. You don't let them see you and I swear that you would have a better relationship with them when you are able to show them the s**t.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:40:50] Yeah no I can see that and probably that annoying school mum in the playground. To some people that seem to do it every thing in my life is perfect.
Anna Jonak: [00:40:57] We hate those people [laughing]
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:41:01] Yeah I know. I don't want to be hated. Oh no I've got another problem now I have got to go cry in the playground. [both laughing] Oh yeah I yes I can see that. Definitely. I need to let the emotions play out and I so often bury them and then just let them come at night and I went to sleep or tried to go to sleep and I'll be crying under my pillow and then I'd be frustrated. My husband's totally oblivious because he's already snoring which makes me cry more because he snores really badly. But how would he know because I've hidden it all day from him and I've missed the opportunity to share it with him who is obviously the person who knows me the best. But I've got plenty of friends I could just turn up on the doorstep and cry I've done that before actually, cut the ties with the very close friends. But there's other good friends that could be in better friends. I just let the real me show through rather than a super perfect human being that I'm not. But I project.
Anna Jonak: [00:41:58] And think about what you show your children in the same places that you show and this is what I talk about from a role model perspective is, if your children can see their parents unperfect, you give them permission not to be perfect. You give them permission to it's okay to for things not to be great all the time because otherwise you're creating a perfect view of life. You know you're a good role model and if you've got it all together all the time and everything's great. That's how they're going to feel that they have to feel this time. And where are you giving them space for them to go. I can't feel like crap, how do I deal with it should not have to mirror back remember it's a mirror. You were not able to feel certain things because you weren't mirrored them. You haven't seen them so the best thing you can do is kind of let it out because you're gonna show them the different things that come, the good the bad the ugly.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:42:48] Yeah yeah I agree.
Anna Jonak: [00:42:51] And also on the flip-side this non perfect like amazing human that they miss out on because you're trying to hold it together.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:43:00] Yes yeah I've been much more relaxed. I'm not trying to constantly hold myself in to project the best version of myself as I see it to be it my family or friends be it whoever I come across really.
Anna Jonak: [00:43:17] Could you imagine like I can I just feel like the relaxing of the shoulders and the release of just not having to be something that you're not and actually just accepting yourself for who you are.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:43:31] Yeah.
Anna Jonak: [00:43:34] Which is pretty awesome by the way.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:43:36] Yeh it is. I'm ok. I'm alright. I can be awesome. Definitely. I like that side of myself but I'm happy to be a little bit less awesome if I can just be a little less rubbish the rest of the time. [both laugh]
Anna Jonak: [00:43:51] Well I think you're awesome. I think that from messages from personal experience, you've a view in a community before we've had the privilege of being able to work with you a bit more closely in the mastermind is that there is definitely an energy to you and the more people that get to see that, but in all of its glory, I think that you would be able to impact people in a really positive way by just being able to be you.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:44:18] Thank you. That's external validation so I'm happy I can take that. [both laugh]
Anna Jonak: [00:44:24] I'll take that. But how did it feel. What do you feel outside of what other people like outside of what I am saying to you right now. How do you feel based on the conversation that we've had.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:44:37] I feel it has been quite a few a-ha moments in there that I want to listen back to this and just jot it down so I can try and work out how to deal with it. But I'm desperate to go downstairs and give my kids a hug and just go and do something silly with them which I don't do very often which would be really nice to do. I feel lighter, I feel physically lighter and just really grateful that thank you for this time and thank you for everything in the last few months because you and Flori brought back joy to my business and to working on my business not just in it what I was doing before. And I'm so excited about the future and be able to work on myself and my business at the same time. Well yeah no way I'm ever going back to what I used to do before. This is it. This business is going to be a massive success and I am going to be a massive success because I'm going to be happy and going to be in the moment and going to show people who I am and I'm going to thank my parents, not to their face but in my head, I'm going to thank them for my imperfect childhood and keep the good stuff. And let go of some of the stuff that actually isn't what I think I need to take forward for my kids. Thank you.
Anna Jonak: [00:45:49] That sounds pretty awesome. What are an awesome little summary at the end. Now I think it's perfect what you said in that spend some time as you would have seen with the Denise Duffield Thomas stuff sometimes is about you know almost writing a letter, writing it down being honest getting it out saying thank you for this and you know thank you for the not so good stuff. And certainly one thing I would say one tip for you on that is to appreciate the context with which all of the stuff that wasn't so good came from, because I would imagine that at the core of it there was a positive intention. And for the most part there's always a positive intention where our parents are trying to give us better or help us in a way that they didn't get everything else and it's without the awareness that we have and they would have had at the time to see where you know the impact that it might have had. And I can say that from my dad and certainly with his view on things he came from a very poor background and really didn't see a lot of success and so he was very driven to you know and I got a lot of the same thing. Validation and love came from all of those, doing well and you can sit there and look at it and be really resentful or kind of go it sucked but the good qualities I've got out of it are this and they're not so good things I'm going to leave behind and and you know be thankful for what have you. But I think it's fantastic I think for you. Definitely spend some time and leave it out. But I'm very excited to see you embracing you and what that means for everybody around you.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:47:35] Yes yes my marriage might last bit longer if I relax a bit. [laughing]
Anna Jonak: [00:47:41] Well you seem relaxed. It's really interesting when you kind of go through coaching like this and you see someone at the beginning to see someone at the end like your whole demeanor is just like ahh.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:47:52] All good, relaxed because I'm in bed. So because I'm hiding from the kids so I might just put the laptop down and have a snooze for half an hour then go and do something silly with them.
Anna Jonak: [00:48:01] I think you're going to run downstairs. I think you are.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:48:04] I'm going to run downstairs and snog them all. They won't know what's happened.
Anna Jonak: [00:48:08] Well they're going to, they're going to see you. That's what's going to happen is gonna be the moment that you walk out of that room and you shut the door or you open the door to that is that you taking your step towards the you you're going to be, the adult you, that embraces all of you. And you say goodbye to the seven or eight year old that was scared and was coping and you acknowledge you know the stuff that she went through and you love her but you don't let her drive. She's not driving your bus.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:48:43] No she's not.
Anna Jonak: [00:48:45] She served a purpose which is great and she did the best but now it's time for you as a grown up to think about what's ahead.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:48:56] Excellent bring it. Start right now.
Anna Jonak: [00:48:57] Let's go. So I think we're going to wrap it up. I feel that this is a good point with which to kind of leave. I think that you, one thing I do want to acknowledge is that you're still going to have tendencies and habits. You're still going to go into control mode you've already tried to ABC what I do the next few days. [both laugh]. These habits are going to be there but the beauty is you do have the awareness and I think that with the awareness around if you can kind of keep coming back to let's give the seven year old you a name.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:49:36] I can only think of the name my dad used to call me as a kid and it's such a wrong name as an adult they used to call me Fanny Ickle [Anna laughs] stupidest name, can't call her that. I can't think of anything else apart from that. [both laugh]
Anna Jonak: [00:49:46] Let's think of the old chapter, give it an old chapter name. What was the old chapter that you've been stuck in.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:49:57] Fear of the future I guess disaster planning.
Anna Jonak: [00:50:01] Ok so a fear so disaster planning, fear of the future. Okay and what's a new chapter that you're stepping into. When you open that door and you will downstairs.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:50:09] Anything's possible.
Anna Jonak: [00:50:13] Okay so what I want you to do is to start to anchor these like be able to see the difference between them. I'm in fear. I mean the old chapter time I'm in fear. This is not who I want to be. This is not where I'm going. I'm stepping into anything's possible and I'm going to put that fake smile on and I'm going to go out and I'm going to do all these things and what you're going to find is that this is where you're going to have to use your awareness to keep catching yourself to move yourself from fear into anything's possible and constantly have this conversation to drag your butt into the new space and that's where the neuro programming will happen you know the less that you frequent fear and the more that you're constantly going to the place of anything's possible in some of these patterns and these strategies will slowly die off and that's what I want you to get to. It's not about curing it's about change and you know you are in the control of that. So one thing you can be in control of in this is you can step in to control all you want is when you have the awareness is make the choice of what you're going to do. So use your control for good in that respect as soon as you have the awareness drive your control into anything's possible.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:51:17] I can do that. I can do the excellent. [both laugh]
Anna Jonak: [00:51:21] Yes I could do something with my control. It's a super power for control for good. Anything's possible. Okay now I would love for you to give us an update. How you go over the next few days. So keep me posted and you will certainly get a recording of this as soon as I can get it to you so that you can re-listen to it and be in the moment and take those lessons again and again. What you're going to find is that over the next day or so that new things will come up because you've opened a bit of a flood gate because you're gonna have like shifted a bit thinking, you've got some new insights and you're just going to start seeing a few new things coming to you. And all I can say is in this moment again is embrace it and be okay with the uncomfortable. Because it's all about the path to change you're taking the steps toward change you in the new chapter. So it's going to feel different but this is where the beauty is because this is where everything is possible.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:52:22] Absolutely and I know because of how much has changed the last few months that this is just another step towards being me and that would be awesome to be me and not to be scared and showing good, bad and the ugly. So here I am good, bad and ugly going forward.
Anna Jonak: [00:52:38] Yes I'm perfectly imperfect and we love it and you know what, in fact, this is the most beautiful quote that which is totally anonymous which I'd love to share with you that I have - something will grow from all you're going through and it will be you. How perfect.
Jo Cumberpatch: [00:52:55] Yes that is that's awesome.
Anna Jonak: [00:52:58] You are growing okay. I'm going to let you enjoy this being in your emotion and be okay with it. And as you do that you're giving everybody permission to be brave as well. And I think that everybody is going to learn a lot from your session today and be very grateful for you being vulnerable and being open and being you in every way, the good the bad and the ugly okay. And I'm going to wrap up and I will continue to talk to you after I just leave our listeners with their remembering to be brave in your business.
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