Go within for Business Success – Yasmin de Giorgio
I’m going to start by telling you a quick story of when I was 13 years old and I went to an all girls boarding school, best preparation for prison they say. One Sunday we were sitting in our all girls common room and we were watching Armageddon, which is one of the saddest films you’ll ever see.
We got to the end of the film and everyone was crying, some of the girls were sobbing some just had quiet tears rolling down their face, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, except for one.. And that was me. I just couldn’t cry, I wanted to cry but I just couldn’t cry. I don’t really know why but that moment really stuck in my memory. It wasn’t until many years later, where I started to unpack that and understand why that was and I actually had to go and invest quite a lot of time and money into learning how to feel my own emotions. Learning how to feel is crucial for actually understanding who we are.
We started today with the question : What do we really want? Well going within is the first step we need to take to answering that question. And the thing is, emotions are messy. There is no map for the inner world. This is not one plus one equals two. This is a whole inner landscape that is not quite chartered territory yet.
The main message that I want to share with you today is that learning how to feel is crucial for our success, our inner success and so to our outer success. Because I believe business is not about our ability to make money, our business is all about our ability to inspire.First of all we have to inspire ourselves, yes it can be lonely, we have to put in so much work, dedication.
We have to inspire ourselves to undertake, projects which have quite a low chance of failure, very often. And also we need to inspire others to come work for our companies and also put in a lot of hard work and dedication and most importantly, we have to inspire our customers to come and buy our products and services and be so enthusiastic about it that they share that with others and the things is inspiration doesn’t come from our minds. Inspiration comes from our hearts, feeling very connected to something, feeling that passion in the core of our being and sharing that out into the world.
I believe through my own experience, that our life, our outer life is a reflection of our inner environment that we have created. It’s just like a laptop or computer, what you see on the screen is not coming from the screen, it’s coming from the hard drive of the computer. Whatever is on that hard drive that is what is going to be reflected on the screen and it’s the same with us, whatever we have in our hard drive that is going to be reflected onto the screen of our lives. So, the question is, what sort of harddrive do we want to create? What kind of people do we want to be? Because that is the kind of business that we are going to create.
Creating a profitable business is good, creating a profitable business that also helps you grow as a person is better. Creating a profitable business that helps yourself but also helps others, that is the best. In my own quest, to learn how to feel and go within which started about 8 or 9 years ago, I’ve had so many different challenges and lessons that I had to learn along the way. One of the main things and that’s why I started with this story is that I had to learn how to feel and what I see is that very often our emotions are actually our biggest stumbling block to success.
Very often, life throws challenges at us, we have these bumps and bruises that we get along the way and we have to learn how to process those and see ourselves so that we don’t take actions from that resistance or that fear. Just a little example, if you’re feeling belittled by a colleague at work, we can hide from that because no one wants to feel the discomfort of feeling belittled.But if we do, we are either going to hide in our boardroom meeting, we are going to overcompensate and we are going to try to bully our way through. Neither of those are our true self and neither of those are going to help us bring our whole hearted nature into what we are doing.
One of the key lessons that I had to learn on my journey was that we are nothing. It’s probably not what you were expecting to hear from an empowering talk, but honestly we are nothing was something that really helped me find my fulfillment. And first I started learning about this on a trip to Bali, if anyone here has been to Bali, you would know that the Balnese are really humble people. They have nothing, they don’t have extra money, they don’t have cars, they live a very simple life, yet they are so happy because they are very connected to themselves and nature and they serve, they don’t keep their ego in front, they keep their egos at the back. And in fact when i first got there, I was really uncomfortable, because they want to help you so much that it made me feel awkward, they had no money and they wanted to buy me food. Everywhere I went they wanted to carry my bag, but I had to learn that surrendering to receiving their help was a big lesson for me in humility.
It’s our ego which stops us feeling our own emotions and it makes us want to uphold an identity that is not really us. In that example where we feel belittled and we don’t want to feel that we create an artificial character that doesn’t feel that and we uphold that identity. But the reality is that our real self with all of our faults, tears and the mess that we can sometimes be, that is more beautiful than this character that we are trying to uphold.
A friend of mine, a few weeks ago was struggling a bit for inspiration. She was in a bad mood and she was stuck and she couldn’t quite find her way out and I went over to visit her and after giving her a lot of advice and all of this she didn’t want to hear any of it because she was very stuck in her negative emotions, so I went to the bathroom and I grabbed a mirror off her bathroom wall and I handed it to her and I said just have a look at the person in the mirror and of course she didn’t want to, she gave me every excuse “this is not going to work” “ how is this going to help”. Someone asked a question about what we see when we look into the mirror, well very often we don’t want to see the reality of who we are. But I managed to persuade her. I said okay I’m going to leave the room for 10 minutes and you can be on your own with this mirror and when I come back tell me what you saw. Sure enough, when I came back, I found her looking in the mirror, still slightly grudgingly but still looking. I said what did you see? And she said, I saw someone that is worth loving. Through the pain and through the faults, if we do take a chance to go within and to see ourselves truly, we will realise that we are worthy of love and its from that space that we will create business that are going to serve others and touch others hearts.
We are nothing helped me realise that nothing on the outside defines my success. Not my job, not my relationship, not my body, not my clothes but also not making that sale,not landing that client, not nailing that negotiation, none of these things really define who we are, truly.
My teacher / mentor always says that when you are ready with nothing something always will come and actually contredicterally, after we are nothing we also need to realise that we are something, because playing small and undervaluing ourselves is actually just as bad as thinking we are god’s gift to this earth because it also block us from the reality of who we are and embodying that whole hearted nature tapping into that resource of all that we really are.
A going within journey transcends both we are nothing and we are something and I say this as a product of my own journey. I had so many challenges in the past 9 years, you can say that you want to embody all of these things but doing it and following through is a whole other story. One of the things that challenges me most was the financial pressure of starting a business and having bills to pay and employees to support. It got to the point where that fear of failure was overpowering me and crippling me, going within is the tool that i used, we are nothing was what i used to stare in the face and say okay if I go bankrupt, can I wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror and still accept and love that person and I believe this is what we need to do because otherwise we are going to hideaway from that Yasmine that went bankrupt, i don’t want to be that Yasmin and I am going to act in my daily life out a fear of being that Yasmin. Whereas if I look at that Yasmin and say, you know what, I can be bankrupt and then wake up the next day and get on with my life and still love and accept myself. I had many moments where I was let down by people that I cared about, people that I invested in and again going within myself and we are nothing was my saviour to navigate these challenges. It is so easy to become cynical and to lose trust in a world that doesn’t always live up to the trust that we place in it. But I had to realise that I had to be humble and forgive and realise that what other people do and their choices is not a reflection on who I am and my self worth shouldn’t come from that either. I had many moments where I wanted to run away, as am sure many people here have.
Business can be a lonely road, but again the only fulfillment that no one can take away from us is the inner fulfillment. One of my favourite quotes is ‘ To face the multiple crises that confront the world not only must everything we do change but so must each and everyone of us from the inside’. This quote was written with the environmental crises in mind and its beautiful for that but it’s also true for our own personal crises, any crises that we face it’s not a question of an outside solution, it’s all about how can we step in to a greater level of potential, how can we transform to raise and meet that crises.
Going within is to connect to our own essence and I do truly believe that this is the key to business success because it helps us ride those challenges, it helps us in those lonely moments, it gives us the stamina when things get hard and most importantly, we need to create from a place of inspiration, create from our heart, not from a fear or a need to compete or a need to get status and money to define who we are.
I truly believe that if we create businesses from that place it will be a truly incredible world that we live in. Just looking at all the faces, I try to imagine all the different projects that everyone here is working on and how each of you going within your own journey can take what you are doing to the next level.
Going within is not easy that’s for sure and it’s also not always profitable over the short term. The short cuts are easy definitely, but for me success is all about the long term and we are women, we know that a baby isn’t created in a day, a child isn’t raised in a month. We are designed for the long term. And in fact, boardrooms all over the world are seeing the long term impact / thinking of women in the boardroom.
An investment in yourself is the only investment with a guaranteed return. If we do invest in ourselves, we are going to create businesses that heal ourselves, heal each other and also heal the planet.
Before I conclude, I’m just going to ask you all to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, you might want to sit with your spine straight that helps. Take a few deep breaths into your belly and just notice how good it feels to breathe. Fell yourself sitting on your seat, relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, feel the boundaries of your own body. This is the space, our inner space that is always there. It is a space of infinite resources and infinite inspiration and it is a space that we can come to whenever we want.
I’m going to just ask you now to think of one thing that you can do in your life that’s going to help you go within, to know yourself and that is going to help you to find the real essence of who you are and what you love. It can be something small like going for a walk every morning or something big, or just commit to yourself to do this one thing in the knowledge that this investment in yourself will have a guaranteed return and once you’ve done that you can just take three final breaths and enjoy these final breaths and whenever you’re ready from your three breaths, you can gently open your eyes.
Thank you all for listening. I hope you will also listen to yourselves and go within and I really look forward to seeing what everyone is going to create. Thank you so much