Desi Jagger's Blog
My Story #21 – What facing my fear taught me about business
I was always afraid of cutting my hair short. Long, thick hair was my identity. Then the Alien (how I call cancer) arrived, and with it – chemotherapy.
I was terrified of losing my hair. I thought I would look awful, and worst of all – that I wouldn’t look like myself. I woke up in a pool of hair on 8 March and evaluated my options – a) remain stuck in a pool of tears and fallen hair; b) try to glue it back on or c) shave it and move on. Since we had run out of glue, and it was International Women’s Day and I chose to empower myself – if I was going to lose my hair, it was going to be on my terms.
I took my time to meditate and say goodbye to my hair and hello to my scalp, which I was going to meet for the first time. I allowed myself to grieve until I was at peace. Then I organized a Champagne & Shave party. In the middle of my parents’ garden, surrounded by friends and family, I confidently and happily parted with my hair.
The result surprised me. Not only did I still look like myself, I felt more powerful and courageous. I let my creativity shine… in the shape of a mohawk. This unexpected choice freed up a new energy in me. A badass punk, not-sorry, blind-courage, it’s-good-as-it-is energy. A refreshing breeze in a lifetime of being the overly-considerate-perfectionist-good-girl. It’s not that I became a totally different person. Rather, I added a new element to my character that I could dip into when I needed it.
The fear of losing my hair was so much bigger than the act itself. I had made hundreds of false assumptions, weaving them into terrifying stories in my head. I asked myself – what else do I fear? And what if reality isn’t nearly as bad? Here is a video of my experience – and the lessons learnt below.
I summoned my newly discovered punk energy and embraced a new way of running my business.
Every day, I focus on my single biggest priority. Everything else on my to-do list is a bonus. The satisfaction of completing what matters most gives me energy to work through most of the other items on my list. I inevitably drop some of the tasks and I when I notice that the world is still spinning, I chose not to worry about them.
What is your one big priority today?
I do most things imperfectly. I use the first take for my videos. I don’t double check emails, even the important ones. I share draft ideas and rough calculations. I trust myself to do things well the first time round or to adjust them later on. This saves me a lot of time and energy which I reinvest in the one thing I aspire to do perfectly – my coaching. This means I show up at my best and give 110%.
Where would you invest the time energy you save by letting go of perfection?
I ask for things directly and precisely. Recently I met a businesswoman to explore possible collaboration. She asked me whether I was looking for short-term opportunities or long-term partnerships. My first impulse was to say long-term partnerships because I was afraid of sounding selfish and un-collaborative. The truth was, my big contract was just coming to an end and I needed more clients. I explained this and said my priority right now was short-term opportunities. She appreciated my openness and clarity and we came up with a few ideas that served both of us.
How clear are your stakeholders about your needs?
Leveraging this new punk energy brought simplicity and flow into my work and life. I do fewer things that matter more. I am satisfied and proud with the progress of my business. And I look forward a lot more often than I look back.
What fears are holding you back?
Get unstuck by facing your fear. You might just discover you are capable of much more than you think. Coaching is great for this! You can book your free coaching consultation here.
I'm Desi Jagger
I help Changemakers to trust themselves and focus on what matters most.