As I work to unlearn some of my old habits and acquire new better habits, I can’t help but love Kate’s slogan, Start a Revolution From Within. Change doesn’t happen, doesn’t come, if you don’t choose it with conviction, with force, and with determination. And that my friends, requires a Revolution From Within.
I hope you enjoy Kate’s visit as much as I did, and that it leaves you with the courage to change.
GirlHabits: What can’t you live without?
Kate Swoboda: The obvious answer: love. There’s not much else. Life might be far less fun if I were living without an array of books to read at a moment’s notice, good music, or the quiet of my office.
GH: What’s your favourite place in the world?
KS: Geographically? Italy. Otherwise? Being centered in my own heart.
GH: What is the most valuable advice you got when striking out on your own?
KS: To do it my way, on my own terms. Put out my vision, and trust that people would resonate with it.
GH: If you had to let go of something to make your own path, what would you say that was?
KS: It becomes more and more important all of the time to trust what’s within, and not care what other people think. I know how that sounds. I know how that would have sounded to me, reading it a few years ago. I would have thought, “Yeah, great–but how?” It’s been this series of micro-movements, and a lot of listening, and DOing a lot less, BEing a lot more. I’ve come from a conditioned mindset that what I could do was how I would be of value to people. That has externalized a lot and made my self-worth into something someone else could define. Focusing more on how I want to feel, trusting that, and then hearing people get upset and trusting that that’s just “feedback,” nothing that I need to take personally–that has made all the difference.
GH: If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
KS: Non-judgement–in the Buddhist sense, not in the “my brain is fried on acid and I don’t care about anything” sense.
GH: What’s the weirdest thing that has made you cry?
KS: I don’t know for sure, but I will say that every single time–without fail–that I’ve seen Sally Field break down at the funeral in Steel Magnolias, I lose it, even though of course I’ve seen the movie several times and know it’s coming.
GH: What do you consider the most important event in your life so far?
KS: I don’t think it’s happened, yet. To me, the most important event–the penultimate– the one that will be the biggest miracle of all–will be the day that I become a mother. Knowing that I have that in mind, it’s pretty difficult to pick any other moment as most important! ;-) Okay, though–if I have to choose? Probably the moment I decided to run my business, the moment that I knew that it was going to be my next step. To have that kind of faith in oneself requires courage. I salute all of my fellow entrepreneurs!
GH: How do you squash self-doubt?
KS: I try not to squash it. I try to listen to it. I try to be with it. I try to ask what it needs. Self-doubt often has some very, very important messages. If I listen without getting spun out with fear–if I just “be with all of it”–then I often learn important information. I also find that that voice really just needs to be heard. The only thing I require of it is that it’s respectful.
If things get too challenging around self-doubt, I get outside my head by talking to other people. I regularly make use of friends, my partner, books, my guru/counselor/coach Matthew, and workshops.
GH: How did you overcome your last big challenge?
KS: By telling the truth about it. I was involved in a commitment that I knew wasn’t right for me. I was justifying staying, all over the place. I wasn’t listening to my life. The signs that it wasn’t right were showing up for me, everywhere–absolutely everywhere. I’m learning that a great way to find out where I’m playing a mediocre game in my life is to listen to any place where I justify. Having someone repeat back to you the things that you’re saying is a great way to get out from under this.
GH: Without ____, I would have never succeeded.
KS: Courage as a practice.
GH: How do you show yourself self-love?
KS: I show myself self-love by not over-committing. Over-commitment is my kryptonite. It weakens me. It makes me irritable and cranky, and then I feel the lack of integrity around how irritable and cranky I feel. It gets me into a space of “have to” around things rather than a space of “get to.” I’ve learned and continue to learn that saying “no” to others can sometimes be a “yes” to myself. It’s tough for me. I want to be a “yes!” to everything. I want to support everyone’s projects–why not? I love their enthusiasm. I also know that a pattern of doing that will become draining, with time. It was so draining that by the end of 2011, I seriously considered folding up my business. It just didn’t feel worth it to me, to continue. Taking time off of work helped me to get some much needed rest, and perspective. I spent the first 2 months of 2012 not taking on much of anything, not “doing” so much as I was “being.” I realize now that what I’ve been practicing is a form of surrender, and it has paid off really well for me, emotionally AND financially. Not trying as hard has resulted in so much more than I think I could have done on my own.
GH: What is your next big challenge?
KS: I’m leading a workshop on overwhelm at the World Domination Summit, and…that’s overwhelming! ;-) Of course, I’m managing the overwhelm using many of the same tools that I’ll teach at this workshop. Nonetheless, I won’t lie–I’m nervous about it. I know that WDS attendees have some high standards, and I want to deliver those standards. I also know that it’s all going to happen exactly how it needs to, in exactly the magical way that it needs to. I’m trusting in that.
Kate’s Amazing Bio: Kate Swoboda is a Life Coach, speaker and writer who helps clients to lead unconventional and revolutionary lives through practicing courage. She’s the author of The Courageous Living Guide, and creator of the Courageous Play and Create Stillness retreats–as well as The Coaching Blueprint, a resource just for Life Coaches. When she’s not writing, coaching, or leading retreats in Italy and San Francisco, she can be found sipping chai in libraries, buffing up on her Italian, training for her next road race, or getting all bendy-stretchy on the yoga mat. Learn more at http://www.yourcourageouslife.com , sign up for her free newsletter, or follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katecourageousor Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YourCourageousLife.