Ep. 2 Ann Skinner : Failing Forward As A Graceful Way To Live
“I want to give myself permission to be rubbish. To make the bad mistakes, because that's where you find yourself.” - Ann Skinner
The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.
I was excited to interview Ann Skinner (aka The Heartworker) as my first guest because our journeys have evolved and intertwined over the years in a beautiful way. I knew she would have some wonderful words of wisdom to share on the topic of 'self-permission'.
We talk about 'restriction' and her fear of being buried alive in a coffin. The importance of making mistakes. The grace and beauty in 'failing forward' (aka my new favourite phrase). Setting boundaries when you are a 'helper'. Why being selfish is not a bad thing... and ultimately I love you!
Find more about Ann here: www.theheartworkersway.com
Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…
Ann Skinner : Failing Forward As A Graceful Way To Live
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…
(Note: these summary notes are extracted from the original audio transcript but may not be word for word as originally spoken)
I have an innate fear of being buried alive in a coffin. So the moment the word 'restriction' comes into being, into my space, I just completely 'rahhhh'. So self-permission for me is really important. I have to be able to self-express. And if I can't, there's a little part of me that actually dies. As if my heart can't express itself and shrivels. Over the years, I feel I've had to fight a lot, perhaps fight a lot with myself to be quite honest, to open up and to permit myself to be a show more of who I am.
I want to give myself permission to be rubbish. To make the bad mistakes, because that's where you find yourself.
What happens around us is that people like to keep us safe. Please don't restrict me from making mistakes. Please just let me just be a mess. Please just let me just express myself in this moment. Please let me just make this decision, which perhaps compared to what is going on your life might be crazy, but in my life, it makes perfect sense. Please let me just do that without you doubting me.
The question I always have to ask myself is; "so if this is showing up for me, where am I restricting myself right now? What's going on? Where am I doing this to somebody else?”
Allow me the space to ‘fail forward’, and actually to do that gracefully. And to allow me to succeed, allow me to do that as well.
I feel 'failing forward' is just a graceful way to live.
Those are the moments where you actually allow yourself to grow. If you allow those things to come into your life, your growth will even go deeper. It's a very permission giving phrase.
I got to the stage where I was moving away from all the drama and moving into a new space of "I'm ready for something new". And here came the question. "So what am I going to do next?" And I knew in that moment that that question had never served me. Then I just had a divine moment of inspiration and I moved from the word DO to the word BE and I asked myself, What do I want to BE next? There was an instant clear answer - I want to be wise!
So I became a trainer and coach. This this is where I'm embracing this graceful 'failing forward', because we are not here to know it all. We're here to learn.
You learn when you have success, for sure. But the deeper learnings are when you're failing.
That's a huge amount of permission to put 'being' over 'doing', and then bringing 'doing' back in to serve the 'being'. It's a dance between the two.
When we're ‘doing’ we're not always connected to our heart. When we're ‘being’, we have to be in our body and our heart. And it's actually very uncomfortable, because then we notice the pain.
People opinions matter only if they matter to you.
To make a difference doesn't necessarily mean that you should spend your time and your life helping others. Actually, you could probably make the biggest impact by first helping yourself. When you do not allow help from outside when you need it, then there is somewhere you don't want to be vulnerable and vulnerability has everything to do with permission and self-permission. My learning was that not being able to ask for help had everything to do with me wanting at some level to control something in me and not being comfortable with being vulnerable.
I think setting boundaries are a lifelong learning for the 'helpers' among us. Boundaries have a lot to do with being very clear on what it is you want. I'm not necessarily spending time on working on my boundaries, I'm putting my focus on "what is it I need?" That's where I spend time.
The three keys that guide my life right now are: to be present to be curious and to be kind.
The three keys help me to connect what is really important in life and when I know what's really essential to me in life, then it's much easier for me to say no, because I'm on a straight path.
Clarity is a precursor to allowing yourself permission. The clearer we are the easier it is to give ourselves permission, because we have an understanding of why we're asking that of ourselves.
It's a leverage. It's about committing to yourself and committing to something greater than yourself. So if you're really in touch with that- that big 'why', then it goes beyond you and therefore you will have more courage also to give yourself permission.
Give yourself permission to give yourself the space to work it out, which is the graceful path for 'failing forward'.
Doing something just for the pure joy of doing something, that's often quite a tough one to give ourselves permission around.
Any act of self care will be an act of living your purpose. I had to look up the word 'selfish' once because we've made selfish a really bad word. It wasn't actually that negative at all. It's simply doing things for yourself.
I felt as thought I had to have a reason to justify saying the 'No', but I don't. I find it hard to give myself permission for that. We say 'yes' to so many things, because we haven't got 'enough' of a reason to say 'no'. We need to start feeling comfortable with not having to justify a 'no'. It takes practice. It's a process.
The simplest thing that comes up for me is, ‘I love you’. The ultimate 'being-ness' There are no words needed in that space. The ultimate act of self-permission doesn't have words.
Find out more and connect with Ann here:
Ann Skinner, aka The Heartworker - a curious and creative spirit with a love of life, nature and the nature of things.
Ann is a coach, a doodle artist, the founder of The Heartworker’s Way and the author of The Art of Contribution. Ann is interested in what drives us and how to live a more empowered and fully self-expressed life that adds to the world.
Ann’s work helps us to live a slower, more peaceful life, with our heart firmly in the driver’s seat.
W : www.theheartworkersway.com