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Being fearless is a nonexistent thing. Rather than attempting to create something that doesn't exist (because fearlessness is for sociopaths and 3-year-olds) my goal in life is to help you embrace your fears and leverage that into intentional bravery. — Heather Vickery
This interview is about why being fearless is a myth, how to make brave leaps, and why words matter.
We discuss Heather's new book, F*ck Fearless: Making the Brave Leap, and how to have difficult conversations with yourself and others.
There is some explicit language in this episode, so if that's not your thing, you'll want to wait for the next episode.
If you're still here, Buckle up your seatbelts, and get ready for a transformational conversation with Heather Vickery.
Connect with Our Guest
Transcript: Fearlessness is for Sociopaths
Hello and welcome to women conquer business. My name is Jen McFarland. My digital marketing consultancy also called women conquer business specializes in helping women led businesses, untie the knots and find joy in marketing their business. I have more than 25 years of training, teaching and executive experience in digital marketing leadership and project, man.
I love teaching business leaders like you, how to amplify their work in the best and easiest way possible today. I'm sharing my recent interview with Heather Vickery. I've known Heather for a few years, and we recently met in person for the first time as she podcasts live. Heather's proof that you can really meet cool people online and become better friends in real life.
So don't be afraid to take that risk. This interview is about why being fearless is. How to make brave leaps and why words matter. There is some explicit language in this episode. So if that's not your thing, you want to wait for the next episode, but if you're still here, buckle up your seat belts and get ready for a transformational conversation with Heather Vickery.
I'm joined today by Heather Vickers. I'm so excited to talk about bravery and fearlessness and shitting all over yourself. So Heather, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thank you for having me. Just I'll just give a little disclaimer to. Your viewers and fans and listeners, Jen and I are like the sarcasm power duo. So it should be a fun interview. I'll just say, thank you friends for having me here. My name is Heather Vickery.
Brave is my whole business. I'm a success and leadership coach, a speaker, an author. I host the bright files podcast and everything I do is around. Notion that fearless. Is a non-existent thing that rather than attempting to create something that doesn't exist because it's fearlessness as for sociopath's.
And three-year-olds my goal in life is to help you embrace your fears and leverage that into intentional bravery. Because what I know for sure is that when we choose briefly on purpose, we choose bigger, we would bigger and it's contagious and. Yeah. Don't shit on yourself. Let's we can just get that right out of the way.
It's some, I say that to people sometimes don't shit all over yourself and you can see the wheels turning, like they're like did she just say don't get it all over myself? What was that? And then and then they're like oh, there's like this. Realization that it's something that a lot of us do is I should do this and I should do that.
What have you found in your work about shitting all over yourself?
I actually, I know we're going to talk about this in a second, but in my brand new book, which is called fuck fearless, we can talk about the title in a minute. If you'd I actually have an entire section dedicated to ditching the words need and should.
The truth of the matter is they don't feel good and yes, I get it. There are things we have to do. Like we have to eat where you legally have to feed our kids. Yes. We have to pay our bills. But the fact of the matter is when we approach it with those words and words matter so much, it feels like a chore, like a Herculean task.
Sometimes it's just really overwhelming. And then we drag our asses into doing the thing. And that doesn't feel good. It's not fun. Maybe we don't do our best work and really what I like to see folks do. And I really try hard to do it myself. I catch myself, I invite my people in my pod. Jen's in my pod and my partner to sit down, call me out on it is to instead find the want behind the need or should.
Why do you want to, there's a story. It's a story. I tell the book. Third daughter, I have four daughters. My third daughter is about to turn 12, but when she was nine, maybe she was eight. I don't remember. We're rushing out the door one morning. And for those of you who are watching, who are, have kids, like mornings are a shit show, try to make lunches, trying to get breakfast.
Nobody wants to put their freaking socks on. It's just a nightmare. And I said, Tessa, I need you to get ready to go. I have to be on time. I have to, we have to do this. Let's go. She said, mama, why do you have to? And I said, because I've things to do, I've worked to do I've clients waiting on me. I can't be late.
We have to go on. She goes white. Why do you have to get to work? And I said, because I have an obligation because people are waiting on me and I have to pay the bills and I have to make sure you can eat. And she goes, mama, you don't have to feed us. You want to feed us because you love us and you don't want us to die.
All right, kid excuse. Legally I do have to feed her, but mostly I want to, because I love them and I don't want them to die. And so finding the want behind the thing that feels. Icky task I should, or I have to just puts a little more pep in your step as you go in to do it. And so I would really start to be aware of how often do you use the word need, should and have to and figure out why I want to do this thing because I want X results and it's going to be worth it.
Even if the process sucks.
I like. Can we circle back to why words matter? That's one of the things that you said early on. And I think that's something we tend to forget, especially as entrepreneurs in this like fast pace. And we do, we say things like need and want should, and we can be very self oppressive at times.
So why is it that words matter so much?
Yeah. So there's some real science behind that actually, and I'm certified in positive psychology. So there's some knowledge there behind that, the words that we use, we physically feel them. And so when we use negative words that make us feel bad.
Our bodies tense up and our brains send a shut down just a little bit and word choice. Just think about the way things land. I'll tell you a really funny story. So I'm a big fan of gratitude. I've written two books on gratitude. I do a almost always, I close my coaching sessions by asking my clients to express their gratitude.
And it's pretty funny. I'm like, give me 10 things you're grateful for and why. And they're like 10 things. I'm like, listen, if you can't come up with 10 things, you're grateful for, we've got bigger problems than what you walked in with this one time. This was a couple of years ago. I said to my client, what are you grateful for today and why?
And she said I'm grateful that the plane I was on last night, didn't crash. And I'm grateful that my, when I got home, my plants weren't dead. Hold on a second.
Like how does it feel? Because it didn't feel exciting. It didn't feel, she was grateful for those things, but it felt like, oh yeah, I'm grateful for this. And I said, how does it feel to say I'm so grateful that my flight was safe and I'm so grateful that my plants are alive that they thrive while I was gone.
She's oh, That's a lot better. And the way we say things matter so much, not talking shit about yourself to yourself. How often, when do we get so stupid? I actually did it last night and I, my partner was like quick to call me out. I was making dinner for the kids and I put things on broil and I shouldn't and it got a little brown and there, you just said shades in my ass.
And they just said,
Oh, I knew I shouldn't. Is that what I said? I don't know what I said. I knew better than to put their stuff on Royal. I like my stuff brown. They don't, but it came out of the wind and I was like, Jesus, Heather, that was so stupid, not to do that. And my partners. Hey, how about some self-compassion here?
It's we'll just eat those and make them something different. I'm like, oh yeah. Okay. So I don't want to say I'm not perfect. None of us are perfect, but our word choices matter so much. So I, I use them things like I have been on this huge press junket to talk about the new book and. It's a little bit of a drain, right?
I have, it's super fun to connect with people, new people that I've known for a long time that I love. And it's, I love to talk about the book, but it's like nonstop. I'm doing like 10 or 15 a day and I'm freaking tired. And then my partner says what are all of these audiences worth it that felt bad?
Are all of these audiences worth it? And I said, I think that this is as much as. Friend and network building, as it is getting in front of the right audience. Like one of the live streams I did was my biggest podcast fan. He's the guy who every week sends me a message and says, this is what I loved about today's episode.
I have 188 episodes he always does. So it, it made him feel part of my community. To talk about it. I know he's like, I want to help you. And I love him for that. And I think he's got one person who watched, but it wasn't about. The reach, it was about the experience. So words matter in those ways.
Also I'm doing this to connect and whether or not we make bestseller tomorrow, the book launches or officially released on October 28th, I am celebrating, which we talk about a lot in this book. Celebration is really important and I am celebrating cause I did the damn thing.
And I think that we should celebrate that.
And meaningfully, I guess that maybe we should talk about the book we have, but I feel like we have been talking about. We have, and it's all because you've read the book I have. Okay. I skipped it. I want, I'm going to read it. I'm going to read it in full waiter. We just got back from this conference and I know that you have been like me.
And since coming back, we have been. Running. We can't be away from our clients for that long, without everybody saying, oh, you're back now. And like connecting with all the pay attention to me, which is awesome. I am not complaining, but I'm saying like we're connecting with all the people we met at the conference.
We're trying to catch up on all of the client work that we set aside for a few days. So we could connect with people. You have a big book launch tomorrow, but you're doing all of the. Press junkets and talking to people. I can't imagine. I'm sure it is draining, but you have this passion for the work and for what it is that you do.
And that's what leads you to write all of these books and connect with audiences of all sizes and all types, because my sense is you really believe in impact.
Yes, I do believe in impact and I think. We talk about impact in the book also. In fact, I know firsthand that we are always creating an impact, whether or not we're aware of it.
And part of what I hope for people who come into my circle, who come in to work with me or hear me speak or read the book is to choose. Intentionally, which I believe is very brave to be conscious of the impact. You're leaving. Make sure it's the one that you want because we are always leaving an impact and sometimes it may be one we're not proud of.
So be thoughtful and intentional about that. And I will tell you where that most presents itself to me as a challenge is as a parent, I'm very thoughtful of it with friends, with clients, with coworkers. As a parent, I say, what I need to say look, this is my job. You got to do whatever. And I do not often enough stop and say, how is this going to land with this kid who's struggling today or whatever, I said something and my kids or her credit said, oh, so the answer to that is for you to be disappointed in me. And I said no, I'm not disappointed in you. I was just processing that loud, but that's how it landed. That's the impact. I left her with us. She went off to school today, which sucks and I feel bad, but also we're going to make mistakes.
We're not going to get it right all the time, by any stretch of the imagination. We reassess that's that the brave method is the book. Talk about the brave method. We'll get there. Reassess, reframe, get up and do it again. What did I do? Did that work the way I wanted it to it did not. Can I do better next time?
I can short dry.
What I love about the brave method is this idea of self-forgiveness. But we are always constantly improving and we are allowed to make mistakes. And I know that, that, that's why I teased you with oh, you said should like, I, because it's like part of the work that we were all doing.
And then this guidance after being with you for a week, she podcasts and hearing the Jen, you just said shit or that wasn't a very nice thing. I mean that correcting in the beginning, I was like, Ah, come on. And then after awhile I was like, no, that's right. I, it was a real quick reframe and then you're able to move on quicker.
And I think that is so powerful. So do you want to talk a little bit about the brave method?
Absolutely. So let me give you a tiny background for those who are new to me to knows the whole scoop, I've been an entrepreneur for almost 25 years. I did all the things I was supposed to do in life.
I met a nice guy in my twenties and we got married because I wanted to have a family and a baby. And so did he, and we had this quintessential perfect American life that, we built it. In the end, it, we had the biggest house on the block and half a million dollars a year in income and four beautiful, perfect kids.
And I hated myself and I hated my life. And I, really, everything I did was fear-based all of my decisions. All of my choices were, which thing will be less scary. I'll do that. Which thing will cause less conflict. I'll do. And after some deep reflection, because really you can only hate yourself for so long in life.
I could just, at some point we reach a level where it is unacceptable and that's usually when clients find me, like I work with, I do business coaching, life coaching, all kinds of success coaching, but usually there's been some wall. I'm not fucking willing to tolerate this anymore and I want to create change and it could be in any capacity.
So I did, I reached that for myself and I realized a couple of big things. One is I was married to the wrong gender and that's a very big realization. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with that now? And it took me a few years to figure out what to do with it. And even if I wasn't married to the wrong gender, I was married to the wrong person.
For sure. He's a great guy. We were not a good pair. I wasn't doing, I had a thriving, very successful event and wedding planning business, but I didn't love it. It didn't feel like my calling didn't bring me passion. And I started to cut out all these people in my life because I didn't know who I was and I didn't have anything to give.
So fast forward. I burned all of it to the ground. I really did. I was like, it's all got to go. I'm starting over. And I did that. I got a divorce. I bought my own house for the first time in my adult life without a partner with me. I can remember my ex-husband telling me that my business was a hobby because he made most of the money.
And I did this, I left. Closed one business and started another one that is successful enough that I provide for my family and then some, and I get to do what I want and what I love and upon reflection for all of that, there were some very specific steps that I took that I didn't realize I was taking, but because I practice what I preach, I was able to put that together.
And create the brave method. And it was very intentional, right? Brave as an acronym, brave as my business, I knew years ago, I'm like, this is about making a brave decision to show my kids that they can make a brave decision to model this behavior for everyone. But also for me to be really straightforward and honest yeah, Heather, you can do this.
And so it wasn't until. There may, maybe six or seven years later that I actually was like, oh, let's call it the brave method. But it stands for boundaries, reassessment, reframing and resilience. I call those the three RS, I think they're my favorite action and accountability, vulnerability, and then expand and empower.
And those first four. You're going to mix and match. You're going to pull what you need and what you want. They're going to move around. They don't happen in that order. It just works really well because of the word brave. But the result of those things is that you will expand and empower yourself. And it's very important for me to make sure if you hear nothing else on this interview, folks, hear this.
You are the only one that can expand and empower you. Expansion and empowerment is inside work. So if you hear coaches or mentors or celebrities say I empower people to X. No, they don't. They may be inspire. They coach, they motivate. I do all of those things. The empowerment is yours. Fucking claimant.
Absolute layman. Yeah.
Yeah. When I went, I don't think I've ever told you this. When I went through my rebrand. Brand colors, logo language. It was about a year ago. They were like are there any words that you don't want to use? And I said, empower, yeah, don't empower people. And they're like, can we talk about that for a minute?
And that was exactly what I told him. I'm like, I can help people. But they have to empower themselves. I'm not going to make that claim for other people. Absolutely. And I think their brain like exploded, but they were like, oh wow. But it's something that people say that they do a lot for others.
And I just don't believe that it's external.
Work. It's not external work. It's totally internal work. And there's something really magical that happens when we know we're empowering ourselves. When we know what we're doing is brave and. Brave, just like success must be self-defined and it moves the target moves.
What feels brave. One day is likely to be very different from what feels brave the next day, but you get to decide. And that's really where, when I said in the beginning, when we choose bravely on purpose, when we know that our actions are taking us through these fearful moments and into. Something that feels maybe a little scary or unknown, whatever that is at the moment.
That's when we empower ourselves and we feel good and we want more of that. And it is super contagious people around you feel it they are inspired by it and they mirror that back for you. And it's just really exciting.
Absolutely. That's wonderful. And can people move through this framework pretty quickly and find expansion quickly?
Yeah. I would venture to say now somebody is going to be like, that didn't happen for me. I would venture to say almost instantly most of the people who have read the book or who've worked with me and done the brave method. I will say you're never there it's continuous work. Sure. You could always come back to it, but there is something that you can take away and make happen almost instantly.
And I've really worked hard to make. It's big, it's 320 pages, but a lot of bite-sized bits, personal stories, brave spotlights, which are case studies of clients and past guests that I've had that show you like how people are doing this, what this looks like in the real world, and then brave action, which are things that you can go and do right now.
And it could be something as simple as saying it feels really bad for me that the dishes are in the sink all day. I can't stand it. This is a real story. This is me and my partner when we first moved in together. I'm tired of being mad at the people in my house because the dishes are in the sink.
And I don't like that. We both work from home. What I said to myself was what can I do to change it? Okay. I've recognized. I don't like this. This doesn't feel good. What can I do to change it while I could have a conversation? And I said, I, babe, what can we do? This drives me crazy. She said, if you'll empty the dishwasher in the morning, I will be sure to load my dish.
Throughout the day and you do yours. And I said, okay, we can do that. Silly example, but you can do that in any capacity right away. So it gives you thinking about ways to make these changes and small, thoughtful, intentional baby steps. And my favorite part is often we don't even realize what kind of progress we're making until you get to those three RS until you pause and look and say what felt great today, what felt great this week?
What felt great this month? Or what felt bad? What do I want to change? Oh my gosh. Look how much I've grown. I didn't even know
exactly. And you can have that dishwashing conversation go sideways. And that's what I actually like about the book is there's so many ways. That you give these real life examples.
It's here's a concept, here's a client story. Here's an example because you could walk in and be like, oh, I'm so angry at all of you. None of you do the dishes. That's a different conversation,
words, matter words matter. And the way we share our words matter, that's a totally yes. Do it. Set boundaries with kindness.
Communicate with kindness, because that is so true. Taking ownership of it, like when we're setting a strong boundary and about, I love talking about boundaries and I have really strong boundaries and my strong boundaries lead to one of my most prominent limiting voices, which wants to fuck with me all the time.
If you want your boundaries to be respected, they have to be. self centered and not in a bad way, but centered on you, what your needs are, not somebody else's fault or downfalls and how it will help you be able to feel better, be better, be more engaged or whatever. And they need to be revisited because that conversation happened eight years ago.
And last year she said, I'm really tired of being the one that loves the dishwasher. Can we switch jobs? Yeah. So now she unloads in the morning and I load all day long and that's fine. So you've got it. So she'd switched that boundary on me, but you talked about it. We talked about it and you did it with kindness.
You can get what you'll you can get what you want, again, sometimes we fuck it up, right? That thing is going to happen. And there has to be room for giving yourself grace, or just apologize. Yo, like just go back and say. That did not come up the way I wanted it to I'm. I'm sorry about that.
Here's what I was trying to say. Put it out there. We're going to make mistakes every day is a Tuesday. You can start over.
Absolutely. That's the great thing. There's no absolutes.
They only constant is. The only thing we know for sure is that this moment will be different later. Everything will change and that may terrify you or excite you.
And that's, again, that's one of the core components of the book is being really aware of what's happening in your life. What is happening in your business? What is happening in your hearts? And is this still what you want? Are you still working towards this shared vision, this goal, and if not, what change needs to happen?
To be more self aligned. So where can we
get this mythical book that
we keep talking about? It's not even mythical look, I'm holding it. Although it's one of my favorite stories and I do share it in the book. You can get it on Amazon. You can get it on bookshop. So it's there. There's right now it's just hard back in Kendall or ebook.
Paperback is coming I think in December. But you can definitely grab your copy, but. I am reminded one of my early podcast interviews and actually did. And I were talking right before we went live about how sometimes we screw tech up and I did an interview gosh, three years ago now. And I realized when the interview was over, that my mic had not been plugged in and my personal audio was sucky, but the interview was fantastic.
It was with a German hypnotist and magician woman, which all of those. Made me scratch my head just a little bit. I was like, you are this really fascinating human and my first book, gratitude journal shift, your focus had just come out right? When we did that interview at the very end of the conversation, she said, Heather, I have to tell you something, a magician too.
You took something that was in your mind and now you hold it. In your hand, you made the invisible. And I will put that out there to all of you. What kind of magic will you create? I hope I can be part of that journey. So what's the book called again? The book is called fuck fearless, making the brave leap.
We talked about saying F fearless instead of fuck and this interview. And in the end, we decided that if you don't like the word, fuck, I'm probably not for you. And that's. Okay. But if you like it and you're into it, go grab a coffee. I think you're going to like it. I'm pretty, I've read it about 25 times.
I'm pretty proud of it. And I hope that it helps you on your journey. Take what you want, release what you don't want. Dog ear it. Highlight it and go back to it. Whenever it will serve you. It's a really
great book. Everyone needs to read it. I really enjoyed it. I know I teased that. I skimmed it, but what I read was fantastic.
I'm definitely going to go back and read the whole thing. So what if I'm like the book is okay, but I really need more, Heather. How can
people with you? I am super easy to find. I do a limited number of one-on-one coaching sessions. I host the brave on purpose collective, which is actually a free group.
That's where I would urge you to go right now. If you're, if you dig into my vibe and you're ready to step up into a braver space to own that space in the universe for yourself. Come join us and brave on purpose. It's a Facebook group, just search brave on purpose and Facebook and come over there and get a feel of what it's like to be in a community of people where everybody there has this.
Mission of leveraging their fear into intentional bravery. And then I do a group program called the intention of entrepreneurs. The fun thing is I try to have a personal one-on-one coffee chat with everybody who joins Trayvon purpose, just to get to know you so that I can be the very best support system for you possible if you're in my community.
So if you want to have a chat.
So I want to close with this. I have this mug on my desk. You can vaguely see it. If you are watching this on YouTube or Facebook. And I keep it there because while it broke, so I had to glue it back together again, and it can't be used as a mug anymore, but I love what it says on it.
And I think it's really a great way to wrap up this interview. In fact, I looked at it and I was like, oh, I definitely want to talk about this with Heather today. What it says on it is throw more love at the problem. Not less.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. It really is always the answer, especially towards ourselves.
Yeah. I think that's brave to throw more love at the problem. I think so, too. Yeah.
Yay. Thank you so much for being.
Thank you for having me. Thank you for liking my book. Yes. And I'll be sure to
go get fuck fearless, making the brave leap by Heather Vickery and do check out the Facebook group and her website and all of the places we will have everything in the show notes.
We'll have it on the video. We'll have it in all of the places. And thank you so much for watching or listening. Yay. Thanks. Y'all thanks to.
thank you for listening to this talk. If you'd like to learn more about me, my workshops or presentations, you can learn more at www.womenconquerbiz.comorfollowmeonlinkedinatlinkedin.com/in/gen S McFarland. Thanks.