Understanding my own vulnerability has been a key aspect of my development as a person and is/will continue to be so.  I have always wanted to test myself in many different ways to see if I was mentally and physically capable to succeed in any task I was given or had decided to undertake.

As I wrote in my previous blog our minds have been coded with certain hereditary information/strategies, which help us survive and we develop other mental codes/strategies through our personal development (dependent on how we see the world and our experiences).  I absolutely believe that I/we have control over both of these systems. I therefore chose whether to give into vulnerability and avoid something that is unpleasant or deal with it and gain a better understanding of that vulnerability and learn to minimise the effect it has on my performance.

I left school with no qualifications yet went on to attain a law degree and attain a number of other qualifications along the way.  I then wrote a book on “learning to learn” for the Army which is used as pre-reading for every academic course that members of the Army undertakes (officers and men).  I was asked on completion of that project if I wanted to undertake a PhD on a topic that was interesting to me, I believed that I could complete this in three years and became excited by the prospect of starting it. I spent a number of weeks researching and I decided that I would undertake it (deep down I also thought the title of Dr Woodrow may suit me).  Fortunately a little voice inside my head said, “why are we doing this?”  I paused for a moment to reflect on the reasons that I wanted to undertake this task and realised instantly that I was still trying to prove something about my academic ability but for the wrong reasons.  My mind went back to the teacher that told me that I was not very intelligent when I was a 7 year old in front of a mathematics class.  This simple limiting thought and some of the events that followed in my education had become a vulnerability because I was trying to prove something to other people about my intellect and having the title Dr Woodrow would remove this once and for all, when the most important person to prove something to, was me.  Once I had balanced this thought, I smiled to myself and felt a burden immediately lift from my shoulders. Especially as I had now started to teach people about removing limiting decisions in their life.

I listen to the voice inside my mind because it belongs to me and is programmed to identify when I feel uncomfortable, I now recognise the feelings that I have inside and the information that is sent to my brain in these circumstances.  When I am uncomfortable because I do not understand something I ask for clarification, when my ego is threatened and I am about to lose control and react negatively I pause so that I can deal with the situation in a better way. When I know something is beyond my current skill level I practice until I become good. I was recently in a room with some very clever people who were baffling me with theories and concepts.  My inner voice told me to ask what they meant but I decided against it. This was the first time I had been with these people and I wanted to make a good impression.  I waited for a lot more time than I would usually wait and I felt very uncomfortable until I finally realised that I wasn’t the only person to not understand what was going on in this room.  I spoke up and told them they had lost me, can they simplify the discussion.  I then realised after we broke the information down that I actually knew more about this subject than they did.

Some times people think that it is easy for me to do the things I teach or participate in. What people do not realise is that I am not naturally gifted in any area but I will practice, it may take me longer than most to achieve something but I will achieve it eventually (patience and discipline can be the key here-see previous blog).  That is why I also have a wonderful support system in place and people who I ask for advice and assistance when I need to.

I have often felt uncomfortable/vulnerable and still do, I now know that this is a good place to be because I am going to learn something about myself and get a better understanding of another subject.  We all have vulnerabilities the key is what we do to overcome them.

Have a wonderful day……………………………………..

2 thoughts on “

  1. What a great blog post, Floyd. I just wanted to leave a comment because we trained together many years ago and are still in touch, and everything you say here is absolutely true. You do push yourself, you do question your motivations, and you do use your motivational skills with other people. Keep up the good work and I look forward to more blog posts!

  2. And I have always observed that optimism, so aptly described by the explorer Shackleton as moral courage is key. I also agree with point you make about the value of a support system and people in place. tnetwork

    I was recently interviewed as par of George Kohlrieser’s research at IMD, Kohlrieser views that successful change is dependent on one key condition – feeling secure. In order to take any change on board willingly, people need a secure base from which to operate in order to feel trust and safety. Change in this sporting or personal life is no different.

    A secure base might be a manager, a colleague, a team, a coach, or even a teacher, or some completely different relationship. A secure base is someone or something or a goal to which one bonds in a special way. A secure base gives protection, comfort and energy and serves as an anchor at all times. A secure base provides the focus and strength to pursue our goals.

    The main way to differentiate the secure base relationship from other relationships is trust. It is those people or things or places that provide a feeling of safety inside. Once that is established, degrees of anxiety or uncertainty can be managed successfully.

    On a more personal level the difference in recovery from my own first and second brain operation – the first took two years the second one day (until I had a CSF leak and I was about to be sent to intensive care for suspected meningitus.) and then required two weeks was down to two factors. First IGF1 (AKA Growth hormones which aren’t just for building muscles up but impact on serotonin, dopamine etc. Second the support network of individuals such as yourself and others you know, Jezz Moore, Charlie Mulraine , Matt Beechey to name a few as well as Bob Wilson ,Snapey, Richard Olivier. As well as individuals the old ex Xeroid network played it’s role as people from my past at Xerox caught up with me. Finally there was family including ex step kids my own cousins.

    My view now is you are as vulnerable as your support system (or not)

    Great post – made me think and act.

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