What's stopping you?

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Last week, I hosted a coaching workshop at The AllBright and I’m still smiling from the experience.

Together, we went deep into why we hold ourselves back (the fear iceberg - more on this to come) and how we can start building ourselves like a successful product…

…by harnessing the 4 steps of the Unleash Your Extraordinary framework:

  1. Dream

  2. Deconstruct

  3. Experiment

  4. Evolve

The workshop felt particularly special because I did something I’ve never done before – I coached a member of the group live. And it was incredible!

A few months ago, I went to a coaching intensive in LA run by master coach, Rich Litvin. One of the things I loved most was witnessing someone be coached by Rich on stage – because it felt like I was being coached by proxy.

And so, I thought I’d test this out.

Of the 15 ladies there, a lovely lady called Murielle put her hand up and in 22 minutes, we discovered that Murielle’s dream is to be a singer.

Murielle LOVES to sing and her face lights up when she talks about.

However, Murielle’s never believed she’s “good enough” and so - as she started to realise in our conversation - she’s never tried to make it happen. Murielle’s never tested her assumption that she’s not good enough.

Doesn’t it feel like Murielle represents us all? Where are we holding back from trying our hand at something because we fear we might not be good enough?

We finished our conversation with Murielle promising to send me a video of her singing in front of a group - to test whether she’s “good enough” - by Friday.

And then, as I was saying goodbye to some of the members in the group, this happened:


And since then, I’ve received this note from Murielle:

“OMG Jess, I just have to share this with you. Following the coaching session, I contacted a studio to see if they would be open to an audition. Well they are and I am auditioning for them next week!!

Thanks again for everything, your coaching really unlocked something in me!”

Isn’t it amazing what 22 minutes can do?

Jess Ratcliffe
Standing on the outside, looking in

This post was originally shared in my weekly newsletter - sent every Sunday. Join us here.

You know that feeling when you hear a quote and it takes your breath away? When it feels like the words have reached down inside you and shifted something, in a way that few words have before. 

I’ve been listening to Brené Brown’s seminar, The Power of Vulnerability and my gosh, did the following words take my breath away:

“Honestly, I don’t know anything more dangerous than standing on the outside of our lives, looking in and wondering what it would be like if we showed up?”

My thumb is tired from hitting the rewind button to hear Brené's words over and over again. I wanted them to sink in — to absorb into my bones so that I’ll never forget to ask myself: “Where are you standing on the outside, looking in and wondering what it would be like if you showed up, Jess?”

And so as we enter this new month (December 2018, for future readers), I wanted to leave you with your very own question to reflect on:

Where are you standing on the outside, looking in and wondering what it would be like if you showed up?

We've got this – and when you’re ready, I’d love to hear the insights that question sparks for you. As always, you can reach me at jess@jessratcliffe.com.

Jess Ratcliffe
How would you show up if your life depended on it?

Lessons learned from a life-threatening diagnosis

Getting my “superwoman juice” 💪

Getting my “superwoman juice” 💪


Have you ever wondered who you could be or what you could achieve if your life depended on it?

In 2016, I found myself facing my mortality. Out of nowhere, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening and ultra-rare blood disease. In a phone call, I went from feeling the healthiest I’d ever been to a ticking time bomb.

The experience of believing I was going to die has changed my life. It’s taught me— and continues to teach me — how fragile and unpredictable life can be.

I’m forever grateful for that wake up call because it’s inspired me to create the life I want.

Why do we do it — why do we hold back?

It’s funny isn’t it, how we hold back, we wait and we play it small, almost like we’re building up for it in the next life — as if we’re going to get a second a run at this. When this is it. This is our one and only life.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs

Out of the darkness

The photo above was taken last week. This is me having the treatment I’ll need for the rest of my life. I’ll be honest with you, I used to dread it. Now, I look forward to it. I even call it my “superwoman juice”. The ultimate reframe.

As time goes on

It’s easy to forget the closeness of our mortality. It’s even easy to forget that the “juice” going into my body in that photo is keeping me alive.

So in an effort to remind myself why my diagnosis has changed how I show up and more importantly, in the hope they might spark something for you, I wanted to share 3 reflections:

1. It takes a moment for everything to change

From the micro expression of concern on a doctor’s face, to a phone call or a funny feeling that stops us in our tracks, life can change in a single moment.

Don’t forget this; harness it. If life can change for the worse in a moment, it can change for the better too. Our days, weeks and lives are made up of moments. Seize them — act, do, share, hug. 

Trust yourself and your instincts. Follow that inner compass to change your life, moment by moment.

2. Be with the people you’re with

What a gift it is to spend time with a living, breathing human. When you’re with someone, be with them fully. Offer them the gift of your undivided attention.

Listen to them deeply. Tune into their words, their tone and their body language. Feel what they’re saying with and in between their words.

Look them in the eyes. Smile. And study them…but not too much. Be so present it feels new and even a little uncomfortable…for you, not them 😉

Don’t rush. Our devices can wait — that text, email or social media comment will be there when we’re finished. That moment with that human will not.

3. Create a life full of experiences

Make it your mission to collect stories to share and memories to look back on. Don’t shy away from the ups and downs. What fun is a flat rollercoaster.

Don’t try to skip steps. What’s a good a story without a beginning, middle and end. Enjoy each chapter you’re in —it’s happening for a reason; and remember, you’re the author.

Don’t hide from failure. You can handle it. In fact, you can handle more than you know. Stretch yourself. Don’t sit on the sidelines, only to regret never having the courage to join the game.

“Honestly, I don’t know anything more dangerous than standing on the outside of our lives, looking in and wondering what it would be like if we showed up; if we really risked and did some of the things that we wanted to do?”  — Brené Brown

Deep down, we know life is fragile

So — in Brené’s words — why do we risk standing on the outside, looking in, wondering what it would be like if we showed up?

It’s time to take risks, do the things we really want to do and show up like our lives depend on it.

You’ve got this — and I’m right beside you.

Jess Ratcliffe