In July 2022, I signed up for a facilitator training course with the one and only Jamie Catto, on a total spur of the moment decision. I essentially tripped and fell into a discovery call with Jamie, and within a couple of hours made the choice to join Bring It, Jamie’s teacher training for facilitators, leaders, coaches, and clowns. (It was no small investment either!)

I had zero idea of what I was getting myself into - I expected to learn about how to be a better facilitator and then implement those new things into what I already do. So I happily showed up to the calls, and in those first weeks, mostly stayed in the background without drawing attention to myself, because I didn’t want to interact much, but I just knew I was supposed to be there.

What I did not expect is just exactly how much I was supposed to be there.

When I signed up, I was naive enough to think I could learn all about Jamie’s games and how to deliver them to other people and that would be that. A great little toolbox of inner work I can bring to the people who need it to empower their lives! A brilliant addition to the stage fright coaching, taking my students deeper in a safe space, to come out the other side stronger and more confident. Great stuff!

Oh boy.

I was wrong. 

So very wrong. 

It started out pretty much how I expected it to - how to be a facilitator and I was surprised to learn just how much I already knew, and was ignoring in my own skill set. I thought, OK then - I just need to bring those skills out more often. No biggie! 

Then we started learning about the games. 

The trajectory I thought I was on just disappeared, because we were not only learning about the games and how to deliver them, we were playing them, too! 

Oh gods. I did not expect that. 

Cue the panic.

I was completely unprepared for working on myself - I’d only been expecting to learn things and to pass them on to others. I was not ready to face my own daemons, lift my own masks, or uncover the things I’d hidden in the shadows over the course of my entire life! 

Now I was being asked, even expected, to be vulnerable, with people I barely knew on a zoom call! 

Cue more panic!

I am not ashamed to say that there were some sessions where I could not override my fight or flight reaction, and so I either left the call completely or stayed on and hid in the background with my camera off. 

There were many sessions where I had to compromise with myself and simply push on through, even if I didn’t want to. (I always honoured my boundaries, though.)

There were times I even had to use some of the tools I teach in order to show up in big group sessions of 30+ people and be vulnerable in front of them all. Jeesh!

Throughout all this, I just knew I was supposed to be there, on that course, with those people. 

So I stayed on the course. I stayed active, I showed up and did the work on the calls each week. I did the homework and created my own games outside of the calls. I connected with my fellow Bring Iteers, and forged links with some amazing people I’ve never actually met offline! 

For ten months, I immersed myself in a balancing act of working on myself, and learning how to take it to a wider audience. I know it wasn’t just me going on that journey - each one of us in the 2022 cohort had our own path to venture down. (Not to mention adjusting to all that combined with working and teaching and creating…ooft!)

But, because I went all in, I came out the other side a different person to the one that started. Equipped with new knowledge, not just from Jamie, but also from my fellow Bring Iteers, new connections and friendships, and with a new found sense of purpose. Even nearly a year after graduation, I'm still thinking, “Well, that was unexpected!”

So, why am I telling you this?

Because I know many of you can relate. You start a journey expecting one thing, and it ends up being something totally different, by the end of it, you are not the same person who started out.

Let’s be honest - any inner journey is the same. Each time you take that step, you learn something new about yourself and emerge a slightly different version of you. 

And in order to get there, you really have made some deep changes in your life, ones that will last through all aspects of your career, as well as your wider life as a whole. 

You come out the other side with the ability to say “Well, that was unexpected!” 

If you're not already there in your own mind, think about something you’ve done that required you to go all in. What did you learn along the way? What new skills did you notice at the end of it? I can almost guarantee you’ve learned something you didn’t expect to learn (and plenty of things you did!)

I knew that you could relate! And if this exercise has surprised you - you can just say "Well that was unexpected!"

And there's a twist in the tale...because I did it all over again. Get ready for Part 2!

P.S. If you want to learn more about my experience with one of the games we played on Bring It, check out How A Game Changed My Life.

P.P.S. If you want to know more about Jamie and his work you can find him HERE.