Jen Fulwiler’s book, “Your Blue Flame”, has my solid vote and I want to share some of my top highlights.
- You can do scary things.
“The whole concept behind a blue flame is that it draws you out of yourself: it connects you to the world and to others. That means more interaction with people, more life, more love. And that leads to more opportunities to fail, to be hurt, to be rejected. If you see these experiences as something merely to get through or to barely tolerate, you’ll start to avoid them. You’ll withdraw. Soon you’ll find that you’re not really living at all.”
The antidote to this is courage and “courage can be learned. Don’t think of fearlessness as a character trait you do or don’t have; think of it as a sport you can master.”
You can do scary things.
- You can fight the enemy.
“…if you are going to try and add even a little bit of love to the world, you’re in for a fight. If you are serious about finding your blue flame and igniting it, you must adopt a warrior mentality. It’s not optional. Also, the greater the good you’re trying to do, the harder you’ll have to fight.”
One of the most powerful ways you can fight the enemy that is against the light of your blue flame is to remember that your blue flame does not belong to you — it’s just borrowed. It’s a gift entrusted to you for only a little while. It’s like the “difference between having a friend let you borrow her Ferrari and owning one yourself. If it’s borrowed, you’re not going to feel as self-conscious about showing it off. You can proudly drive it around without seeming egotistical. You treat it with awe and respect. Most importantly, you won’t take it personally if someone says it’s an ugly color. You don’t choose it; it was a gift.”
You can fight the enemy.
- You can live a great story.
A good story “involves passion and risk and trying desperately to do what you feel you were born to do, even when all the odds are against you.”
“There’s passion. There’s mystery. There’s a lack of control. There are unexpected challenges. There’s…drama.”
We tend to think of drama as categorically a bad thing. But drama is exactly what makes a good story. We just need good drama, not bad drama.
“Too many of us live in prisons we’ve constructed for ourselves where the bars are fear and perfectionism [add: which can turn our focus toward bad drama]. The fastest way to break yourself out is to stop asking, ‘Will I fail?’ and start asking, ‘Whether I succeed or fail, will it make a great story?'”
You can live a great story.
- You can make money.
“When I use my blue flame in a professional capacity, I can have a greater impact when I’m realistic about the fact that this is a business transaction…I don’t do what I do only for the money, but I used to pretend that it wasn’t about the money at all. It made me feel better to say I was only trying to help people. Ironically, the more I maintained an attitude of ‘only trying to help people,’ the less I actually helped people.”
“When I started taking myself and my work seriously – and charging accordingly – everything changed.”
Jennifer shares how charging what she was worth allowed her to get the babysitting help she needed, plan for food preparation for her family when she was speaking at conferences, and create boundaries that didn’t extend her energy too far — she could say no when she needed to.
“After doing this for a few years, I discovered another benefit of charging what you’re worth: it opens up opportunities to others.”
Jennifer tells a story of turning down a speaking opportunity at a conference because they couldn’t afford her fee. She was reluctant to do so, but stood by her boundary and instead recommended another speaker who was looking for more opportunities. The other speaker was thrilled for the opportunity and it gave her great experience.
“If I had worked this event at a lower rate, it would have been a lose-lose situation: I would have been frustrated that the compensation wasn’t what I needed it to be, and I would have taken away someone else’s opportunity to use their blue flame.”
You can make money.
Books that motivate and inspire are so vital to growth. It helps us to focus on big ideas, rather than the daily things that might be holding us back. What have you read recently that has had a powerful influence on you? DM me on Instagram (@realannasaucier) and tell me about it!