Jim Henson, and the power of choice

This weekend I went to a late night showing of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, which is by far my all time favourite childhood movie. I had it on an old VHS, taped off of Super Channel, after a recording of The Neverending Story, and I watched it every evening at my dad’s house. I watched it so much that the tape started to lose quality… to say that I know it word for word is an understatement. I know the words, the pauses, the songs and dance moves… every facial expression practically. But there’s something different about seeing it on the big screen. So even though I’ve seen the film a good billion times (I never exaggerate, HA!) I still had some takeaways after this weekend’s showing.

Labyrinth is an exploration of free will and the power of choice. And I love how it applies outside of the realm of the Goblin King and into our every day lives.

First choice: To go, or not.

After Sarah’s baby brother Toby is kidnapped by the Goblin King, she is presented with a choice. Jareth (the Goblin King) offers her a crystal that will show her her dreams if she decides to not try to rescue her brother. And he states emphatically, “This is not a gift for an ordinary girl who takes care of a screaming baby…”
How many of us have been there in our entrepreneurial journey?
Maybe we find the perfect job description, or we’re headhunted based on our connections or LinkedIn profile, and if things haven’t been going well in our businesses (especially in the early days) there’s a moment where you think, “Well maybe….” And it’s certainly the easier path. Especially when we’re headhunted it feels good to be sought out (because who wants to be an “ordinary girl”?), but ultimately we have to decide if it’s what we want to do.

True story: when I started my first company, Pampered Goddess, even though I loved it and I felt I was living my purpose, it was never easy. It never made money. Everything about it was a struggle. And when Danielle LaPorte posted my dream job, I applied. If that position came up now, there’s no way I’d apply. But I’m not the same person I was then, and I’m not in the same place in my business. The go/no go choice is so intimately personal that only you can decide.

Next choice: To listen, or not.

The second character Sarah meets inside the Labyrinth is a sweet worm who invites her inside for a cuppa tea. The worm seems helpful, explaining that she’s taking too many things for granted which is causing her to not see things as they are, and shows her how to see beyond the illusion of the Labyrinth. On the surface, this all seems great, and Sarah’s about to turn left before the worm shouts “Don’t go that way… NEVER go that way…”, so she turns right and carries on. The worm said “Ugh… if she’d kept on going down that way, she’d have gone straight to the castle” – which is exactly where she wanted to be.

So what went wrong? The worm didn’t have the full story and wasn’t qualified to give the advice he gave, and Sarah took his kindness to mean he was to be trusted without question. It would’ve been a short movie if she hadn’t, but there’s a lesson here. How many times do you catch yourself asking non-entrepreneurial friends and family for advice on your business? Or spending lots of money on coaches without proven results? Or buying into some compelling copy on a sales page without considering the source?

They say we’re the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with. So who we listen to, whether it’s the advice they give, or just how they generally conduct themselves, MATTERS. There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to consider the source of the advice you’re receiving. (But at the same time, don’t be an ask-hole.) And you may want to consider who you even ask in the first place. Friends or family who work a 9 to 5 and don’t understand the intricacies of self-employment may not be the best ones to ask about big business decisions. Especially the ones who have an entrepreneurial heart but who are too risk-averse to really give it a go.

Next choice: To claim your power, or not.

The journey through the labyrinth really helps Sarah develop some confidence (at times over confidence), make decisions, problem solve… and at the end of it, she’s facing the Goblin King and he’s upped the ante… now it’s not just a crystal, but if she’s willing to bow down, he will do anything she could ever want. Imagine the possibilities! She could rule the kingdom by his side, wanting for nothing, but it means compromising herself, and everything she’s has learned and developed over the journey. Her response?

“You have no power over me.”

These 6 little worlds cause everything to dissolve around her, including Jareth, and she’s returned home, baby brother in bed. While real life may not be so simple and obvious in it’s delivery when we reclaim our power, it does kind of play out that way sometimes, doesn’t it? When we reclaim our power, things get clearer, they get easier, we breathe easier. We’re okay with letting go the things that no longer work. We don’t feel our responsibilities as burdens because we’re empowered to take on the right responsibilities. And we don’t let fear (whether our own, or the voices we hear from the peanut gallery) be our guiding compass. And the best part? We tap into the parts of ourselves that we always knew were there… but had maybe been forgotten.

It doesn’t take a showdown with a Goblin King to reclaim your power. When you are crystal clear and unwavering on your truth, on your message, and on who you are, you can use that unshakeable foundation to reclaim any power you’ve given away along your entrepreneurial (or life) journey. Not sure what that looks like? Sign up for a compatibility call with me… I am in the final stages of a really cool program that may be the right fit for you.

Sending lots of love for YOUR journey,

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