Safety net or trap

Floating Thoughts 011

Hey 1,060+ friends, it’s Hannah here from Quoted Visually!

Welcome to another issue of Floating Thoughts where I share an insight, image and personal update.

When starting something new, it’s tempting to lean into the comforts of safety nets and stabilisers.

To pop the bumpers on at the bowling alley so to speak.

Because like kids learning to ride a bike, stabilisers help us mitigate failure. They build our confidence and make us feel safe 🚲

But after a while, we must let them go.

Before they prevent us from *actually* learning how to ride a bike, and before the very thing that gets us moving to begin with, becomes a block in our progress.

For an entire year of my self-employed journey, I was working my old ‘head of’ design job one-day-a-week, but after a while, the predictable Thursday income flipped away from being a safety net.

It suddenly became the thing that was holding me back. Week on week, it prevented me from passing other projects through fast enough, capping my income and leaving me unfulfilled and frustrated, but also grateful. I was working with nice people.

Holding onto stabilisers means holding to the limiting belief that we can’t do it on our own and running from the chaos and discomfort of trying.

We hold on because we don’t want to fall or fail.

Yet this can keep us stagnant and stuck in the past. The thing is, we don’t need the stability and comfort.

A good measure of chaos can jolt us into action and spark the change we want to see.

It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my old manager/ then client that things changed.

He said “you need to do what's best for you, not what's best for us”

This gave me that space to move on. I now feel liberated, not just from my commitment, but from the limiting belief that I needed the crutch.


Nobody else is going to suggest what is best for us. That’s our responsibility.

Even family and friends will suggest what is best to keep us safe, not to help us grow.

So while we are busy keeping other people happy, we are not taking ownership of our own lives and we’re putting ourselves at risk for future regrets.

It took me a few months to have the conversation. I was tied up in the routine tasks, and didn’t want to cause any inconvenience to them.

It is easy to assume the responsibility for things that are not ‘ours’. But the cost of keeping the stabilisers on for too long can be high.

The unpredictable wobbly phase is also the fun phase. If everything was solved and figured out, life would be pretty boring.

We can learn to embrace that wobbly phase of ‘figuring it out’ as we go.

In time, we’ll find our own balance – whatever this looks like to us!

💡 Inspiration

“Most of the big wins in life come from the hard-to-obtain fruit”

Lately, I have been enjoying pretty much every podcast episode with Alex Hormozi. This one in particular is value-packed. You best believe that I’ll be listening for a second time.

🗞️ Update

I’m feeling quite positive at the minute - almost emotional and overwhelmed in a good way.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy, but I feel this bubbling sense of self-belief that I can do the huge list of things I'm trying to do:

  • A select few client projects

  • Shopify store launch (2024 calendars coming right up)

  • Post and be active on social media

  • Reconnect with my once pathetic social life

  • This newsletter (bi-weekly for now)

  • Develop the Quoting Ideas Visually course (postponed until later)

Hannah Wilson has entered the Zoom meeting

Taking August off was such a hard reset button.

I'm looking at the things that I'm trying to do in front of me and I feel much more capable of taking the action that I want to take.

Looking after ourselves and making space to strategise is the difference between steering the ship and being steered by the ship, between being the captain and a passenger on our own boat.

The best part is is now that my cup feels fuller, I have so much more to give and provide, it feels like a win win.

I even made the vulnerable step of making my personal Instagram account public* and started sharing some of these small wins.

*after archiving 300 posts 🤣

Two questions for you to ponder:

  • What are your recent small wins? 🏆

  • Have you got any stabilisers that you need to strip off?

That’s a wrap. Thanks for being here!

Feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions, requests or feedback. I will respond at my earliest opportunity, bear with me though, life is hectic.

Big love,

Hannah aka Quoted Visually x

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