Starting a new class can be scary - no matter how many classes you've taken before. Here, I discuss my experience with our workshop so you have a better idea of what it actually looks like.
If you are wanting to make a change in your life - whether that’s in your career or at home, there are plenty of options to help you get started. You can take the self-led approach by reading books, scouring online forums, or checking out YouTube videos. Or you might feel like you need some more accountability for yourself. So you look into hiring a life coach or finding a mentor. You can also sign up for a class.
However, when you haven’t experienced something for yourself before, it might feel intimidating to want to try it out - no matter how exciting it seems.
Take skydiving for example. Watching someone else jump out of the plane might make it seem completely unattainable for you. You have no idea how it feels or what it will be like. But then you make the jump for yourself, and you finally understand it. Now that you are back safe on the ground, it doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
I’ve felt nervous before signing up for any class I’ve taken. Even with a course overview and syllabus, you never can be 100% sure about what exactly you are going to experience until you go through it. And that last minute before the class gets started can be especially terrifying.
At MacklinConnection, we understand that trying something new can be scary. Humans are wired to scan anything new for a potential threat. And what is unknown is largely perceived as carrying some kind of risk.
We want you to feel as prepared as possible before signing up for any of our programs to counteract any fear you might have (and it is completely ok to feel afraid - we all do!). To help give you some insight into our workshop, I’ve created this review of my own experience going through the program.
Now, keep in mind, I do work with MacklinConnection. And I chose this job for a reason - I love what this company stands for. So I’m obviously going to have some kind of bias. But, the beautiful thing about MacklinConnection is that none of us want anyone to take the workshop who isn’t going to actually get value from it. We don’t want you to sign up and then feel like you got conned. If this isn't for you, we don't want you to feel like you are wasting your time.
So I am going to give you my honest feedback and walk you through what I have experienced now that I am finishing up the program. (And you are welcome to email me anytime to continue the conversation or ask questions.)
I’ll be honest, I am a self-help enthusiast. I read the books. I watch the videos. I take classes. I have a deep, innate desire to want to be the best version of myself for myself and those around me. This is one of the reasons I aligned so strongly with MacklinConnection.
Up until I started the workshop, I had been doing a lot of “inner work.” So I am (mostly) not afraid of being vulnerable or sharing with others.
However, if this isn’t your thing, you might feel uncomfortable. While no one is forced to do anything they don’t want to do in the workshop, you are encouraged to share your perspectives and experiences. I enjoy these opportunities, but if you are someone who usually likes to sit back with your camera off on a video call, you might not get the most out of our course.
Each week of the workshop, you’ll have a group virtual call to discuss your experiences and noticings. This takes place on a zoom call with about 8 other people and your leaders. Prior to the call, you’ll do some prep work to prepare you for the week. This includes some reading and reflection questions. You can choose to write out your answers in your course portal, and your session leaders will review your comments.
The night before the first call, I looked over the prep work which was centered around connecting to yourself. And I got overwhelmed. Not because I was expected to write an essay or the assignment was too intense. I just got caught off guard with the depth of the questions.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the questions centered around explaining who I am and my purpose. Reflecting on this triggered a lot of uncomfortable emotions in me. I didn’t feel like I had a “good” answer to these prompts. In this moment, I started to realize I had continued to build a life for myself around what other people wanted me to be. Even though I had come to this conclusion before, it really hit me in the face again.
I ended up leaving the space for reflection blank in my course portal.
On the first call the next day, I remember just trying to remember everyone’s names and where they were from. I was also a little intimidated by the backgrounds of the people in my workshop. They all seemed so successful and sure of themselves. I felt like maybe I was in over my head.
Despite feeling intimidated, I ended up sharing my honest reflections from the night before - about how it was difficult to express who I am because I carved out a self that was dependent on what I thought other people wanted.
And I spent a great deal of time over the months that followed learning more about how this was a story I had written for myself (a long time ago!). Like any story, it could be rewritten.
As the workshop continued, I started to understand myself better and why I would act a certain way in certain situations. I began to really look at the stories I had created in my head. Recognizing them is the first step to rewriting them. One of my favorite lines from Ron in this process was that you’ll always have your stories, it’s just a matter of how quickly you can notice them and choose whether or not to act from them.
The more I committed to practicing The Macklin Method, the more I could feel myself transforming. I became much more sure of myself. I was more willing to speak up on the workshop calls. I also started to find my flow at work. I didn’t feel as stressed or overwhelmed. And I realized that when I was feeling that way, the pressure wasn’t coming from an external source - it was coming from me.
Spending more time learning and practicing the method also allowed me to feel better about asking for help when I needed it. Or being able to speak up about what I needed. This was huge for me because I used to be someone who would NEVER ask for help or say if something was too much for me. But I realized how important it is to ask and receive help. And that people in my life and at work WANTED to help.
My relationships with my family and friends also started improving. I noticed myself becoming more patient - and willing to reach out to the other person and apologize when I wasn’t as patient as I could have been.
It was almost like I started to feel an urgency of wanting to strengthen the connections in my life. Even though I already had a pretty solid relationship with my family and friends, I could see how I hadn’t always been my “best” or most authentic self in our dynamics. And learning about the importance of connection (and how to *actually* form a real connection) lit a fire under me to seek out people in my life.
This even extended to strangers. I was traveling for most of my workshop experience and around a lot of new people. Before taking the workshop, I would not have sought out people I didn’t know on a regular basis to form friendships.
But a big part of the workshop is practicing the method - and you need other people to do that with. So I started seeing every opportunity of meeting someone new as a chance at creating another relationship. At the very worst, the encounter would give me a chance to practice what I had been learning. This made simple things like waiting in line much more fun. And I ended up creating so many new connections along the way. (I also failed a lot too - but I got much more comfortable with failing, especially thanks to Ron’s advice. Making mistakes is what helps us learn and grow and continue to try new things.)
The people. The leaders on my calls were absolutely fantastic. I still think about things that were said in some of the earlier weeks. I felt so supported and safe the entire time. As humans, we can usually feel when someone is being inauthentic - even if we don't immediately label it as such. And the leaders on these calls were so genuine in wanting to help make a difference in the lives of the participants.
The other participants on my call were also incredible to get to know. As a group, you get closer each week. It was humbling to get to be on calls with these people. Each person had so much wisdom to offer. I walked away from each call being deeply grateful for each one of them.
Rewiring. If you actively practice the method, you are creating new patterns for yourself (instead of just repeating the same stories in your head you’ve been telling yourself). I actually felt the mental rewiring process, especially in later weeks of the course. And I started understanding the changes I was making were becoming embodied. This means that I didn’t just know the concepts that were being presented to me, I actually started to live them. There is a big difference between knowing something and living it. And this workshop definitely allows you the opportunity to truly live out what you are learning (if you choose to do the work).
Transformation. Through taking the workshop, I noticed that I genuinely wanted to be better for no other reason than to be a source of help for others. Even though I had a prior mental understanding of how important connections were, it was like I finally “got it.” I have seen myself grow so much in a relatively short amount of time. And I genuinely love this version of myself. While I have always felt a love of people, my behavior didn’t reflect this a lot of the time. I was much more content to keep to myself. But now I want to seek out other people and develop meaningful relationships. This has made my life so much more fulfilling already.
I had no idea what to expect. It took me some time to find my rhythm with the workshop. I’m used to course instructors telling me exactly what to do and kind of dictating my experience in class. But this is not how MacklinConnection does things at all. So it was tricky trying to navigate what was expected of me. And it turns out no one had any expectations other than for me to do my best.
Making mistakes. We were encouraged each week to try things out and mess it up. This is an excellent way to learn. As a former perfectionist (I’m honestly still working on this story that I have for myself), I don’t like to make mistakes. But there were weeks where I did mess up. And it involved other people (like saying the wrong thing or coming across too blunt). It wasn’t anything big, but I did not like how it made me feel. However, this did help me for the next time I was in a similar situation. And I really did learn from these experiences. I try to be as present as I can be in conversations now so I don’t say something that is going to push the other person away (we call this “throwing a rock” in class).
Having a greater sense of responsibility. Now that I know the method for connecting with myself and other people, I take a lot of responsibility for how my interactions go. It’s so much easier to blame other people when things go wrong. Or to write someone off as being “difficult.” But now I know I have a lot more say in how my exchanges with other people go. So I can’t just say it’s the other person’s fault.
Waiting. One of the steps of the method requires you to wait for the other person to accept connecting with you or getting help from you. Patience is something I’ve had to really work on. I don’t like waiting when I can see an immediate benefit. But we have to meet other people where they are at. And sometimes (most of the time) that requires waiting for them to be ready for us. This is particularly tricky for me with the people I am closest to. However, going through the workshop made me want to treat them with even more grace and respect for their own unique process.
I wanted more calls. I actually wish our group calls were longer than 45 minutes. I really enjoyed the discussions at our weekly meetings. You don’t just get feedback from the other participants, you also get guidance and support from multiple leaders on the call to help work things out. Even though I would continue the conversations on our one-on-one “buddy calls” during the week, having everyone in the same (virtual) space is such a unique process that isn’t as easily replicated when it’s just two people having a discussion.
You actually have to try. This is not a course where you can just sit back and passively learn. While you might pick some things up on the calls, to actually see a change in your life, you are going to have to actually practice the method and participate in the weekly discussions. If you could take a magic pill and change your life, you would probably take it. But this isn’t that. This workshop requires that you put yourself out there and try out the steps of the method in each interaction you have.
It’s like going to the gym. You don’t build muscle by just showing up at the gym and looking around at everyone else. You have to go consistently and actually pick up the weights and engage in the exercises.
There were times I wished I could just snap my fingers and have a better experience. But it doesn’t work like that. I had to keep putting myself out there until I achieved a more comfortable level of understanding of the method. And it’s something I’m still working on every day.
When you know something in your life needs to change, but you aren’t sure where to start, you might start looking around for help. You likely have a lot of options. And some of these potential solutions might feel more intimidating than others.
This is why we’ve created articles to help share as much as possible about our programs. You can read those here:
You can also reach out to us by scheduling a discovery call. This allows you to actually talk to one of our program leaders before you sign up. You can ask whatever you want and get a better feel for who we are and what we offer.
You don’t have to figure out everything on your own. (In fact, humans aren’t meant to - more on that in Why are Connections Important?) We hope that whether you find a solution with us, or somewhere else, you’re able to take steps to live a more fulfilling life.