This year, I have decided to be intentional about a few things and one of them is taking the time to read more. I love reading and I believe it’s GOT to be a part of your life if you want to be a leader who grows as your business does. Leaders are readers.
So, last month we read a book that was both extremely challenging and amazing. It was a month of deep introspection and being honest with myself. We read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
I wanted to start the year off with a little bit of breaking down so we could build back bigger, better, badder than ever. There were a couple thousand who took on the challenge to read this book with me. Just let that number sink in for a minute. A couple thousand people opened up and got real with themselves about a very hard topic. Together we walked through the book and were honest about our own shame.
Have you guys seen Brene’s TED talk? You MUST spend 17 minutes watching this:
If you breathe oxygen and are living, you should read this book. Michael is reading it now so we can walk through it together. We all carry shame around. I’m working toward shame resilience. As my business gets bigger there are more people that don’t like me for it but, as I learned, even worse, is that there are more that love me for it. It’s so easy to be completely destroyed by the worth that we attach to what we create.
One of the weeks in our discussion, I was particularly nervous about posting my answers, I think because it’s about things that make me nervous to say out loud and I was saying it to a group that I am a leader of. I did post them and got A LOT of messages shocked that I might feel the same way they do at times. Many thanks for being normal. So I decided to share them here as well. I hope you’ll read without judgement. These are obviously from a business point of view but these would apply to any part of our lives:
Q: How would your life look different if you no longer evaluated your worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands?
A: I’d sure be a lot more content with what I have been able to achieve. For some reason, the stands shout at me that it’s not good enough and someone else is always better.
Q: Who are the people who are with you in the arena?
A: My husband is always standing shoulder to shoulder with me and my friends are back to back. I have a group of about 4 friends that are extensions of me. They’d stand next to me and fight to the death even if they knew I was wrong. In business I have a group of leaders that I am so blessed with. they stand in a big circle with me in the middle of the arena. Always there to stand up, give me constructive criticism with love, willing to have my back, willing to say what they do behind my back to my face. You need that in your business. Seek that out.
Q: Who are the folks that you most often picture in the stands?
-My mom (which is nuts because y’all I LOVE and miss my mom like crazy). She was just critical of me like she was of herself.
-A person that used to be a friend and more than once used, abandoned and hurt me for their own gain under the guise of good and God.
-Every person who has written something hurtful to me or called a name in a message or email without knowing me at all. I’m going to be honest this part of the stands is becoming a packed house.
-The critical YL members that have been in business for longer than me.
Q: I’m often my harshest critic. I see myself in the stands criticizing and judging. Are you in the stands?
A: OH HELL TO THE YES! I’m the loudest person on my feet yelling and pointing.
Q: Have you ever attached your self-worth to how something of yours was received?
A: Every single day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. My entire worth is attached to the Lemon Droppers right now. It happened overnight. One day I was a crafty, photography mom and the next I was running a multi-million dollar producing business. It became me. I became it. Stepping back into that person that works normal hours and has normal conversations with friends is scary. Do people like that original person?
Q: How did that affect your ability to share it with others and navigate the reaction of others?
A: It makes me defensive, it makes my heart hurt at the harsh criticism I receive. It makes me feel alone to be the one to stand and take the abuse that comes our way. It’s so false. It makes me scared to be the one that goes first and takes all the blame. The way people feel about my character is up to them and it’s not up to me to change their minds. I know in my heart, my friends know, my family knows and God knows my values and they all know I’m doing the best I can with what I know. In theory, that’s all that matters, but I have those ridiculous, horrible emails and messages memorized.
“your values are money and mine are people and God.”
“my business will fail now because you’re doing this.”
“you’re clearly just lucky”
“the lemon droppers have everything handed to them”
“you’re not what you pretend to be”
“you don’t deserve this”
The list goes on…I get at least 20x the positive messages as I do the hurtful ones but I remember the hurtful ones. I immediately puff up and get mad for all the work I’ve done to be cut down by another grown adult and then those words just swirl around each time it’s time to make another hard decision or step out with a new idea.
Q: How does this quote make you feel about your business?
Do you attach your self worth to the way people receive your love of essential oils and your business?
A: I don’t much worry about how other people receive my love of oils. I am in love with them and I want everyone to know. If my lifestyle and healthcare isn’t for everyone, I am 100% okay with it. Pressuring is the fastest way to end a relationship. If they don’t want it, I have NO problem never talking to them about it. On the business end? Well, that’s a different story. Those people depend on me to help them see success. Much of my actions during my working (and let’s be honest non-working) hours are because I don’t want to let people down or disappoint them. I will continue to do more, more, more because people ask me and I know a “no, I can’t” will equal a really nasty email or a blame for their failing business. I have to stop. My work hours would be a lot happier and more productive for the whole group if I didn’t evaluate my worthiness by the reaction of those that don’t actually know and love me. What if I didn’t take on the responsibility if someone used me as an excuse for their business not taking off? I’d have saved a lot of money, heartache and time this year.
Q: What are your “gremlins,” and what do they say to you to prevent you from moving forward?
A: My biggest gremlin is “you’re not good enough to make a mark on this world, this industry, these people or this business”. I also deal with “who are you to get people to follow you? You’re not that good” and “someone right behind you is nipping at your heels and will render you useless.”
“If you don’t do this another leader will and they will talk badly about you and your leadership just like that other person does.”
“If you don’t do more and better, you’ll be letting thousands of people down who depend on you and need you.”
“If you don’t say yes, they won’t respect you as a leader.”
“If you don’t say yes now, they’ll stop following you and your business will blow up.”
“If you confront that person, you’ll have a split in your business.”
“If you aren’t the most successful of all, you’re not successful at all.”
“If you’re not the best, you might as well be the worst.”
“If you make any changes, your business will blow up.”
“If you don’t hold it together at home and show them constant attention and show your work constant attention, they’ll all resent you down the road.”
You know what? I am not, nor will I ever be a victim of what people say about me. I have people in my life (family and amazing friends) who love me. I belong to them and they belong to me. You cannot buy that. I am so blessed. I owe so much to my people that I can never repay.
We all have our crap. We do. None of us are 100% shame resilient. We are working on it. I continue moving forward. I’m tough and I can do hard things. So can you.
This book gets FIVE STARS from me. You gotta read it.