I know, it sounds like a funny name; however there was a moment where I began to wonder if I made the right choice. My intentions were to make some extra money to help support my daughter’s acting career and hopefully make a difference in other people’s lives in the process; and it’s been quite the journey ever since. When I first started I sat with my up-line (the person above me in the Multilevel Marketing company) as she began to explain that starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur (no matter what kind) can bring out the best and the ugliest in friends, family and acquaintances. I think she was trying to prepare me over the idea that not everyone was going to support my decision and to be strong because snide remarks (no matter how painful) should not stop me from reaching my goals; no matter whom they come from.
I remember sitting there thinking to myself, I’m just sharing a product, a wrap that tightens, tones and firms in 45 minutes; I’m not trying to start a cult. I thought she was being a little jaded and probably just needed a hug or two. So I hugged her and thanked her for the concern, but told her I’m sure I was going to be just fine and off I went, naively yet excited to get started.
Well, I hate to admit it but, she was right.
The sometimes hurtful remarks and silent actions rolled in like clockwork. As I gleefully began to share my new venture thinking I would get support from my friends (and prove my up-line wrong) only made me realize one thing; I really need a new group of friends. No matter what your profession is, if it does not conform to working inside a box or I should say their box in particular, often times people won’t know how to deal with it.
It truly is the oddest thing ever.
I experienced everything from: people unfriending me, not following my feed anymore, asking me when I was going to get a real job, how did I get suckered into doing this and the list goes on.
There was even a point where I was beginning to question if I made the right decision. I mean, did I really do something that awful? When was trying to help people get healthy such a negative thing. I had let people’s ignorant comments or actions affect me so much that I was letting my fire dwindle and I was down playing or not sharing what I did for a living. It took my husband to talk some sense into me and made me realize that I gave these people way too much power over me and “my” own personal journey.
I then began to recall sitting in my countless acting classes listening to my fellow actors share their hurt over their loved ones telling them similar comments:
“When are they going to make it”
“When are they going to quit and come home”
“When are they going to get a real job or get a degree that mattered”, and so on.
I watched their fire dwindle too.
Soon their status went from:
I’m an Actor!
I’m an Aspiring Actor?
So yeah, I’m trying to do that acting thing. As if though they have to justify their passion.
It’s amazing how hurtful words can quickly steal your thunder; and that’s when I started to get really pissed off. Not so much at the ignorance of other people, but at myself for allowing other people’s opinions to matter more than they should.
So how did I get though it? After having a quiet moment with myself and refocusing on my “WHY” statement, I came up with this following list. Perhaps it can help you too.
Moderation is Key
Seeking approval from others is perfectly fine up until the point where you are compromising your happiness in the process. What other people think of you and your journey is really none of your business. Sure we all want our choices praised by our peers, but the reality is we are never going to please everyone. So instead we need to learn to be our own cheerleading squad.
Kick Mario’s Ass
Ok, if you’re name is Mario, I’m not literally saying you need your ass kicked, so let me explain.
A few years ago I took an 8-week acting intensive with the amazing Christinna Chauncey and one of the things she taught us is that we need to learn how to silence that voice that lives inside the pit of our stomach that likes to tell us we should give up. That we are doing it all wrong, that we will never make it in our chosen profession and we should just go back to doing what’s safe. Christinna called her little annoying inside voice Mario. You can call yours whatever want, but the name has stuck with me ever since. Mario, also known as self-doubt, ruins more dreams than anything or anyone else on this planet. Don’t ever let Mario win and squash your dream.
Get Comfortable With Not Caring
Caring too much about what your parents, siblings, friends, coaches, strangers or cousins twice removed think about what you do, say or put out into the world is exhausting.
Who cares what others say or think about you; it’s not going to do anything but fuel Mario and we already know it doesn’t take much for him to have a party for one inside your head and wreck everything you’ve worked so hard for. Get into the habit of being ok with not knowing or caring what others think of you. However people perceive you has more to do with them than it does with you, so just shake it off. When you stop caring, you’ll be surprised how much happier you will be. I like to look at it this way, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, be happy, be you and live.
Someone Else’s Opinion Should Never Be Your Problem
What someone thinks of you will rarely be the whole truth of who you actually are. We misjudge people all the time. If an assumption was an Olympic sport, every single one of us would have hundreds of medals hanging around our neck. The opinions other people have about you is their problem, not yours. I’m beginning to learn that the less I worry about what other people think of me and my choices, the less complicated my life becomes.
Freeing isn’t it?
Ask Yourself If What They Think Really Matters?
Since I always tell this to my daughter, I kick myself for not remembering this when I was having my pity-party-of-one. When it all boils down to it, you really need to ask yourself, do the opinions that are making you doubt yourself or actions really matter in the grand scheme of things?
Nope, they don’t!
Those opinions are not going to pay your bills or fill you with satisfaction. What matters isn’t what others think, because most of the time it will lack important facts. What matters most is what YOU think of YOURSELF! Be true to YOU. Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed of what you’re doing. As long as whatever it is rings true in the core of what you believe in, then stand tall, stand proud, and stick to it.
Live Your Authentic Self
Even if others don’t approve of your choices, even if your voice shakes or if people shake their head at you; you tread forward! Stop worrying about who you’ll upset and start focusing on how to live your bliss. When you do this you’ll begin to realize that those who are either offended or irritated feel this way because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel like either they have less power over you, or perhaps they feel like you’re growing in a direction they can’t relate to anymore. It’s oddly easier to put someone down than to take the time to understand them. Don’t ever apologize for changing and evolving into a better version of you. Live your authentic self, stand tall and be proud of who you are becoming, even if it’s a “wrap girl” like me.
No one will understand your personal journey like you would, so stop trying to explain it. Be the person who does more than just merely blends in and exists with the rest of the human race. Be the person who leads instead of follows. Who lives and appreciates and is not afraid to take chances. Be the person who realizes that you matter and you’re no longer going to apologize for following what makes you happy.
After all, to exist without truly living isn’t really living at all, right?.